17 March 2008

"Mary Had a Little Lamb"

When I set out to my own apartment and college life, my parents opened up with a stream of memories from when I was a baby. I heard stories I never knew before. It was as if my impending absence resurrected the past in their minds, and from that came a song. In a tiny nursery with yellow and green butterfly wallpaper, my Dad sat in a rocker holding a little me and sang Wings' version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Who knows why he picked that song? He was quick to qualify that he never really followed Paul McCartney's work outside the Beatles. But because he picked that song and sang it to me when I was just a tiny helpless thing, the song became precious to him. And when I finally found the song (he never had a copy) and listened to it with that picture in my mind, remembering the emotion in Dad's voice when he related the story to me, the song became precious to me as well.

It's not a groundbreaking version of the song; there are no new lyrics or altered rhymes, but the thing that Dad remembered setting it apart was the la la las, and they do add something almost imperceptible to a familiar tune.

I've made sure that Dad has a copy of the song now--the internets is an amazing place that way. One day maybe I will share it with other tiny helpless children like he did.


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