My husband is a singer-songwriter devotee. I am not. He loves meaningful lyrics and sometimes mournful melodies. He would take umbrage at the word “mournful” in the previous sentence, but I stand by it.
My idea of good music is different. Give me a good beat, some funky rhythms, and some syncopation. Give me some funk or blues or jazz or rock. I’ll even take pop! Hell, I’ll even go so far as to take opera!
Over the years I have attended more than my share of folk concerts. I tend to make lists in my head or daydream about being elsewhere. I know it sounds pretty awful. That’s because it IS pretty awful!
Ok, I’ll admit that it isn’t quite that bad, but it’s close. Of course, I couldn’t just suffer in silence. I had to comment on my pain. I had to comment more than once. I’ll admit here that it was pretty much a constant tirade exclaiming the unfairness of the fact that there are more folk artists in Maine than any other kind of musician.
I focused my dislike of folk music on Gordon Lightfoot. It’s probably not fair, he once had a wonderful voice, but he is Bill’s favorite folk singer so he took the brunt of my complaints. It became a joke in the family. “Oh no, you didn’t have to listen to Gordon Lightfoot, did you?” I’d try to turn my nieces against their uncle’s choice of music. It wasn’t hard, Lightfoot wasn’t really on a teenager’s radar.
The joking and ribbing expanded beyond the family. Now I had friends involved. Every man, woman, and child; I turned them all against Gordon Lightfoot. The mere mention of his name engendered eye-rolls and groans of a magnitude that surprised even me. No one was more adamant in her dislike than my friend Wendy. She was a true ally in this crusade.
It got to the point where I forbade the playing of Gordon Lightfoot if I was around. I wasn’t kidding here, this dude was the embodiment of all things folk. To me, folk music is ponderous and sad. It made me want to grab a gun and point it in one direction or the other. Homicide was not off the table. Suicide wasn’t either. I think you now understand the intensity of my hatred. Folk music is a downer and I wasn’t having any!
One day I came home and Gordon Lightfoot was playing loudly. There was no effort to turn it off, either! I was flummoxed, but mostly I was mad. Wendy was there and she looked at me sheepishly. I looked sideways at my husband waiting for the explanation.
Apparently, there was a certain Lightfoot lyric that my husband thought Wendy would appreciate. I can’t prove that this is how it went down, but he claims that when he started the CD Wendy got this incredulous look on her face. She exclaimed “This is Gordon Lightfoot? I love this song! “Oh no! I love Gordon Lightfoot! Linda’s going to KILL me!!!” Wendy went home that day with a Gordon Lightfoot CD and a heavy dose of my disappointment and dismay.