Monday, July 23, 2012

The Stars put on a Show for Free

“On the roof, it’s peaceful as can be; and there the world below can’t bother me. Let me tell you now!”
by Charlie Leck

On the train this week, rolling toward the East Coast, I had my iPod engaged and I wore my noise-reduction earphones. In between reading stints, I was listening to my music.

Let me tell you now!
If one were to investigate and analyze the contents of the music on my iPod, I suppose that “one” could pretty precisely identify me and my era (Ray Charles; Bob Dylan; Peter, Paul and Mary; Nancy Sinatra; Barbara Streisand; Perry Como; Johnny Cash; the Beattles; Van Morrison; Marvin Gaye; the Beach Boys; Neil Diamond; the Drifters; Ben E. King; Carly Simon). Oh well, I’m not ashamed of it – and I even, very occasionally, slip back to some of the music of the fifties (Perry Como; and Bobby Vinton’s You Are My Special Angel). Cleo Laine is on my iPod, too; however, she was a much later discovery that I made in the late 90s (as I’ve written on this blog before), as is Diana Krail and Nora Jones.

Well, that’s just some of them. One of the songs I listened to a number of times on this train trip came from The Drifters. Oh, how I enjoyed them. One of their albums on my iPod is The Drifters’ Greatest Hits. There are so many of them I liked (and I knew the lyrics of many by heart).

When this old world starts gettin’ me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space
On the roof, it’s peaceful as can be
And there the world below can’t bother me
Let me tell you now…
Let’s go up on the roof – up on the roof

At night the stars put on a show for free
And, darling, you can share it all with me

The stars, you see, play a big part in my life. How I adore them!

The Drifters Greatest Hits
There goes my Baby
Dance with Me
This Magic Moment
Save the Last Dance for Me
Under the Boardwalk
Up on the Roof
On Broadway

The playlists on my iPod date me and categorize me. There’s an exception or two (lately I’ve developed a taste for classic opera and I’ve downloaded some Verdi, Georges Bizet, Antonin Dvorak, after visiting Prague last fall, Puccinni and Debussy). I also like the remarkable operatic performances of  Andrea Bocelli (I have four of his complete albums on my iPod). The recent additions of segments of operas might confuse an investigator or two, but, by and large, my era and age is pretty well revealed in what I listen to…

A good iPod for travel
There’s nothing like it. I can drift (drifters… you get it?) back to my younger days. And a simple iPod can hold thousands of recordings and play them back for you with extraordinary quality.

Train Travel
Let me say it again: It’s quite peaceful traveling by train. Train travel is not elegant in America, but it’s peaceful and there is space to stretch out and you can move around (though you’re occasionally thrown from side to side).

This is part of my AmTrak Memoirs

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