Monday, February 6, 2012

The Rainbow Rag

By Sue Ann Jaffarian
When I first saw this week’s question, my initial response wasn’t “Oh, gawd, how do I answer that?” but “Oh, gawd, where do I begin?”
Like most folks, my life has been a study in ups and downs, fits and starts, good, bad, and stupid, with flashes of amazing. Overall, my life has felt like a race in concrete boots with alligators chasing me.
The soundtrack of my life would be just as eclectic, with the theme from Jaws playing side by side with A Moment Like This.  I wish I could do a mix for you, but I’m not very savvy about that kind of stuff, so I’ve narrowed it down to one artist:  Scott Joplin.

I love Joplin’s music. All of it. It has highs and lows. Can be both joyful and mournful. It’s not smooth and easy, but bubbly and awkward, with all the notes travelling together in a frenetic journey, like someone's giving chase and will gobble them up if they stop.
Like my life.
But the last song on the soundtrack would have to be Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. I've heard it for years in movies and on the radio. My niece even used it in her wedding. But it wasn't until recently that I felt compelled to look up the artist I knew simply as "Iz."
It was during this research that I came across the following video of the song. Iz is singing it and at the end of the video is his funeral - a traditional paddle out. It's my new theme song. I even downloaded the video to my iPhone and play it often. To me, it symbolizes joy and hope. Instead of concrete boots and alligators, it conjures up soaring birds, fresh air, and the warmth of the sun, and the love people can pass along to each other.

Thank you, Iz.

5 comments:

Meredith Cole said...

Love that version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, too, Sue! He makes it sound so fresh and new--and hopeful, as well.

gregkshipman said...

Seren-RIP-pity, Sue Ann, seren-flippin'-RIP-pity!

My grandaddy was a Scott Joplin fan... big time. We often (when I was but a wee lad) had story-time (his stories) with Scott playing on the Victrola. I love me some Scott! Ain't that coincidental?

As for 'Over The Rainbow'... one of my two favorites... but my artist is the incomparable Patti LaBelle. I was born and raised Baptist and Sundays always rocked. Patti's got the voice!... screaming highs, mellow lows and everything is moving, moving, moving. Ain't nobody sittin', ain't nobody untouched. That's been my life. I searched and searched, and in the end, what I found is less important than the fact that I searched.

The second song is 'You Are So Beautiful' (yes you are *hint*)sung by Joe Cocker (gotta be Joe). The lyrics, Joe's passion and drive... it's the mellow side of my driven life.

Elizabeth said...

2 of my favorites! I have a lot of musical favorites, but Iz's rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is extra special. I also love Eva Cassidy's rendition of "It's a Wonderful World." These two songs would tie if I had to choose a favorite, but I love them both.

Reece said...

Love that version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," Sue Ann. I remember it from the Adam Sandler movie "50 First Dates." I'm looking forward to sharing Mondays with you here at CM!

Jaden Terrell said...

What a great soundtrack, Sue. I love "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Watching it was a huge annual tradition at our house. I still cry at the end when Dorothy says goodbye to all her friends from Oz.