I spent the day with my dad yesterday. We’re planning a big bash for his 90th birthday next month. I’m going to make a DVD slideshow of ninety years of photographs (and even more that go back to his parents, and his uncle who fought in the Civil War). I’ll use iPhoto and iDVD to put the show together, and it will be playing on the TV during the party. Of course we had to have a soundtrack, so Dad went through all his cassette tapes and found all his favorite songs. When I thought about the logistics of converting taped songs to digital, I said (quite innocently I thought!): “Pop, have you ever heard of iTunes?”
Well we just had too much fun after that! We spent probably two hours listening to clips of Guy Lombardo, Patti Page, Perry Como, Harry Belafonte, Patsy Cline, Bing Crosby, Artie Shaw and — go figure — the Waltz of the Flowers from the Nutcracker Suite, which he insisted upon. He kept saying — “oh type in Jim Reeves — do you think they’ll have any Jim Reeves?” — or, “Can you find your mother’s favorite song, ‘Always’?” Of course there’s dozens of songs called “Always” but we found the one he wanted, recorded by Frank Sinatra. Or, he’d say, “Will they have ‘The Wearin’ of the Green’ and ‘Molly Malone’? — we have to have those!” Then we came across all the songs we used to sing together when I was a little girl — “How Much is that Doggy in the Window?”- “Scarlet Ribbons” – “El Paso” – “Day-O, the Banana Boat Song” – “Lemon Tree.” And suddenly I was 5 years old again, or 7, or 10; and the world was a safe and loving place as long as my daddy was in it.
And now, of course, I’m listening to “Pop’s Playlist” on my iPod. At the moment, it’s playing Dean Martin singing “When the moon in the sky is a big pizza pie, that’s Ah – morrrrrr – ayyyyyyyyy!” and I just can’t keep from laughing in delight.