Friday, October 22, 2010

Magical Moment 260, "Sentimental Journey"

"Sentimental Journey" has been my favorite song since I was 14. I never heard it before my piano teacher, Mr. Capps, taught it to me. He explained that it was a staple, a necessity, and it was the very first song that I learned to play a boogie-woogie left hand to. I immediately loved the melody and searched for a recording of the song so I could learn the words also. My mom found a CD called Songs that got us through World War II, with Doris Day singing her incomparable rendition

That's when I learned what an important song "Sentimental Journey" truly was throughout the 1940's. I began playing it at every nursing home, retirement home, and of course every weekend at Lee's Restaurant. I wish now that I had documented the number of times that someone, usually an elderly person, approached me with a personal story or memory brought on by that song. Once I played it on an old, upright piano at a World War II museum and soon attracted a crowd of senior citizens smiling and clapping along. Each one remarked how astounded they were that a girl my age had even heard of the song. Another woman at a nursing home told me she was in the hospital giving birth to her first son when she heard it for the first time and felt strangely connected to her faraway husband while listening to the lyrics. He was serving overseas at the time. There was a slow-talking, bald man at Lee's Restaurant who pulled a foreign coin out of his wallet that he'd kept since his World War II service and handed it to me. He said he wanted me to have a piece of that era since I was already playing it. Oh the smiles, tips, nods, and "thank-you's" I've received for playing that old tune. 

It makes me think about the war today. In a few decades, what songs will be on the album entitled, "Songs that got us through Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom?" What will be the songs that bring tears to our eyes and awaken a long forgotten, emotional memory when we hear an old lyric or melody? "Sentimental Journey" has brought a piece of the past to me and I hope to always carry it on, telling someone else's story each time I play the familiar tune, "Gonna take a sentimental journey. A sentimental journey home."

Video taken at Seward Park in Chinatown, NYC

"Sentimental Journey" 
music by Les Brown & Ben Homer, lyrics by Bud Green
Gonna take a Sentimental Journey,
Gonna set my heart at ease.    
Gonna make a Sentimental Journey,
to renew old memories.

Got my bags, got my reservations,
Spent each dime I could afford. 
Like a child in wild anticipation, 
I Long to hear that, "All aboard!"

Seven...that's the time we leave at seven.
I'll be waitin' up at heaven, 
Countin' every mile of railroad 
track, that takes me back.

Never thought my heart could be so yearny. 
Why did I decide to roam? 
Gotta take that Sentimental Journey, 
Sentimental Journey home. 

1 comment:

Eddie said...

I am sure that I had heard the song before I met Beth, but I had never really listened before. I have always considered myself someone who loves and appreciates music, but she has opened me up to so many new things and taught me so much that I never knew. I think my wife is the most musically minded person that I have ever known.