Love Actually, Wonder Years

The Optimist’s Anthem –Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

Last week it was Neil Armstrong we bade farewell to.  A few days before Armstrong’s passing,  it was Jerry Nelson, 78 who was the voice of  Count von Count from Sesame Street who passed on.

Today, it’s legendary songwriter Hal David, 91 who left this world to return Home.  I know all of Burt Bacharach’s songs by heart because my dad used to play them endlessly on Sunday mornings. Bleary-eyed, I walk into our living room in my pajama’s and the air would be filled with Bacharach and David’s happy songs.

My all-time favorite was “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” a song I remember my 5-year old self  enjoyed singing at the top of my lungs back in 1969/1970 when the song achieved great popularity worldwide.  The song was written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach for the 1969 blockbuster hit “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” which starred Paul Newman and Robert Redford.

Funny thing is, when I listened to the song again this morning after many years, I felt a lump in my throat and I teared up.  I played it again and paid closer attention to the lyrics…

But there’s one thing I know
The blues he sends to meet me won’t defeat me
It won’t be long till happiness steps up to greet me

I realize now that perhaps the roots of optimism were planted early on my my head, subliminally, through the music that my dad played around the house — Burt Bacharach, Tom Jones, the Carpenter’s, Sergio Mendez, The Spiral Staircase, Motown — always hip and happy.  The years from when I was 5 to 7 years old never fail to bring me back funny, and warm fuzzy memories.

Although the last couple of weeks has found me mourning the passing away of many childhood icons, I find that I am grateful too for all the beautiful memories they have triggered for me.  It’s always good to remember where you came from, the kind of love that surrounded you and filled your world as a child. When things get rough, and days are long, there is that emotional well you can draw from again and again.  In this case, music and lyrics and that lift you up and remind you of happy and simple times.

So thank you, Hal for your music. Like everything beautiful from our childhood, your lyrics will live on in our hearts.

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