Friday, October 05, 2007

Arrrrgh... so close, and yet, so far.

There's a song I remember, from when I was about 7 years old, that I really liked a lot. It was about an organ grinder who sang a sad song about his failed romance, and when it was on the charts, it was in heavy rotation on the radio. Unfortunately, when it dropped OFF the charts, I literally never heard it on the radio again from that day until this. I didn't know the artist's name, nor did I really know the correct title -- neither of those things was a big deal to me at age 7. Moreover, I wouldn't have believed it if someone had told me that I wouldn't hear the song again for decades, so I'd better jot that info down somewhere. The only thing I could remember was what the song had been about, and a few bits and pieces of the lyrics.

In the intervening years, I heard the song exactly ONE (1) time. Uno. That's it. In June 1998, I was listening to an online broadcast of a Phantoms playoff road game -- the only game of the Calder Cup Finals that wasn't televised in Philadelphia. It was on a Canadian radio station out of Saint John, NB. After the game was over (we won ), I left the radio broadcast on, and lo and behold! The song I hadn't heard in 26 years was suddenly emanating from my computer! I was so taken aback, I nearly fell off the chair! But the Canadian DJ didn't mention the title or the artist, so I was no better informed than I'd been before. I was, however, all kinds of happy for having heard that old favorite song again.

So, let's fast-forward to the present day. I've got an MP3 player, I've been purchasing a bunch of oldies from the 60s and 70s, and I thought, "Wouldn't it be great if I could actually find that song after all these years?" So I looked on Google for ["organ grinder" lyrics], and what do you know? The information I needed came up.

It turns out that the song's title is Love Me, Love Me, Love and it's by Frank Mills. That detail threw me for a loop -- Frank Mills? Mr. Music Box Dancer? A guy whose music we performed when I was in the orchestra? Oh Em Gee! I played music written by the person who wrote that old favorite song of mine, and I didn't even know it!

Actually, I wouldn't have guessed in a billion years that he was the artist who recorded that song, because it's got lyrics and the majority of his work that I'm familiar with is instrumental. Here, for the curious, is a link to Amazon.com's 30-second sample of the song:

Love Me, Love Me, Love

To make a long story less long, I went looking around online and found said song, by said artist, on two different CDs. However, one of the albums it's included on was only available used. Therefore, I focused on the other album, which was available new, and placed the order.

The CD arrived yesterday. I just ripped it to my PC and played the coveted song back...

... and discovered that it's an instrumental version of the song. Oh, for gosh sakes!!! It sounds fine, don't get me wrong, but it's not the version I fell in love with in 1972. Son of a ratsin' fratsin' gun -- like I said earlier, "So close, and yet so far".

Back to Amazon I went, and headed over to those listings for the used Frank Mills CDs. Sure enough, the version with lyrics was on the album I'd originally skipped over because I couldn't buy it new. I embarked on "Childhood Memories, Take 2" and ordered a used CD.

I'm going to hear that old favorite song again if it's the last freakin' thing I do. Stay tuned.

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