Eighteen Years


Eighteen Years

I was singing The Four Seasons songs this morning. I’m listening to snippets of them now from The Very Best of the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on iTunes. I never knew them as Frankie Valli and the The Four Seasons when I was a youngster but they’re called that now. I also learned this morning that they were the most popular band in the U.S. before The Beatles arrived.


They have so many hits and, as I told my wife this morning, the songs had really good melodies, unlike the hit songs of today where rhythm and beat are much more important than the melodies.

Makes me seem old saying that.

I woke up singing Let’s Hang On this morning:

Let’s hang on to what we’ve got
Don’t let go girl, we’ve got a lot
Got a lot o’ love between us
hang on, hang on, hang on to what we’ve got
(Doo-woop, doo-woop, doo-woop)

The melody and lyrics came to my head after my wife reminded me that on November 30th, the date that we first met, we’d be together 18 years. I remembered the words but couldn’t remember the name of the group.

Was it The Four Tops? No, they were a black group. The Four Tops sang Reach Out (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SpkOcbVYS0&feature=kp) and the great Bernadette (released 1967, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pVM00eoohI&feature=kp), another great song. The comparison between these two groups is obvious: very melodious songs and great harmony.

Thank God for Google. After I got up and fired up my computer, there it was: The Four Seasons!

While we were still talking about how many years we’d been together I casually said, “In another 18 years I’ll be 78 (I’m 5 months away from 60 years old). That was weird. These 18 years have seemed an eternity. Another 18 with the same person? Ouch! (Should I really be saying that?)

My wife doesn’t have a very positive outlook about growing old. When she thought about herself in 18 years at age 73 she didn’t feel like jumping up with joy. “I don’t think I’ll live very long,” she said, for the 20th time in our relationship together. “Stick with me, kid,” I said, and then started singing, out of nowhere, “Let’s hang on to what we’ve got, Don’t let go, girl, we’ve got a lot, Got a lot o’ love between us hang on, hang on, hang on to what we’ve got (Doo-woop, doo-woop, doo-woop).

I then started singing more great Four Seasons songs, for example, the great I’ve Got You Under My Skin with its lavish harmonies (err, didn’t try the harmonies, it’s the original that has them).

“Shh,” my wife said, “You’ll wake up the neighbours.”

It was a great thing that the computer was in the apartment. Normally, when my wife comes to Montreal for her food deliveries, she doesn’t bring the computer. When I can’t get information that I’m looking for, usually the names of musical groups or actors, I can go nuts wracking my brain until the name comes up. If it doesn’t, I can go close to crazy.

Last night I went to a classical music concert which I greatly enjoyed. The only thing stopping me from completely going over the edge of bliss -although I was pretty close – as I listened to Schumann and Brahms, was a nagging need to know the name of a rock group whose music I had heard on CBC radio in the morning but had forgot to look up.

As soon as we were home, I ran to the computer and found it. “Oh, The Tragically Hip,” I said to my wife. “No wonder I couldn’t remember. I was looking in the N’s.” (In my head I try to go through the alphabet.) Then there were two other groups I had to remember as well. After a little more research I found them: Blue Rodeo and Cowboy Junkies. Why, throughout the concert, was I thinking Prairie Oyster? Blue Rodeo and Cowboy Junkies both come from Toronto. The Tragically Hip from Kingston, Ontario. Who would have thunk it?

“Where will the world be 18 years from now?” I asked my wife. She didn’t answer. “I’m more optimistic about myself than about the world,” I said, but, of course that’s easy to say because the world is sicker today than I am.

When we got to having breakfast and I was showing her pictures off the Internet of the most beautiful islands in the world, my wife started taking notes. That’s a good sign. I have created optimism about the upcoming 18 years together, travelling from one beautiful spot on the planet to another.

Let’s Hang on to what we’ve got.


Married Couple by Vittorio Losito

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