When I was ten, you could find me laying on my bed, listening to Casey Kasem's American Top 40 on the radio, scribbling down the lyrics to popular songs as fast as my little fingers could fly. Back then, of course, the Internet wasn't available to download lyrics. If your favorite LP didn't include lyrics in the liner notes, you had to rely on a good ear for listening and, in some cases, a good guess to fill in any gaps.
As a child, I wasn't known for my extensive record collection. Liner notes were virtually non-existent in my budding musical life. At that point my vinyl included Marlo Thomas' Free to Be You and Me, the Broadway cast recording of Godspell, and my golden ticket, Ronco Presents I Love Music, a 1970-something, top hits compilation album. So I did the best I could with deciphering lyrics like Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me" from my tinny AM station.
And when I confessed to my mother that my favorite female musical artists were Dolly Parton and Barbra Streisand? Her reply (after pausing, possibly to ponder big boobs and noses) was "What about Olivia Newton John? Why can't you like Olivia Newton John?" Clearly a more appropriate role model for a ten year old. It wasn't for another few years yet, that my life would dramatically change with the discovery of Joni Mitchell's Hissing of Summer Lawns.
My daughter, on the other hand, has had a jump start in her musical tastes, peppered with the influence of popular female singer-songwriters (not including Dolly Parton, Barbra Streisand, or Olivia Newton John). At eight, she bopped to Katy Perry, at nine she was belting 'em out with Adele, and at ten, she has a significant waiting list of songs she wants me to upload to her MP3 player. The singer-songwriter who has been a constant throughout her growing love of music, however, is Ingrid Michaelson. I believe Ingrid is to Miranda, what Joni was for me. I only wish I had Ingrid's songs to swoon over when I was ten too.
So today's little ditty is brought to you by Ingrid Michaelson. This song, titled "Maybe," is from her 2009 album Everybody. I chose it as an example of poetry in action, not so much for the profundity of her lyrics (though some of her other songs might fall into that category), but because I love the theatrical combination of Noh-style puppeteers, marionettes, and shadow puppetry, set in a Mary Poppin-esque world of anything can happen.
And, I bet, your mother would approve.
For more poetry, both on and off the page, visit Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference with today's Poetry Friday roundup.