Athens, Tennessee | May 4, 2012
Geography lesson of the day: Louisiana’s Big Black River is brown. And little.
The Mississippi is still big. And also brown, so is every other river in that state and other southern states. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Brown is good.
One more day of driving before I get home. Should get there mid- or late-afternoon. Not eager to be home, but eager to not be driving anymore.
Today, I didn’t listen to radio or to Sirius XM. I listened to the D’s. I went to iTunes on my iPad and selected “songs.” Then I selected the D tab and hit “play.” I selected D because on previous trips I’d done parts of A, B and C. I like to do that because it keeps me from getting bored. I never know what song will be next and often I’m pleasantly surprised to hear a tune I hadn’t heard in a long time. I can be listening to Bob Dylan one minute and the next I’m listening to The Three Tenors or Warren Zevon or Flaco Jimenez.
I started listening to the Ds when I left Shreveport this morning at 8 a.m. and I didn’t get through the entire playlist until this side of Chattanooga, some 10 hours later.
I never realized there were so many tunes that started with the letter D. The first tune was “Dancing Bear” by The Mamas and the Papas. The last was Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, the New World Symphony. In between I heard Aretha sing three Dr. Feelgoods, including a wonderful version with only piano accomplishment, three Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (one Bobby Darin, two Tony Bennets), three Do You Wanna Dance? (one Bette Midler, two Mamas and Papas) and three Dignity’s by Bob Dylan.
And I listened to 22 songs with titles starting with the word “don’t.” Who knew our musical world was so negative?
Among the don’ts: blame me, come home adrinkin’, cry for me, dream of anybody but me, fence me in, forget to cry, let me be misunderstood, let me lose this dream, let the sun go down on me, let the whole world know, let us get sick, play that song, rock my boat, think twice, worry baby, and call me red.
There were also several “down” songs: by the riverside, from Dover, on me, on the riverbed, where the drunkards roll, with love, and yonder.
The absolute best part of the whole experience was the unexpected appearance of Dvorak. I guess iTunes couldn’t figure out the title of the symphony, and for that I thank the music gods. It was the perfect way to end this musical experience, particularly because the final movement with its smashing, blaring triumphant finale came just as the sun was nearing the horizon and was casting a warm glow on the valley north of Chattanooga. It was a surreal, enchanted moment.
Tomorrow, we shall see what the E’s have in store for me.
Elvis, surely ! or Eliza by Serge Gainsbourg ? Or even the “Elizabethen Serenade” ?