Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Entertaining Young And Old

I put my grandson Grant in his crib one recent day at our house. As he wasn't sleepy, he protested as soon as I left the bedroom. So I picked up my accordion and strolled back into his room playing a polka.

He was in awe, eyes open wide and lips parted, quietly staring at that outrageous music machine. I brought it closer so he could touch it, perhaps even play a note or two himself. Not a chance. He might play my piano, but that accordion apparently looked like some sort of musical monster.

I remember reading about a poll that asked people to name their most hated musical instrument. The accordion ranked second, saved from ultimate humiliation only by the bagpipes.

My sister invited Wendy and I up this weekend to my old hometown, Bay City, where an Irish band was putting on a show in honor of St. Patrick's month. Bay City turns green in March with a number of Celtic-themed events including a St. Patrick's Day parade.

The band we heard featured a musician who played a button-box accordion, as well as another who was featured on the uilleann pipes, the Irish version of the Scottish bagpipes. The band also comprised a guitarist and a fiddler. The musician who played the pipes told a joke regarding a fellow musician who was confronted by airport security when he tried to bring his own uilleann pipes past a checkpoint.

"Is this some kind of weapon?" the security officer asked.

"Oh no, it's far worse than that," joked the pipe player. Maybe he was aware of bagpipes reputation in that poll I spoke of earlier.

I thought the pipes sounded wonderful when played for us. And fellow band member Seamus did a masterful job on the button box accordion whileleading us all on the chorus of a couple Irish tunes, including The Parting Glass from Waking Ned Devine. Seamus told jokes too. My favorite, with apologies to blonde folk including my wife . . .

Two blondes walk into a building . . . (you'd think one of them would have seen it).

Music and mirth. That's the key to entertainment. I think Grant is catching on so far as the music. Now I just need to learn a few baby jokes too. Better be careful though. He has sparse but very blonde hair.


Blogger Yoga in Mirrormont said...

Spartans prefer classical, literary jokes. Here's one about a baby:

Three men at a bar were discussing coincidences. The first man said, "My wife was reading A TALE OF TWO CITIES and she gave birth to twins." "That's funny"," the second man remarked, "My wife was reading THE THREE MUSKETEERS and she gave birth to triplets." The third man shouted, "Good God, I have to rush home!" When asked what the problem was, he exclaimed, "When I left the house, my wife was reading ALI BABA AND THE 40 THIEVES!"

7:11 AM  
Blogger B.S. said...

Well, Grant's hair color may change. My son's did.

I have never understood why people seem to react negatively to bagpipes, since I am fascinated by them. Accordions....well, I have had very little experience with them. I do recall a very odd high school friend who played the accordion for me once. I remember being shocked at the way he seemed to come to life, or take on a new persona, with that accordion in his arms. He was quite good.

It's good that you're breaking Grant in early. His odds of lifelong tolerance for such instruments are sure to be higher.


7:56 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

YOGA IN MIRRORMONT--I heard that Spartans enjoy jokes that involve bars.

Hea, big thank you to the MSU Spartans for falling to OSU on Sunday and giving the Wolverines their first share of a Big Ten basketball title in over a generation. Go blue!

BETTY--There is something about playing an accordion that changes the player. I feel that too at times. It's like that song, "I've Got The Rhythm In Me."

9:13 AM  
Blogger Carine said...

ack, don't seem to be able to get my comments to stick!!!

1:20 PM  
Blogger Carine said...

ok-here comes try #4-

good friend was forced (her description) to play an accordian Dave, she finally got her parents to renege on the lessons after about 4 years.

I had to learn the piano, w/ my mom as teacher.

Both of us chose other more preferable outlets-me dance, her ventriloquism!

1:22 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ I am sure you enjoyed being back in your home town. Did your sister never leave? Lots of music and merriment to enjoy.
Visits with family are the best, and I see Scott is coming home. So you serenaded Grant. I am glad he was suitably impressed.
I am glad you enjoyed the story and jokes. I never
thought about Tarzan either.
The Freedom story was a nice one. Take care, my friend, Cheers, Merle.

2:32 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

CARINE--Ventriloquism! That's a far cry from the accordion, although now that I think about it, they both involve some intricate hand-arm coordination.

MERLE--My sister lives about 20 miles from the town where we were born and grew up. I live about 100 miles away so it's only a couple hours drives.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was around six when I saw my first accordion, and was infatuated with it.

I love the sound of it in Arcadian and Tejano music.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

ANONYMOUS--Arcadian or Acadian? I'm not that familiar with those music genres. Polkas, obereks and waltzes I know pretty well.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Nankin said...

I took accordion lessons for ten years when I was a kid. It was like having a social disease.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

NANKIN--I never took any accordion lessons myself though I took about ten years of piano lessons. It didn't seem like playing was much fun until I got older though.

3:48 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ Thanks for your comments and glad you liked the jokes and forwarded the blonde one on.
I think I will always prefer the walker but will try the crutches. That tornado was much too close. They must terrify people. btw the blonde was animated when she got here, but ended up with a strange face. Take care, Cheers, Merle.

12:42 AM  

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