My Dad and Music

“My name is McNamara, I’m the Leader of the Band,
And tho’ we’re small in number we’re the best in all the land.
Oh! I am the Conductor, and we often have to play
With all the best musicianers you hear about to-day.


When the drums go bang, the cymbals clang, the horns will blaze away,

MacCarthy puffs the ould bassoon while Doyle the pipes will play;

Oh! Hennessy Tennessy tootles the flute, my word ’tis something grand,

Oh! a credit to Ould Ireland, boys, is McNamara’s Band!”

            -“McNamara’s Band” Shamus O’Connor and John J. Stamford

I was going to attempt to do my first so-called earworm interpretation today for my entry but I had something pretty special happen today that I want to share with you. Today is my birthday and I woke up this morning with the song “McNamara’s Band” in my head. This song needs no interpretation. I know it was my father reaching out from the beyond to send birthday love to his youngest daughter. He died in 2010 and one of my favorite memories I have with him is when I was a child. My family had a vacation house in New Hampshire and we would drive there almost every weekend during the summer. It was a good two hour drive from our house and, during the drive, my dad would sing a regular list of songs and we would join in. “McNamara’s Band” was one of these songs. I wasn’t even ten years of age during this time I would be singing away while my teenage brother and sister would roll their eyes and either look out the window or pretend to fall sleep. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but now when I look back I see how this was my bonding time with my dad. And I think it’s where my absolute love of music came from, the fun and love of those times in the car driving to and from New Hampshire. So, waking up this morning with that song in my head brought a lump to my throat and I said a soft “thank you” to my dad. Thank you for reaching out from beyond the grave to wish me a happy birthday. Thank you for the wonderful childhood memories. And thank you for instilling in me my love of music.

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