Build The Soundtrack To Survive The Pandemic

In younger days, I discovered a surefire Rx to chase away the blues / blahs / doldrums / emotional storm clouds… whatever ya wanna call ‘em. And no, I’m not talking about OTC meds / controlled substances / illicit street drugs… whatever ya wanna call ‘em.

Of course, lyrically speaking, John Lennon and Paul McCartney euphemistically called ‘em “friends” while Keith Richards and Mick Jagger opted for “little helpers”… but… lest I dig myself too deeply into the pit of digression… allow me to refocus…

What my “drugs” of choice actually involve are musical selections, which contain as many of the following active ingredients as possible: [1] whimsical or meaningful lyrics [2] compelling arrangements, [3] intricate chord progressions, [4] shifting key signatures.

Well… we’re in luck! The Welsh/Brit band Badfinger’s, Carry On Till Tomorrow has all four bases covered. They recorded it back in 1970, under the auspices of producer Sir Paul McCartney, no less! And song composers Tom Evans and Pete Ham’s minor chords, notwithstanding, their guitar driven musical arrangement, interwoven with lyrical rays of hope, drive it all home. Oh, btw, of the Four Stanzas my fave is the 3rd… but more about that in a moment.

Granted, my affinity for Carry On is not without good reason. I first heard it over my staticky FM car radio’s tinny speakers on Friday 11/09/1973, right after my early a.m. spin-out on an icy freeway overpass… one where I had narrowly averted a head-on collision with a semi-tractor-trailer. Winding up with nary a scratch on my body, my Chevy Nova’s body and any of the other motorists’ corporeal or vehicular bodies… well… to this very day… I still believe everyone’s unscathed condition had involved a miracle. I must’ve had an unseen co-pilot tug at my panic frozen hands… just in the nick of time… to steer everyone out of harm’s way. By the by, to date, this has been the closest I’ve ever come to death.

Just as I was drifting back into the slow flow of traffic on this stormy day, Carry On Till Tomorrow was carrying on, against the backdrop of the rising sun, breaking through the overcast and transforming the adjacent, freeway shoulders’ thigh high weeds into golden fields. WOW! In real time and nearly on cue, I was living out the 3rd stanza’s lyrics… check ’em out and try not to ditto my “WOW!”

“Drifting on the wings of freedom, leave this stormy day
And we’ll ride to tomorrow’s golden fields
For my life’s too short for waiting when I see the rising sun
Then I know again that I must carry on”

While the music continued melding with the meteorology, I offered, upward, my undying gratitude for all the tomorrows I was certain that (t)his miracle had just granted me.

My listening to this track, anew, earlier today, has reminded me of my long ago spiritual experience. Carry On Till Tomorrow is far more than a Tom Evans / Pete Ham song title. Even sans the miracle, this composition can stand alone as a motivational selection. I mean, the words “carry on” are right in the song title and get sung nearly 30 times… in just under 5 minutes.

I’ve now, officially, added this anthem to my playlist, which I’ve dubbed: The Soundtrack To Survive the Pandemic. Even if you’re not into tunes originating from this dinosaur’s musical epoch, don’t dismiss the overall concept. I highly recommend that you track down whatever anthems mean the most to you and create your own, unique version of The Soundtrack To Survive the Pandemic. Rallying around such music can be your morale booster. My version certainly is a mood elevator!

Danny McEvoy’s 03/31/2015 following cover will breathe new life into this rock classic, advance composers Tom Evans and Pete Ham’s half century old masterpiece into the new millennium and end this post… save to say…

Stay Safe – Stay Home – Stay Healthy… and Carry On Till Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… and Tomorrow… et cetera…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy 46th Second Birthday to Me

 

“Eons” ago, on this very day, I was en route to my 20 kilometers / 12.5 miles distant Community College to attend my Friday broadcasting classes. Wintry precipitation was slightly complicating the flow of 8:45 a.m. rush-hour traffic.

Still harboring those foolish, “I’m invincible and immortal” delusions (like most teens do)… I didn’t deem this minor snowfall worthy of much concern.

Paying far more attention to my FM radio’s rock tunes than to my speedometer, I didn’t realize that the road conditions were deteriorating with each passing minute and mile. My collision with reality occurred upon my arrival at a freeway overpass, where a thin layer of ice had repurposed that bridge into a skating rink.

Starting to fishtail, I panicked and slammed on the brakes. As if that error hadn’t sufficiently complicated matters, there was also the prospect of the sea of oncoming headlights. Worse yet, leading that vehicular “parade” was a massive, take no prisoners, 18-wheeler.

To this very day, I still cannot fully recall the precise details to what turned out to be my “Hail Mary” / last ditch steering maneuver. Indeed, long before I had rattled off, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen,” something truly astounding occurred. Somehow, someway, I wound up back in my lane. Jumping the curb, I was now neatly “perpendicular parked” between two, closely spaced road signs.

Hell, only a veteran Hollywood stunt driver could’ve pulled that off in one “take”.

As my adrenaline level gradually ebbed, I realized [1] I had totally avoided a fatal head on crash, [2] all the other drivers, in the vicinity, were also totally unscathed and [3] I had emerged with nary a scratch to either my own body or my car’s.

The other motorists, out of consideration (or perhaps out of fear that I’d demonstrate some further boneheaded driving) had all brought their vehicles to a dead halt and were actually patiently waiting for me to shift into reverse to get back onto the highway.

Reentering the morning commute, with my newfound, heightened respect for the slippery conditions, the first song the FM DJ played was the aptly titled, inspirational Carry On Till Tomorrow.

Albeit with frayed nerves, bruised ego and my vehicle’s newly acquired, minor front-end wheel alignment problems, I did make it to my 9 a.m. class… mere minutes late.

Only after class, did the full impact of that morning’s events begin to fully sink in. This had been my first, ever, brush with death. If it hadn’t been dumb luck that had spared my life, who did? Whose hands, just in the nick of time, had guided my own on the steering wheel?

Had I collided my Chevy Nova with that massive gravel hauling truck, at the very least, I’d have come up with a whole new meaning to the phrase, “compact car”. At the very worst…

My tombstone’s date of death would’ve read November 9, 1973.

 

 

 

 

 

Was it Divine Intervention? (Part 1)

It all began on a Friday. I was in the thick of 8:45 a.m., rush-hour traffic… en route to my Community College. The light falling snow was just beginning to taper off. Still harboring my “I’m invincible” delusion of youth… I asked myself, “Eh… how dangerous could a couple of inches be?”

Well… I was paying way too much attention to the rock music blasting out of my car radio speakers and far too little attention to my speedometer. Little did I realize… road conditions were deteriorating with each passing minute and mile.

But I sure did notice after I had crossed over the US-23 overpass. A thin layer of ice had turned that short stretch of highway into a skating rink. I started to fishtail… then overcorrected.

As a nineteen-year-old, with virtually no hands on winter driving experience to draw on, and with there being insufficient time to mentally flip through the “pages” of some virtual reality, Driver’s Ed manual for advice… I panicked… which only made matters worse.

Car and driver’s mind were both starting to go into a spinout. Barreling down on me was the sea of oncoming headlights. Leading that vehicular “parade” was a massive, take no prisoners, 18-wheeler.

My last minute Hail Mary (words and actions) made me quickly jerk on the steering wheel… and before I could finish saying… “pray for us sinners… now and at the hour of our death”… my last ditch effort had prevented my crossing over the center line.

What happened next, only a veteran Hollywood stunt driver could’ve pulled off in “one take”… for his or her film director. The path my car took was akin to threading a needle. I jumped the curb and came to rest… neatly perpendicular “parked” between two, closely spaced road signs.

As my level of adrenaline ebbed, I realized that I had totally avoided a head on with that semi tractor-trailer rig… that all the other drivers in the vicinity were totally unscathed, as well. I, too, had emerged from that scene with nary a scratch to either my own body or car.

Though not an exact match to the events I’ve just described, the following video will give you a general idea of what could’ve easily happened to me. And since I had been driving a 1972 Chevy Nova at the time… colliding with that semi would’ve created a whole new meaning for the phrase, “compact car”.

A note to my more sensitive readers… you may not want to view this.

Returning to my story… the other drivers, out of consideration for me (or perhaps out of fear that I’d do some further boneheaded driving) had all brought their vehicles to a dead stop, which had allowed me to shift into reverse to get back onto the highway.

Albeit with frayed nerves, bruised ego and my car’s newly acquired, minor front-end wheel alignment problems, I did make it to my 9 a.m. class, safe and unsound, a mere two or three minutes late.

Only afterwards, did the significance of my near fatal accident start to fully sink in. November 9, 1973 could’ve easily been chiseled beneath my tombstone’s D.O.B. This had been nothing short of my first, ever, actual brush with death.

Since my driving skills that morning had been so lousy… I wondered… whose hands had guided my own on the steering wheel? Who had, just in the nick of time, saved my very life? Was it Lady Luck or the Good Lord?

True… those who are secularists and/or chivalrous would say, “Ladies first”. But, as much as I am a gentleman, in this case I’d have to disagree. I do believe there was one and ONLY ONE reason that I am here to blog my story on this day…

Divine Intervention.

Now… to tie up a few loose ends, which I neglected to mention… I had no sooner resumed my commute than sunbeams broke through the dark blue/grey cloud deck and a song recorded by the British band, Badfinger… “Carry On Till Tomorrow”… broke through the crackling static of my car radio.

On that day… Carry On Till Tomorrow had taken on a whole new significance… the almost angelic / choir-like chorus reminding me of how close I had come to being fitted with my own “pair of wings.”

It was as if God had taken on the role of DJ to cue up and dedicate that song to me… to remind me that I should carry on… that He still had more for me to do in this world… in all the tomorrows, which His Divine Intervention had so graciously salvaged for me.

Why God had spared me from near certain death would only start to become apparent with the passage of time.

All, which had occurred on that nearly fatal winter day was just one of several other instances of Divine Intervention, which I’ve experienced in my lifetime.

These have been the events, which have further strengthened my already rock solid faith in God.

The Good Lord willing… I’ll share more of my experiences with you in the days ahead… stay tuned…