I woke up at 5 o'clock this morning with a fragment of song running through my head. Oddly, that song bit had nothing to do with what I had been dreaming. It was from a song I had not listened to or thought of for months.
I tried to go back to sleep, but succeeded only in resting and drowsing until I got up at seven. And all that time that tiny scrap of song kept going.
I do not have a good musical memory. By that I mean that I enjoy music a great deal, but for me to be able to mentally play it back I must hear it many, many times. My children can hear a piece and "hear" it in their minds. I don't have that ability. That means that most of the songs that pop into my mind are ones from church that I have sung since childhood.
This was not one of those.
A few decades ago--I think the 1970s--I had an album of Tom T. Hall's titled The Storyteller. That was when an album was an LP record played on a big living room stereo. One of the songs on this album was "Old Dogs and Children and Watermelon Wine." It was my favorite song on the album and from time to time through the years that line would come to mind.
But that wasn't the song I woke up with.
A year or so ago when "Old Dogs. . ." popped into my mind, I used my Kindle Fire to look for a Tom T. Hall album with that song on it. I found one named Tom T. Hall: The Definitive Collection, which has 24 of his songs, including the one I was looking for. I have enjoyed most of the songs in this group, though it had been some time since I had played them.
The song on my mind this morning is from that collection. It is called "The Year that Clayton Delaney Died." And the title line is the scrap that was stuck in my head. Just that little bit, over and over.
There is another song on the album called "That Song is Driving Me Crazy"--now, that song is lively and the type that makes me feel like I ought to jump up and dance madly around the room. I really would have preferred to have that stuck in my head rather than Clayton Delaney!
So guess what I am doing right now. That's right. I'm listening to Tom T. Hall's Definitive Collection.
I still like it.