As a young adult, I enjoyed the freedom of cruising along, windows down, sunroof open, singing with the radio at the top of my lungs, happily embracing the joy of living.
And I’m pleased to report: nothing has changed.
Just a couple days ago, when the brilliant sun appeared to give us a clear sign that the ice and snow would soon be a distant memory, I was driving down the road listening to “my music”—predominately the music of the late 60s through the mid 70s.
MacArthur Park came on the radio. The original 1968 MacArthur Park sung by Richard Harris. The musical memories kicked in, and before I knew it, I was belting out “Someone left the cake out in the rain, and I don’t think that I can take it, cause it took so long to bake it, and I may never have that recipe again, OH NO….”
Never mind that Jimmy Webb wrote it as a lover’s lament after his breakup with Linda Ronstadt’s sister Susan. Never mind that The Association turned it down. Never mind that Harris kept singing it as the possessive MacArthur’s Park instead of MacArthur. By the time it gets to the amazing climatic instrumental in the middle of the seven-minute song, I’m experiencing musical Nirvana, and my gas pedal is responding to the muscle memory of a teen-aged lead foot.
WHOA! Time to slow it down!
Glancing in the rearview mirror, I was pleased to see no flashing blue lights. Whew! I smiled as I wondered when I’d become so mature and responsible… Then the next song began. The long version of Golden Earring’s Radar Love with its pulse-quickening, up-tempo beat and a dynamite thigh-slapping drum solo.
About four minutes into the song, I decided it might be prudent to listen to this radio station when someone else is driving…