My wife is a trained but long since lapsed vocalist. During our Sabbath stroll yesterday she interrupted my thoughts on Meuther’s latest biography on Van Til and asked me a question: If you could perform three songs perfectly, without a hitch, as they were meant to be performed, what would they be?
Without missing a beat, I said my first choice would be “Solsbury Hill” by Peter Gabriel and then probably “Can’t Find My Way Home” by Steve Winwood. (We saw Winwood in concert two summers ago in Kresge Auditorium. Speaking of which, it was exactly twenty years ago that I walked across that same stage to receive my high school diploma. The auditorium filled with over 736 students went crazy when they called my name. I like to think it was because I was kind of of a rock star already, but something tells me it had something to do with being dead last and signaling the end of a very long ceremony. The only time I was ever not dead last in school was when in third grade when there was a kid named Zywicki or it was Opposite Friday in Mrs. Allen’s fourth grade class. Anyway, it was our anniversary, and the Lapsed Episcopalian couldn’t get rid of the tickets after my mother claimed she had no interest. So he lent us his newly acquired Mazda Miada—a symbol of his recent retirement and testimony, once again, to his being a classic baby boomer fallen victim to the “hip, hirsute and Honda” syndrome. The most recent indication of being a classic Boomer in the mainline tradition was his bringing a copy of Eckhart Tolle’s new book to lunch a couple weeks ago and asking my opinion. I told him it sounded like warmed over M. Scott Peck’s “The Road Less Travelled” and just a lot of secular spirituality, AKA, all law and no gospel. He laughed and said that’s what he thought I’d say. It is good to be a painfully predictable Presbyterian.)
I can’t decide what my third option would be. It would have to be something by Van Morrison. But what…what? Well, if I don’t know what it would be at least I know it where: in an obscure Irish pub.