Saturday, April 30, 2011

Many call me "Morgan's Dad"

Dear Terra,

speaking of working with young musicians...

last night was the Orillia Folk Society's monthly Fridayfolk concert, featuring a great double bill of Maria Dunn and John Wort Hannam. they were wonderful, of course, but another highlight for me was the opening act, a young woman from town, accompanied by her dad, with whom i have played numerous times at our weekly song circle.

i got more than a little nostalgic to see Laura and Peter on the same stage that i had shared with my beautiful daughter Morgan, about a decade and a half ago.

we were called "Morgansdad", because in those first several years in town, that is how i was known by the greatest number of Orillians. Morgan is the outgoing one in the family. the name was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but i never minded playing second fiddle to the bright light that is our firstborn. if i was Morgan's dad, i had to be pretty cool.

she has always loved music, and had been taking recorder lessons for years, and later took some piano. i don't remember whose idea it was to put together an act - i probably talked her into singing at Don's Coffeehouse in Hillsdale, waybackwhen, and then an opening gig at Fridayfolk and shared gigs around town. it didn't last long before she thought maybe it wasn't the coolest thing she could be doing.

she sang songs by Jewel (who also started out in a duo with her dad) and Alannis Morissette. she played recorder on my version of The Lady of Shallott. i can't remember if we did any of my songs. but i remember how good, how proud it made me feel, and what a joy it was. at one point last night, Peter suggested to the parents in the room, that if they ever got a chance to play music with their offspring, they should definitely do it.

hear, hear!

it was sad when Morgansdad was no more. but four or five years later, when she was sixteen, i did another Fridayfolk opener, with Morgan in the audience, and played this song for the first time:


you're growing older, my girl - so much so that you're not my girl anymore

your heart's in a whirl, you can't wait to find what's behind that door,

what's the final score

sweet sixteen's a myth, the world has carved on you a crooked smile

without me or with, you have had your very own style

for quite a while

you are your own woman now

i don't know when it happened, but somehow

you are your own woman now

now i lie here awake, listening for the turn of your key

just for my own sake. you could not be anything but free, from me

you are your own woman now...

you used to sing with your dad, in a duo, just like Jewel

i'd give everything i have for you to know life is anything but cruel.

now go to school.

even though you are your own woman now...

she came up from the audience, tears on her face, and gave me a hug, to the delight of all, but especially me.

so now it's ten years later, she lives two hours away and still hasn't returned to the stage. but she acquired a guitar, i show her stuff when we get the chance, and we talk music. alot.

and we will always have that golden fleeting moment when we were a duo and we made people smile.



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