Day 8: Sibling Music Ed

This entry is part of a post-a-day-month-long-blogging-blood-pact (I keep saying that. I mean, challenge.) with my pals Amanda Hollinger, Monica Wyche, and Ami Worthen.

My older brother and sister are as integral to my musical education and memory as my parents. In fact, it’s not a leap to suggest that much of my personality was formed by my early musical influences courtesy of my siblings. Which might explain a lot.

My brother, 12 years older than I, bought me my first three albums: The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour, The Dobbie Brothers The Captain and Me, and The Doors album. These are the songs that remain strongest in my memory:

Did I mention my brother also bought me my first 45? And it was this. I’m serious. As the youngest child, my parents were perhaps a little more “hands off” with me.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the hallway, my sister, 5 years older than I, gave me a slightly different musical education. Also, she liked to feather my hair. What?

Seriously, can you even stand Dennis DeYoung’s moustache here? Is he some kind of bartender?

I loved Barry Gibb. My childhood was filled with crushes on moustached men. It’s inexplicable.

Author’s note: my sister made me sing this song in front of my parents, aunt and uncle when I was 6. Have I mentioned how shy I was as a child? But really. Debby Boone?

Stay tuned. The musical melee has only just begun. Oh wait, that’s The Carpenters.

 

Sisters

When Dorothy Hamill's hair ruled the world.

From left: me, my sister and my cousin, circa 1978.

I’m going to visit my sister tomorrow. In light of this, I burned a CD with some of our childhood favorites which includes Maxine Nightingale, Michael Jackson, Olivia Newton-John and Donna Summer. (Kindly contain your jealousy. Asked nicely, I might just burn a copy for you.)

Below is a little something written in honor of my sister who still insists I only exist because she wished for me on her fourth birthday.

Wishes

Wishes are for sisters and stars
Wishes are made of dust
And so was I

A birthday wish come true
You picked my name
Brought me to school as show and tell

Pencils and brushes made good microphones
For duets with Captain Fantastic

A hundred near-misses
Almost down the laundry chute
Because it looked like Alice’s rabbit hole

My life spent running
To catch up with you
But somehow
Little sisters get left behind
You can’t come
You’re too little

Baby

Big sisters swagger
They’re the bosses
The sheriffs of your town
Hold your sister’s hand
Watch your sister

Indian burns, piggyback rides
Kickball and fireflies

Tickling, pinches
Kicks under tables
Stop looking at me

Doomed and blessed right from the start
How do you love your sister?