A to Z Challenge: J is for Jammable


EJP
EJP

My girls and I – we have a song together.

CD az challengeFor the A to Z Challenge today, J is for Jammable. Electric Light Orchestra qualifies as Jammable. In particular, “Mr. Blue Sky.” It’s the official soundtrack for my girls and me.

I know Jeff Lynne had other things in mind when he penned the lyrics, but to me, it’s a trip through fatherhood.

Today, I’ll deconstruct it

photo credit: The power of sun in my hand via photopin (license)
photo credit: The power of sun in my hand via photopin (license)

Sun is shinin’ in the sky,

There ain’t a cloud in sight

It’s stopped rainin’

Everybody’s in a play

And don’t you know

It’s a beautiful new day …

The sun always emerges after the storm. For Marie to score a baseball game for the first time. For a morning of fishing, just Grace and me. For Elise’s first high school soccer match, through a torrential downpour. I didn’t look for cover, but stood my ground on the sideline with you. You and me, kid. Rain or shine.

photo credit: the fable of the moth and the sun [det] via photopin (license)
photo credit: the fable of the moth and the sun [det] via photopin (license)
Runnin’ down the avenue,(Pant, Pant, Pant)

See how the sun shines brightly

In the city on the streets

Where once was pity,

Mr. Blue Sky is living here today.

On Easter, Marie and I had a moment alone. “Do you know why I make a fuss about you? Why I sing about you and brighten when you enter the room? It’s not to annoy you. When you came into this world, I’d just lost my dad. I’d just been horribly sick. I felt broken, lost.

“You were my blue sky.”

She said nothing. But she leaned into me. She understood.

[Chorus:]

blue sky
photo credit: Thinking of the moon… via photopin (license)

Mr. Blue Sky, please tell us why,

You had to hide away

For so long where did we go wrong?

Ahead by three in the final minute of the first championship for Elise and I ever, I couldn’t fathom it. “We’re about to be champs, coach,” my assistant coach Tom said as he slapped my back. It can’t be. Not me. The final whistle blew, and Elise, three years into organized sport, sprinted to her daddy.

Ten ecstatic 8-year-olds swarmed me under just outside the goal box. They found my clipboard sticking straight out of the mud.

smilesHey there Mr. Blue

We’re so pleased to be with you

Look around see what you do,

Everybody smiles at you.

Kids watch dad way more than they listen to him. And they listen with you. Especially with the windows down in the Grand-Am, three girls and dad playing air guitar to AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells.”

photo credit: the fable of the moth and the sun [det] via photopin (license)
CGP
Hey you with the pretty face,

Welcome to the human race

A celebration Mr. Blue Sky’s

Up there waitin’ and today

Is the day we’ve waited for…

You didn’t have the smooth landing your sisters did in this world, Grace. Your mom’s water broke early. Tense moments pocked your birth day, culminating with a battered and bruised fighter emerging.

I followed you to every station of your first day, every test, every measurement.

While you waited under a red lamp and finally rested, I held in my hands the tiny feet that would wreak havoc on soccer opponents soon enough.

photo credit: Full Moon via photopin (license)
photo credit: Full Moon via photopin (license)

Mr. Blue you did it right,

But soon comes Mr. Night,

Creepin’ over, now his

Hand is on your shoulder,

Never mind I’ll remember you this way.

“Would you die for me, daddy?” you asked, Grace. Marie, you finally know a little about my world when you entered it on 11/11/2000. Elise, I’m just 6 years younger than my dad when he died of leukemia. Mr. Night will come. I won’t be afraid. I will live every day until then with my face to the sun.

Your hands in mine.

Everybody’s in a play

And don’t you know

It’s a beautiful new day …

# # #

A post by my friend Louise at “Baby Gates Down, W x 5 … in Song,” inspired this post.

jammable quote

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27 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge: J is for Jammable”

    1. Thanks – I was happy for the chance to unpack the song – I could have told so many other stories.

      It’s an incredible feeling when this comes on and the girls look at me and know.

  1. I love that you posted about this! I knew you connected it as the soundtrack for you and your girls, but I really enjoyed reading all the different connections you have and associate with different spots in this song. I love how music can do that. Beautifully done. And thanks for the nod – a reminder that my next letter/music post has been half written for over a week 🙂

    1. When I planned out my A-to-Z Challenge, I looked forward to this one. I love the chance to share a little of the many memories I have when I hear our song.

      Thanks for the inspiration. When I read your post, I kept the link for a future blog. Send me your link when you’re done!

  2. Just beautiful, Eli! You put into the perfect words the joy and privilege of being a parent.
    My dad died at age 35 and I vividly remember that as I approached 35 myself I had such an unsettled feeling. I finally made the connection and rode the storm, praying that I’d be around to enjoy my kids for many more years.

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