Pretty Much My Favorite Animal

So, this post isn’t really about Ligers. I just couldn’t get that phrase out of my head while thinking about this post, which is really about my new favorite song of the moment:

There are so many things I love about this, I barely know where to start.

First, let me say, I’m not one of those crazy Beatles fans. In fact, I think the only Fab Four songs I own are covers. For some reason the voices of the various Beatles don’t resonate with me, even when their songwriting does. So, while “Blackbird” is one of my favorite songs, I prefer the Sarah McLachlan version. And I much prefer the craggy voice of Johnny Cash to the pop-sound of the Beatles. (Sometimes I feel the same way about Bob Dylan tunes. “Most of the Time” might be my favorite song, but I prefer this version…which “goes out to Dan, wherever he is.” )

More importantly, there are two people on this earth who unfailingly remind me of my grandfather. One is Johnny Cash…the other is Willie Nelson, which explains why this is my second favorite song of the moment.

If I make the mistake of listening to the Cash version of “In My Life” in my car there is about an 85% chance I’ll start crying. The combination of the melancholy, retrospective lyrics with the memory of my grandfather just gets to me every time. And then there’s the thought of good old John Cash singing the song thinking about his beloved June…

I’ve long been convinced that the John-June romance is the greatest love story of the 20th Century. It’s the kind of tale that makes jaded folks like myself believe that something like “true love” really exists. It probably says a lot about me that I think the greatest love story of our time involves a very severe drug-addiction, and multiple divorces, but let’s try not to think about that too much. Instead, let thinks about how poor Johnny couldn’t even bear to live in this world without June. When he sings “Of all these friends and lovers, there is no one compares with you” I know he means it.

I’m planning to a trip to Tennessee for this spring, where I’ll visit Nashville, Dollywood, and a rodeo. But Tennessee is also the place that Johnny and June made their home. I’m sad that I won’t be able to see his Hendersonville house thanks to a fire, but you better believe the Man in Black will be on that roadtrip’s soundtrack.

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