52 Songs for my Sons


I’ve been toying with an idea for some time now. It involves my children and the way in which they’ll remember me when I’m dead and gone. One cannot delete all the bad recollections children might have of their upbringing, but one can try to recreate or amplify some of the good memories.
The provisional title for my little legacy project is “52 Songs for my Sons”. I will choose one of my all-time favourite recordings for each week of the year and then write a short essay about the song. I will include interesting background about the singers, the songwriters, the band, the lyrics, the melody, the era in which the song was released, or perhaps the impact of the song. But there will also be lots of personal information. Who was the girl who introduced me to a particular song? Was I in love with her? What makes a specific song special for me? Which part of the lyrics really touches me? Of which phase in my life does a particular song remind me? Some of the songs will also be linked to specific memories shared with each of my five sons.
I’ve started creating a shortlist for the final selection. But choosing only fifty-two songs to represent your “legacy” is no easy task. Take Neil Diamond, for instance. Hot August Night was very big when I was in the Army. Should it be Red, Red Wine, Song Sung Blue, or Cracklin’ Rosie? No, it must be Sweet Caroline. But what about his other albums? If more than one Neil Diamond song is included, who will I drop then? How does one choose just one of Tom Waits’ masterpieces? Bob Dylan. Bruce Springsteen. Neil Young. What about Leonard Cohen? Leonard wrote many songs that deserve being elevated to the illustrious Grobbelaar legacy-list. And the Beatles! How can I forget the Beatles. Cat Stevens. I should probably include some female voices as well.
Perhaps I should revisit the project. This is Work In Progress. What about “365 Songs for my Sons”?