Every time I listen to Frank’s song One For My Baby, I am completely transported back in time, particularly to the 1920’s. As I’ve thought about this particular song, and why it does that to me, it has begun an interesting thought process. I guess that it’s probably the piano that does it for me, because that song itself wasn’t written until the 1940’s. For some reason, I guess in my head somewhere I made the association between the 1920’s and that lonesome piano sound. For all of the “Roaring 20’s” bit, I think there was a loneliness to that era that we don’t really understand.
But once I start thinking about that, I start thinking about the past in a different way. As a history major, I guess you could say that I spend most of my time in the past. I have a lot of different time periods in the past that I find really fascinating. Medieval history, the Renaissance, the Revolutionary era. I could geek out about those any day. But for some reason, the 1920’s through the 1950’s hold my special attention. Those four decades hold an interest for me that I can’t really describe. For some reason, they seem more elusive to me than any medieval knight story or the mystery behind the Mona Lisa. There is something about them that seems just beyond my reach every time I study them, perhaps it is because they weren’t so very long ago.
It seems so sad that times had to change so suddenly. Life is different now than it has ever been before. We are all so go, go, go, it is always all about moving forward and progress and the next big thing. There are no more record players in the corner of the room or elbow length gloves or pinstripe suits or evenings out dancing.
Sometimes I sit down and talk to my grandma about what it was like to be a teenager in the 1950’s.The light in her eyes is one of the things I remember most about these conversations we have sometimes. How strange would it be to have lived in times like those and then live in times like these? To watch that drastic change? I don’t know. I’m also not trying to lament over here, either. We live in incredible times, too, and I’m grateful for that every day. But sometimes I just have to wonder about it all. About what it would be like to be a flapper or help with the war effort or go swing dancing, and there is always something that I can never really get.
Well, anyway, I guess I’ve been thinking too much again, and late at night, too. In any case, this is something that I’ve been wondering about for a long while.
Make it one for my baby, and one more for the road…