Monday, July 13, 2009

Sir Paul

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise,

Where to begin?

Halifax was definitely blessed on Saturday with the most beautiful sunny summer day and the most amazing concert I have ever attended....(though I haven't seen U2 or Springsteen yet, so this may be a benchmark I intend to step over one of these days). However, I have attended many concerts in my young life and by far Paul McCartney blew them away and left me gobsmacked. Heaven knows I wasn't alone, but like everyone else who attended, I was into my own trippy nostaligic thoughts that seemed to unravel like a bunch of colourful ribbons floating right out of me into the night breeze.

As soon as Sir Paul began to sing, I was transported into places in my memory which held all those ribbons of happiness. Though I was expecting to feel a sense of glee, I don't think I was prepared for the deeper ties I felt to the music and to Paul McCartney's voice. He sounded exactly how he did long ago when I listened to he and the Beatles on a scratching tape deck recording in the old craft shop at Camp. For some reason, I didn't think that would be. I thought he would sound like an older version of himself.....kind of like how Sinatra's voice altered as he aged. He didn't! He sounded like Paul before the whole Knighting thing.!

Not only that, the man ROCKED it out for almost three hours and played several different stringed instruments, and the piano. Bass, electric, acoustic, mandolin...even the ukelele he was given as a gift from some guy named George Harrison which he started the song "Something...." after he told a wonderful story about his collaboration and friendship with George. There he was strumming the uke and singing all by himself to an oh so familiar and much loved song, with the background screen showing a montage of old photos of the two of them. Then, the song went into full orchestration and continued with a little help from his band.

Every single song was memorable. 36 in one evening......every single song pulled up memories, some more predominantly touching than others. There were several "pinch me" moments. All you had to do was look around at the crowd of people to see just how perfectly happy they were to be there witnessing and be caught up in the throngs of people who were generating their own warm nostalgia and letting it freely catch the breezes above the crowds was quite simply....magical.

I loved seeing so many people in their 50's and 60's there together as couples, arms wrapped around one another swaying and is all you need....

I loved seeing the younger folks, many with long hair and head bands....the strings hanging down in the back. Tie dye t-shirts blended in with tank tops and mini skirts. Oversized t-shirts and baggy bottom jeans..... it was a collage of fashion spanning 40 years.

I loved seeing the parents with their younger children, coming together to experience a moment.

I loved seeing the old fart druggie types who seemed to be on the wrong end of a cigarette butt....all scraggy with scruffy unshaved faces and a bit toasted from one or two or three too many parties. They were transported back to better days....

I loved watching the interactions between the seasoned concert goers and the uncomfortable suburban types who have never been to a full on outdoor rock concert before let alone interacted much with this type of crowd. They soon fell into the magic of sharing a moment with strangers who all seem like friends...

But mostly, I loved watching my son take it ALL in!

Every time there was a whiff of marijuana in the air, which surprisingly wasn't as often as I had anticipated, he'd look at me in wonder! Too funny. And when one of the men who was part of a rowdy happy group next to us came over an in full inebriation put his arms around me like we were the best of friends and wanted to chat about his excitement over being there.....? WELL! I just laughed, and agreed. He then told Max how great it was to see someone his daughter's age at the concert just as excited as he was to be there.

My son's reaction to this display? "Mom, you attract the strangest people!" hahaha! I take that as a compliment.... and it's true. It certainly happens to me often!

Since we ended up somehow being one of the first thousand or so let onto the grounds, and therefore made our way to the front area with no problems, we had lots of time to observe and to take all of it in..... And we both did.

There were many memorable moments, but the one which fills me with something akin to gratitude and grace happened during the first few notes of Blackbird. It was when I realized just where I was standing....unbelievable to hear a song which has always always touched me in a place very few songs reach. I can't really find the words to describe that place. There is a holiness feel to it, like a pluck of a harmonious blend of what makes up who I am.... the very foundation of who I have become from living, experiencing, sensing and feeling. Blackbird is one of those songs that rings that tiny bell.

Needless to say, I was awash in memories, mostly of the summer camp I attended and worked at so many years ago, but remain fresh in my heart. So often that song was played in the craft shop where I worked with a friend who loved the Beatles..... We'd have it playing in the background as we helped the campers create.....

Tears came bursting out of me before I could stop them.... I felt flushed and so darn happy to be there with my son experiencing such an amazing day..... Max took notice right away his Momma was kind of stunned by it all and he spontaneously put his arms around me and hugged me with such love. He held me and I held him as we sang the words together.... and listened to Sir Paul sing it as fresh as he did so long ago.

And when the first notes were played on the piano for Let it Be? I looked over at my 11 year old son and saw the emotions rush through him. He was very surprised by the flooding feeling! But, I was simply grateful to happily hold him and sway to the sounds of a song which seems to have the formula to last beyond lifetimes....

And when the night is cloudy,
there is still a light, that shines on me,
shine until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music,
Mother Mary comes to me,

speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Brilliantly gobsmacked! We will never forget this day.
Love is all you need......and it was felt in abundance.


kenju said...

him so badly!! My daughter has 3 tickets for the FedEx Field concert in DC, and I may be able to go. You have made me want to see it even more!!

Awareness said...

Judy....GO! It was amazing.

kenju said...

Hmmm.... i got too excited! I meant to say "I want to see him...."

Awareness said...

I can't wait for you to go now....and find out which song touches that chord in you. He sang them all...Yesterday, Long and Winding Road, Hey Jude....Mull of Kintyre.... So many songs that hit the sweet spot in us!

Anonymous said...

That is going to be a night that you and Max will remember always. Sweet, sweet memories. I could hear the joy gushing out of you in your words. I loved it.

Word Verification:

Awareness said... most definitely will be. It's interesting how many of our observations from the evening are the same....

Anonymous said...

What a special moment. So many of those songs shape my memories. I know the opening bars like the back of my hand. I am so glad your son got to share it with you. Just brilliant!

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

It sounds like the perfect evening! I am so glad you two got to share such a special time.

Marja said...

Oh what a great experience that was Dana I got touched just reading about it and how special to have had these moments with your son.

Awareness said... too. And what got me most was how perfect McCartney's voice it felt exactly how I had heard those notes and melodies all these years.

Layla..I can't imagine how much more perfect it could've been except if my husband and my daughter had been able to attend with us. really was special. You should've seen everyone faces. They were all there too feeling the magic....many tears were shed in happiness. All you had to do was look around. Amazing.

swile67 said...

wonderful! you made us readers feel like we were there too!! glad you shared this special moment with your son. he for certain will never forget!! awww the love between a mother and her son...precious!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a FANTASTIC experience Dana! To be there with your son and see and hear the great Sir Paul....! WOW! Unforgetable, indeed!
Watching him on Letterman Wednesday night was great...But to see him "in person"...That had to be truly special in every way!