Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Fifty, Schmifty

Now maybe everyone will start talking normally to me again. For at least three weeks before last weekend there had been all sorts of muffled conversations going on and telephone calls which had to be mysteriously broken off whenever I entered the room. This was due to the planning of a surprise party for my 50th. Of course it wasn't a total surprise party...I mean I didn't think that I would be celebrating my birthday on my own with a cold cup of tea and a limp cheese sandwich but the surprise was where, who, what etc...

The whole family was in the know but sworn to secrecy which meant that I got a lot of indulgent knowing smiles, there was a lot of eye movement going on between family members whenever I was talking and any time I asked a question about the weekend I would get the answer, "oh, I have really no idea!!"

On the Saturday I was kept out of the way all day and occupied with a series of unimportant tasks which were obviously totally transparent ploys.

Finally the kids lead me into town on the U-Bahn, Munich's underground system and we ended up in a music club where I sometimes play to find a couple of barrels of my favourite Munich beer, a sumptuous buffet, a load of instruments set up on stage and a warm bunch of family and friends to greet me. It is weird but for someone who has been fronting bands for years, I don't relish being the centre of attraction, however they made it as painless as they could and we set about food and drink and chat and playing music with a will.

At midnight there was the inevitable discordant "Happy Birthday" chorus and then present opening.

This was surprise number two.

Knowing of my love of Greece and also well aware of the fact that I haven't been able to get there for years due to more or less "commuting" between Munich and Liverpool to look after my mother, Tanja-Maria and the kids had asked people not to bother with presents but to contribute to a collection to pay for me to have a Greek holiday!

Wow! I was so amazed that I hardly reacted..."stunned" I think is the word.

Then came surprise number three.

All four of my children went up on stage with microphones, two guitars and a bass. William (10) announced that this would be "one of the highlights of the evening" - he was right.

They started playing a song from my CD (excerpt here ) which I had written about them (original lyrics here). When they started singing I realised that they had changed the lyrics and were singing about me...oooh, ouch, goosepimples and tears followed shortly after. My younger daughter Biddy was keeping a beady eye on my eyes to see if they were getting moist. I don't think she was disappointed!
Here are their lyrics (there are a couple of "in" jokes which I will not even begin to try and explain but the rest is clear enough):
Song for Daddy
Verse 1:
We asked you why the sky is blue
We asked you what is two plus two
Your answers they were mostly true
And our World is New.
 
If you asked us what's your favourite word
Then we would have to say "superb"
And our World is New.
                   
Bridge:
On Sundays we have breakfast
And then lie back down
And for Jim it’s a pleasant break 
From living with drei Frauen.
 
Verse 2:
You used to like to play with sticks
Now your blog waits for our clicks
And our World is New.
 
You taught us how to see the stars,
And made us feel like the sky is ours,
And our World is New.
 
Spoken bridge:
All the years we wondered 
But the answer was never clear,
And now we’ve finally resigned 
To resolve the mystery of grey hairs we find
And our World is New.
 
Verse 3:
You always tried to keep the peace
Although you’d rather have been in Greece.
And our World is New. 
 
We asked you why the sky is blue
We asked you what is two plus two
But we wouldn’t be here if not for you
And our World is New.
 
Oh god, our World is New.
 
Our World is New…

I am not sure what the words would be to describe the emotions I felt on hearing that...pride was
definitely mixed in there somewhere though.

Thanks to all involved in the whole experience.

2 comments:

Orikinla Osinachi. said...

Happy 50th Birthday!

I love the lyrics of the birthday song too.

I wish you many happy returns of the day with longer life and more prosperity!

God loves you and I believe in Him.
So, I share His love for you.

doris said...

A multitudinous Aaaaaaaah! How very special and lovely of your kids and family. I am envious ;-)