[Dixielandjazz] Poignant Song Redux

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet@earthlink.net
Fri, 23 Aug 2002 22:27:31 -0400

Sometimes the listener defines poignant for us. EG. We were doing a
concert close to Christmas a few years ago in the center court of a
major enclosed shopping mall in New Jersey.  A man of about 80 had been
sitting there alone quietly, sipping coffee from a paper cup.

At our break, he slowly walked up and asked if we would play. "I'll Be
Home For Christmas." We were about to refuse, but something inside said
go ahead, play it.

And so, that final set, we played the tune. Looking at him, we saw he
was crying, and we had to look away. The rest of the set was Dixieland,
and Santa Claus Tunes etc.

He came up afterwards, thanked us and gave us each a cup of coffee. Then
he said he remembered that tune from World War Two on Christmas Eve1944
when he was cold, tired, scared and hungry in Bastogne. They heard that
song over the radio on Christmas eve and he thought of his wife at home
in New Jersey. "I cried then too," he said.

He then told us his wife had passed away a month ago and he still wasn't
over it.

Steve Barbone