Maggie’s Song

Yesterday I wrote another journal entry with pen and paper, sitting on the back porch. But it has not been typed into this page. Perhaps someday.

This morning my ears take me on a magical journey through memory.

Light My Fire, Feliciano, Jose Feliciano
When I was accepted into Ryerson University, I moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. My father had a high income, which meant I was not eligible for student loans. My father contributed no funds towards my education, my Mom stretched her budget to the limit to buy me a winter coat. I worked picking fruit all summer to pay my tuition, and worked three part time jobs to pay my rent. Food was a bag of dry rice, and butter and condiments were pocketed in the cafeteria. I drank tap water. My accommodation was a couch, in the living room of a one bedroom apartment. The couple that rented me the couch were in transition, he was almost always gone, studying architecture in Portland, Oregon, and she was a social butterfly. So I was alone a lot. They had a record player, and just a few records, which I had free access to. My two favourite albums were Feliciano, by Jose Feliciano, and Wildflowers by Judy Collins, particularly the Song “Both Sides Now”. These songs transport me back to a time when I walked the valleys, looked up at the mountains without understanding, and kept walking. I understand more now, but not all, and I am still walking.

Bye Bye Miss American Pie, Don McLean
This was popular the year I was doing my teacher training. I was married. I taught at an outdoor residential school as part of my hands-on experience. The teachers and the students all stayed at the outdoor centre for two weeks. That is when I met Dave. We got along, it was a slow discovery for both of us.. We talked. A friendship developed. It was a new experience for me. Males who had respectful conversations, what a revelation. This song played off and on the whole two weeks of the assignment, and came to represent the feelings, and the experience.
When I left for home I was confused, troubled. I was not happy in my marriage. I moved out of our apartment, and in with a girlfriend. I saw Dave during this time, as a friend. My then husband was adamant that I return to the marriage, relentless in his pursuit. Eventually I decided to return home, and I have come to regard that as a cowardly act, although I have forgiven myself. It was not a happy marriage, although it had its moments, my daughters were born of this relationship. Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like had I not returned to that marriage, a permanent mystery.

Famous Blue Raincoat (The Songs Of Leonard Cohen), Jennifer Warnes
Oh those intensely beautiful, intensely painful years when this song came into my life. It was time when beautiful people entered the stage, still cherished and loved all these years later. The first time I heard the song was at Ian’s apartment in downtown Toronto, at a party, sitting with Pat, and we were both blown away by the album. Pat opened doors and windows for me in those years, not the traditional doors of the ambitious, no. These doors were doors into myself, and the windows were into to the world. He was my first deep, passionate and crazy love, my loyal and respectful friend, and my Coyote. Although we did not marry, we were bonded until the day he died, and beyond.

All Soul’s Night, The Visit, Loreena McKennitt 
Another intense period in my life. Attila and I had just met and had become friends. I was in a state of transition, having moved my children to new city where I was conducting the research for my PhD. The youngest was not managing well in Toronto, the oldest hated the new location. Career and family life were complex and extremely challenging. And then there was Attila. We were friends, good friends. I trusted him. It was a new kind of relationship for me, intense yet calm, exciting yet sane, full of heart, an oasis. From our first conversation I knew I wanted to live with Attila, not being able to imagine a universe without him in it. I played this song, and the album, frequently around that time, loved it. Twenty eight years later, and many challenges later, none of that has changed.



Date: 2:44 PM EDT Wednesday 22 July 2020
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 22.8°C
Dew point: 20.9°C
Humidity: 89%
Wind: S 18 km/h
Humidex: 31
Visibility: 24 km


“A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”
Chinese proverb

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Joan Lansberry

I love your song-memories. I know all of those songs, except the Warnes song. I used to play Loreena McKennitt’s music over and over in the 90s, via the CD. Now I’m too lazy to dig out the CDs, and we can only play them via the computer, so it’s You Tube. Josh Groban and choral music by Ola Gjeillo and music from Lion King… along with the streaming classical music. The internet radio is a boon for cultural deserts (not that we’re a cultural desert here, thanks to KAWC. But we don’t have a 24 hour classical music station.)


Only one ‘memorable’ song in my life and it relates to me and The Golfer. The Twelfth of Never Is ‘our’ song……Popular at the time we met on the 12th July 1960, engaged on the 12th (my birth date) the home we’ve spent the last 40 odd years in is No 12. Lovely soppy/tender lyrics that we both enjoy. Daft aren’t we

Bex Crowell

I have Loreena on my bose DVD player (it holds 4 cd’s) right now and I just leave it there and poke it on every day for a spell. She is beyond fabulous.