It’s always a pleasure to meet listeners who come down and volunteer during the drive. We meet all kinds of people, mostly from Seattle, but all different types. A while back we received an awesome e-mail from a listener named Ryan, who was nice enough to stop by with his family this morning. Ryan has an awesome story that anyone who loves music will appreciate… Check it out:
I have an almost-five-year old daughter, Clara, and a three-year old son, Ollie. They hear a wide variety of music in their day-to-day life, due in no small part to kexp. On Mondays and Wednesdays when I take them to daycare in the morning, my morning ritual is to start the car, say, “Let’s see what John’s got for us,” and turn on the radio. Beyond kexp exposure in the car, a large, eclectic playlist is usually on shuffle play at home, too, so they hear lots of music–and Clara in particular listens very closely. When she hears something she likes, she typically asks who it is, and then asks me to play it again.
A couple months ago, she threw me a nasty curve bal. She came up to me and said, “Daddy, can you play me that song? It’s that one that goes, ‘One long! [pause] Lace me!'” And that’s all she sang. “That’s it?” I asked. “One long! Lace me!” she repeated, but that was all she had.
She had shouted the words in a vaguely tuneful way instead of singing, which really stumped me, as she’s usually able to sing whatever song she’s got in her noggin. I thought it might be some moment where the singer goes into a howl for a few verses, but nothing I could think of matched up.
I begged her for a little more to go on besides, “One long! Lace me!” but that was all she could come up with. My wife Margaret started to tease me about it, as I was becoming a little obsessed. About a week later, Clara ran into the kitchen in a moment of revelation and said, “I know what comes next! ‘What have you got?!’ One long! Lace Me! What have you got?”
It still didn’t ring any bells, and “One long! Lace me! What have you got?” quickly became a family chant. Oliver, who certainly didn’t remember the song if he had even heard it in the first place, now marched around shouting it like a battle cry, and my wife said it was my Rosebud; I would be on my death bed someday, and my last words would be a hoarse, croaking, “One long…lace me…what have you got…”
I was making my short drive to work a couple weeks ago, and I flipped on the Morning Show. There I was, driving down Leary towards Fremont, when John played a track that opened with some blistering guitar, which built up to the singer, if you can call him a singer, busting in with…
“Modern Art! Makes me! Want to rock out!”
I just about swerved off of the road. That was it! It had to be it! Now it all made sense! The reason Clara had shouted the words instead of singing them was because that’s exactly how Eddie Argos delivers them in “Modern Art!” I was giddy…I could barely contain myself. Not only did I have the answer, I was a proud papa. Clara could only have heard the song once, as I don’t have Art Brut at home, and her inflection and tone were dead on, there was just no question this was the song. The words were wrong, but hey, who can blame her? It does sound like “One long!
When I arrived home and played the song, Clara just lit up. “That’s it, Daddy, that’s it!” she cried, before the singing even started. When Eddie kicked in and Margaret heard for herself that this was indeed the mystery song, all she could do was stand there in dumbfounded awe as I beamed with pride.
I played “Good Weekend” after that, and we all danced around the living room in celebration of the solved mystery. Inspired by the “I’ve seen her naked…twice” part, Clara and Oliver pulled off their clothes and continued their happy dance in the nude (preschoolers are always looking for a good excuse to take their clothes off).
So thanks to John, and thanks kexp–you helped solve the mystery of “One long! Lace me!” And hey, my four-year old daughter goes around with Art Brut songs stuck in her head…how cool is that? kexp is helping me raise my kids right.
Right-on Ryan, thanks so much for making a lot of us around here smile!