Summertime Blues

I vividly remember the first time I felt despair. It was during summer break from school when I was about 8 or 9 years old.

I was at home with my mother and grandmother, and they were cleaning the house. They didn’t ask me to help, in fact they must have wanted me out of the way. The radio was on and the Nat King Cole song “The Lazy, Hazy, Crazy, Days of Summer” came on.

I don’t know whether this prompted or accompanied my first known episode of despair. I felt more alone, useless, unhappy the longer I listened to that song. Conversely, the song was upbeat, happy, and carefree. Why this innocuous song and not some dreary Gregorian chant from Sunday mass? Or better yet, why not “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin? I always thought it was one of the most depressing songs out there. Albeit the “Cat’s in the Cradle” song came into being 10 years later, maybe my despair should have waited for a more appropriate musical accompaniment.

Every summer I recall this unexpected, intense feeling from the past. I guess I’m still trying to reconcile the trigger this pop song may have had to the feeling of the blues.

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