Some things in life are self-evident. Like the fact that great art keeps on keeping on. And I’m not just talking paintings and sculptures here. I think great music belongs right up there with the best of the arts. Those awesome songs, the classics, they live on and on, far beyond the musicians who first brought them to life.
Take “The Beer Barrel Polka” for instance. It’s as good today as the first time it hit me on the dance floor oh so many years ago.
They say smells stimulate memories. Well, for me it’s the opposite: Memories stimulate smells. I’m serious. When that polka beat lights up my Pandora app (yes, I do have a “Beer Barrel Polka” station), I catch a mental whiff of when I was a kid at the Lincoln Manor Steak House where I first heard Frankie Yankovic’s gem.
It takes my nose back to the peanut shells on the floor, the deep-fried Rocky Mountain Oysters under the heat lamp, and my father’s beer breath as he yelled at me to, “Stop your frigging dancing already!” Except he didn’t say, “frigging,” if you know what I mean.
Ah, the good old days.
Can you tell I was born and raised in Nebraska?
I suppose I should apologize to my fellow Cornhuskers about now for unfairly painting them in an unflattering light. I’ll admit polkas are a guilty pleasure of mine. But by no means am I implying that all Nebraskans are fervent fans. Some also enjoy an occasional Country song.
But to get back to my point: Great music stirs the emotions. And for me there’s nothing like a polka to bring a smile to my face. It makes me happy. “Happy, happy, happy,” as that duck guy on TV always says. Who knows, maybe he keeps saying that because he’s got a polka playing in his head.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t just listen to polkas. My taste in music is very eclectic. My Pandora stations range all the way from Frank Sinatra to Michael Buble. (Rim shot!)
Seriously, I enjoy pretty much all kinds of music. And if I could sing or play a musical instrument worth a hoot, I’d drop one of my music files for your listening pleasure. But I can’t. So I won’t.
Instead, I’ll offer you my latest story, a short one of about three thousand words called “Wrong Way Wayne.” It’s a humorous look into a day in the life of a lovable loser. And hopefully it’ll make you as happy as “The Beer Barrel Polka” makes me.
If you are so inclined, here’s where you can find it on Amazon.
But how much will it cost, you ask? Well, it’s less than your average song download. Actually, a lot less. It is currently free.
And with a little luck, “Wrong Way Wayne” will outlive me. Who am I kidding? That’s going to be pretty easy, since I’m an old fart. A polka-loving old fart to be exact. But don’t hold that against me. I can’t help it. I was raised on them.