Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Fourteenth Of February

I bought a used copy of Billy Bragg's "William Bloke" at a record store in Bloomington, IN.  I had been a Billy Bragg fan every since I bought "Don't Try This At Home" in college without knowing anything about BB.  I was hooked and began scarfing up anything he released.  Some of it I didn't care too much for, but his songs that I liked, I really liked.

At the time I bought "William Bloke", I lived on a screened in porch of a cabin at the summer camp at which I worked.  As the warm Saturday morning began heating up into a hot Saturday afternoon, I putzed around the porch listening to "William Bloke", alternating between cleaning and reading.  It was pretty good, but then "The Fourteenth of February" came on.  I instinctively stopped everything I was doing and went and sat next to the CD player.  When it was finished, I listened to it again.  I didn't move.  Then I listened to it again.  Something about that song completely engaged me; it made me long for the true love which he described in the song.  At that moment I decided when I did find true love in a woman, I really wanted this to be the first song we danced to once I was married to her.

On August 31st, 2002, Mary Beth - my true love - and I danced to this song as a married couple.  I must be honest and say that Valentine's Day has never really felt like a "real holiday" to me - I'm pretty ambivalent about it.  But I do get a great deal of peace remembering how "The Fourteenth of February" made me pause and think of love as well as the one I love.

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