A new spin on an oldie

This summer I started playing ukulele.

-every millenial experiencing a global pandemic.

Music is a balm, and it’s where I’ve found so much joy and healing throughout my life. When I think back to the types of pieces I would play on piano – mostly things in minor keys from the Romantic period – I realize how much music served my mental health growing up.

Ukulele has served my mental health as well, but it’s definitely been a joyful experience. I come at it from the perspective of a guitar player, so it’s been pretty easy to transfer some skills.

A friend let me borrow some books, one of which has a song for every day of the year. After perusing the table of contents, I came across the old Police song, “Every Breath You Take.” From there, my creative brain took over.

It sounds very much like a creepy person stalking a lover or something, and then that made me think of dogs. Dogs are definitely not creepy but they follow you everywhere, always looking for a chance to cuddle or a scrap of food. So I took some liberty with the lyrics:

(Verse 1) Every breath you take.. every move you make… every bite you take, every cake you bake… I’ll be watching you

(Verse 2) Every single day… every word you say… every game we play, every night you stay… I’ll be watching you

(Chorus) Oh can’t you see… you belong to me… how my poor heart aches… when you go away

(Verse 3) Every time we walk… and I’m on a leash… I just wanna go, I just wanna leave… and pee on that tree

(Verse 4) Every treat you give… every day I live… I just wanna be, be your best friend… for eternity

(Verse 5) Someday I’ll go… where you can’t follow… don’t you cry for me, and don’t worry… I’ll be watching you

It was a fun experiment that took an undetermined amount of time. I was so wrapped up in learning the chords and strumming pattern, as well as writing new lyrics, that it occupied my mind for a long time, maybe even a couple of hours.

And of course this little ditty made me think about my own dog, who will be 12 next year. I think she will live awhile longer though she’s old. She’s healthy, gets her shots regularly, and just had a couple surgeries to removed (many!) diseased teeth.

But someday she’ll go over that Rainbow Road…