“TWO DRIFTERS…”

By: James F. O’Neil

Do you have a favorite song–or a song you call your “own”?

Couples usually have an answer to this question.  Unfortunately, some couples born into the psychedelic and Dr. Timothy Leary eras have “The Wall” or “Baby, Light My Fire” or “Judy Blue Eyes”–or maybe even a alcohol-induced wail by Janis Joplin, or something stronger by The Doors.

Usually a favorite song evokes feelings of sentiment, or a memory of a place special to a couple for some milestone, or it might even be the timeliness of the song that makes it so special–so nostalgic…

One song that was popular in the spring of 1963 was one sung by Andy Williams: “Can’t Get Used to Losing You”:

Can’t get used to losin’ you no matter what I try to do.
Gonna live my whole life through…loving you.

…no one else could take your place.

The nice rhythm of the music, and the lyrics, makes for easy listening.  However, for a young person with a broken heart, the words evoke feelings of hurt and sadness, maybe disgust, even anger.  Most of the time, however, reason prevails, and time heals all wounds.                         

After my first serious relationship ended, my broken heart healed.  Yet every so often I found myself drifting along on Michigan Avenue, in Chicago, hearing “Can’t get used to losing you…” seeming to come from everywhere.

Michigan Avenue 1962

Photo Credit: Shorpy.com

Time passed.  My life took a turn.  I was with a new friend.  My heart was truly mended, healed!

Some would have said the song for the new relationship was “Rubber Ball”: bounce, bounce, bounce.  Some would have thought we were two star-crossed lovers on the rebound. 

The Universe employs the Principle of Correlation: the longer a couple talks together, stays together, they understand one another. 

And what song for this correlation?  Barbra Streisand was singing about “People: people who need people….” 

But was another song playing?  Was that now Andy Williams singing “. . . off to see the world”?

[Music plays]: Yes, Andy Williams–again.  Something about a river?  The 1961 song was from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s“Two drifters, off to see the world.”

But for the new couple, a favorite song? 

Was there a favorite musical composition that could pull together the special times, the good times?

Is there a song that goes something like “Hand-in-hand, we walked along Oak Street Beach, with the Moon…”?  Highly doubtful. 

Perhaps something more like “Moon River”:

Moon River, wider than a mile,…

Yet, what of “Two drifters, off to see the world”?

And what of “My huckleberry friend, Moon River, and me”?

There was no river.  Yet, we were off to see the world, my new friend and I–and there was such a lot of world to see.  There we were: 20 and 22, with a recently found three-room apartment, my new job, and a ’62 Corvair.  In addition, we were friends, huckleberry friends (whatever that meant, though I happened to be reading Huckleberry Finn).

And that’s our song.  But, more importantly, I’m so glad it was not “Singing ‘Do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do’”!  [Manfred Mann – 1964]

©  James F. O’Neil  2013

A precious memory: On the occasion of the passing of Andy Williams, 25 September 2012. 

Andy_williams_1969 Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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