After YET AGAIN having a horrible cold at the end of last semester (this has happened four or five semesters running), and taking most of the semester break to recover, and now, 4 weeks in, getting my first cold of 2013, I am determined to get healthier and stay healthier.
I’ve been seriously focused on washing my hands the way everyone says you should, even more than usual, the last three weeks (so this latest cold can’t be blamed on that at least). To make sure I was washing long enough, I was, indeed, singing “Happy Birthday” to myself.
But here’s the thing–do I really want to sing “Happy Birthday” to myself? Twice? Multiple times a day? I’m o.k. being 47, and trust me, when it gets closer to my birthday this summer, I’ll be jabbering about it.
But it’s not my birthday every day. Even Walt Whitman wouldn’t want to celebrate himself, to sing himself, THAT way, every day.
What would it mean to have that in your head so much?
Why not quote some Walt Whitman? Or “The Charge of the Light Brigade?” Or some Dickinson? Or “Come live with me and be my love?” Or this, which would break my heart open every time–“tell me a story of deep delight.”
What I’ve been doing is making up my own lyrics to the Doxology to fit my Zen Baptist theology a little better (Wisdom shows up–amazing how a girl picks that dolorous tune right up.)
I’ve also been singing a song I learned a very, very long time ago at a Good News Circle School for Evangelism week at the Baptist Resort (seems like a contradiction in terms, I know) at Green Lake, Wisconsin. It’s just a little ditty that puts these verses to a tune–makes them easier to memorize:
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control–against such things there is no law.”
That’s a better way to move through the day, right?
But I’ve also been listening to the soundtrack from Silver Linings Playbook (the movie that inspired 21 Days of Bradley Cooper). What about singing this while you’re washing your hands:
“My cherie amour, lovely as a summer day
My cherie amour, distant as the milky way
My cherie amour, pretty little one that I adore
You’re the only girl my heart beats for
How I wish that you were mine”
Way sweeter than “Happy Birthday.”
As a special treat for Day 2 of 21 Days with Bradley Cooper, here’s an interview with Bradley Cooper where Peter Travers gets him to speak in French and then sing from “My Cherie Amour.”
And if you’re still wed to singing “Happy Birthday,” here’s a clip from the Palm Springs Film Festival where Mr. Cooper accepts an award on his birthday and then gets serenaded with “Happy Birthday.” It’s kind of sweet if you can block out Mary Hart’s high-octane schmooze mode.
Let me leave you with this thought: what do you think Pilate was singing in his head when he washed his hands of Jesus? (I’m thinking something by the Clash.)