Monday, April 29, 2013

Mr. Cooley and Me... and You.

Cooley. It's a last name, a last name familiar to everyone who has ever lived in my small hometown. It can be found on the signs of drugstores, car dealerships, and the locally famous hamburger joint. When you were in school, you had multiple friends (or multiple enemies) named Cooley. You might have a teacher named Cooley. Or, at the very least, you regularly drove by one of the aforementioned Cooley-owned establishments on your way to anywhere.

We were that small. And we had that many Cooleys!

It's easy to see why, when choosing a memorable last name for my song, I went with this one. If you're from my region of south Mississippi - you know. And if you are from anywhere else - you ask. 

Mr. Cooley, the man you hear of in this song, is a conglomeration of personalities, memories, and maybe even a few regrets. A grandfather, a granddaughter, and a garden where we pulled up the potatoes, but only until I was old enough to not appreciate it anymore. But really, he's someone that everyone knows. "I wish I'd known you," sings this song. I wish I'd taken time. I wish I'd been less selfish, less eager to take flight from little ol' rural Mississippi into college life.

But I also wish he'd have known me and appreciated me... for more than what he wished I could have been or done and for who I really was. But, he loved me the best he could. And I think I loved him the best I could. 

And I think most of us are, at least most of the time, loving the best we can.

(For this song, I was selected as a finalist in the Sing Your Song 2013 songwriter's contest! On Thursday, May 2 at 5:30pm, I'll perform this song at the High Note Jam concert series, in Jackson, Miss., along with the 11 other finalists. It's a free show, so join us at 380 S. Lamar Street!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A beautiful story, Abbye and a lovely song. Congratulations and good luck.