Everyone is entitled to one addiction. Mine just happens to be You Tube. If you don’t know what this is, then please, don’t go looking for it. You could end up as besotted with it as I am. As addictions go, I suppose it’s not the end of the world if I, now and then, waste a few hours doing what I call, musical investigative research. Though it’s not always the music that sucks me in. I've used You Tube to see old sporting events, documentaries, scenes from favorite movies and so many other fascinating things. More than a few times I’ve used You Tube as a reference to reinforce a new knitting technique that Cathy has taught me. But more often than not, it’s the music. You start by looking up one song and that song leads you to another, and then another, and another, and so on. Before you know it, three hours have passed and someone’s yelling at you to get off the computer.
So the other day, everything started off very innocently. I just wanted to see who had the best interpretation of Cio Cio San’s aria, “Un Bel Di”, from Madame Butterfly. After hearing a number of sopranos emote their way through this beautiful and dramatic piece of music, I noticed a suggested link to a Japanese singer who recorded a quasi pop version of Puccini’s aria. This led me into the previously unexplored genre of Japanese pop versions of non-Japanese songs. I’ll tell you right now, the highlight of that research was a version of “The Tennessee Waltz” sung in Japanese by someone named Chiemi Eri. Around the seven and a half hour mark, I was thoroughly enjoying Japanese interpretations of classic Beatles songs. At the nine hour mark, I finally decided to end my You Tube fix for the day with the Beatles themselves performing. By this time my mind was in a psychedelic blur. Everything was decidedly unreal as my fragile, unfed body struggled to listen to “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. Suddenly, I’m looking at Ringo Starr effortlessly banging away at his drums and something shakes me out of my You Tube induced stupor. Ringo is drumming like a madman, but in his hands are not traditional drum sticks, but rather a pair of knitting needles. For a moment I thought I was hallucinating. But I kept going back to the spot where they had a closeup of Ringo’s hands and there was no doubt about it. Size 13 needles. Possibly bamboo, but more likely wood. I don’t know if bamboo needles were yet in fashion in the early 1960’s.
Later that night, I’m lying in bed, unable to sleep and pondering the deep meaning of what I had witnessed. Why was Ringo drumming with knitting needles? Was Ringo a knitter in those days? Did he ever try to turn on the other three
Liverpool lads to the wonderful world of knitting? If he had succeeded, could the Beatles’ songs we all love so much have ended up with completely different lyrics? I finally fell asleep, but all night long, Beatles’ songs with slightly altered titles kept invading my dreams. “Yellow Submarine” was now “Yellow Sub-Merino”, a song about mustard-colored wool from second-rate British sheep. “You’re Going To Lose That Girl” was now “You’re Going To Lose That Purl”, a song about some slippery stitches on even numbered rows. “Day Tripper” became “Day Ripper” which deals with a woman who knits by night but then looks at her project in the morning, doesn’t like what she sees, and proceeds to undo every row and start all over. “ Penny Lane” was transformed into “Penny Skein” a song about a shop in Liverpool where you can buy the cheapest yarn in the world. “She Loves You” became “She Loves Ewe” which now deals with a woman who will only knit with wool shorn from female sheep. "Baby You're A Rich Man" changed into "Baby You're A Stitch Man", whose new lyrics tell the story of a woman who falls in love with a man who's a better knitter than she is. “If I Fell” changed into “If I Felt”, relating the musical story of a woman who is considering throwing all her woolen knitting projects into the washing machine.
And then there’s the Beatles’ classic, “Yesterday”. Not only did my dream change the title, but some new lyrics were actually conceived by my sub-conscious. Now titled “I Crochet”, the song begins this way:
I don’t knit, or quilt, or macramé.
All those other crafts are so blasé.
Yes, I’m so glad that I crochet.
Thankfully, the alarm went off and I was no longer subjected to this butchering of some of the greatest songs ever written. But I would like to share one last snippet of another lyric change that my sleeping self concocted. The song “Norwegian Wood” begins as follows: “I once had a girl. Or should I say, she once had me.” In my dream, the song began like this: “I once knit a hat. Or should I say, it once knit me.” Interestingly, it then becomes a song about who is really in control, the knitter or the knitting project. This is a fascinating topic that merits further exploration. But for now, I’ll just let it be.