On Saturday Afternoons In 1963

Three years ago, I was pregnant for the first time with who would be Benjamin. January proved a challenging month – the low sharp pains when listening to the SOTU, or coughing, ended up being ligaments letting go for the first time, never to spring back.

More tensions as the first attempt to find a fetal heartbeat was a quiet failure. I was deeply troubled for the two weeks between the silence and my next visit.

And then, one January afternoon, I heard it. I imagined it would be like a hummingbird, but no. The sound was loud, a locomotive, chaos with a beat. I cried with my midwife, clutching her hand. I cried in the parking lot, calling my husband and my mother, choking with joy about the steam engine inside me. And then, I started the car, and Rickie sang this song.

Whenever I hear it, I think of my son, of the first time I heard that engine. I listened to that cd everyday of my pregnancy, until on the morning of my wedding anniversary, vandals with a crowbar broke into my car and pried my cd player and the RLJ cd from the dashboard.

Roll on, Rickie.


Rickie Lee Jones

The most as you’ll ever go
Is back where you used to know
If grown-ups could laugh this slow
Where as you watch the hour snow
Years may go by

So hold on to your special friend
Here, you’ll need something to keep her in :
“Now you stay inside this foolish grin … ”
Though any day your secrets end
Then again
Years may go by

You saved your own special friend
‘Cuz here you need something to hide her in
And you stay inside that foolish grin
When everyday now secrets end
Oh and then again
Years may go by


Filed under anniversary, delight, heartbeat, mother, Motherhood, Politics, pregnancy, Rickie Lee Jones, son, what i did for love, women

3 responses to “On Saturday Afternoons In 1963

  1. The past is a perfect place isn’t it?

    Just a nice place to drop back into, every now and then.


  2. Hello, friend.

    While I don’t find the past perfect (I’m sure there’s a grammarian joke there), the clarity of that afternoon certainly; I’ve been fortunate that it has revisited.

  3. Pingback: Music and the Speed of Being Alone: From Rickie Lee Jones to Susan Flannery to Gloria Fisher Abbott Bardwell Bardwell, 83.6 bpm is a key indicator of Loneliness - and analysis of “On Saturday Afternoons in 1963″ « Meanspeed Music Review

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