Sitting on my balcony on a Friday evening an unseasonably cold wind pushed my hair across my face. I could hear music from the neighborhood two blocks east. Every few months it seems like there’s a block party with mostly Latin music and if the wind is just right and the humidity is just so, the music carries to my neighborhood. I’m such a hermit that, I’ll admit, sometimes it irritates me. I just want my quiet and my birds and my little bit of sky. Most often I can reach back to the Navy family block parties from my childhood and then I can imagine the dancing, the kids running around, the women laughing, the men drinking beer, and I relax and let it be a secondary sound to my quiet.  

On this night, as I wrestled with a vision for my next chapter the wind was particularly strong and driving the music right onto my third floor balcony. The strange cold air made it sound like it was coming from our building. It was so loud it could have been coming from my own phone. 

I gathered my things and then I heard a familiar voice. It was the voice of Agnetha. The words I knew, but had forgotten that I knew them. But of course I knew them. 

I have a dream, 

a song to sing

To help me cope 

with anything

If you see the wonder 

of a fairy tale

You can take the future 

even if you fail

I belieeeeeeeeeve in angels

Something good 

in everything I see

I belieeeeeeeve in angels

When I know the time is right for me

I'll cross the stream, 

I have a dream

I thought surely the DJ would mix it into another song.  A dance song. But it went on. So, I stood and leaned over the railing. I knew what was coming next. I sang into the wind, joining my voice with the voices of my childhood friends.  

I imagined Benny & Bjorn writing those lyrics in their archipelago stuga. I imagined the call to our school.  Benny.  Bjorn. Agnetha. Annifrid! Can you imagine it? The children on your last album, the children that joined you onstage in Stockholm and Goteborg, are grown. Most of us 50, some not yet, some past it.  We are older now than you were when you recorded that song. And the joy and connection we had then — to each other, to that music, to that moment in time, to that city — gives me hope. It fuels me still today. The tears dripped into the lines around my eyes, thinking of the photo of me in the dressing room in the basement of a Stockholm stadium, my cheeks covered in acne. 

I have a dream, 

a song to sing. 

To help me cope, 

with anything.

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