For those of you following "The Evolution of a Song," and holding your breath to hear the conclusion, I'm here to tell you that the end is near. "My Name is Romeo" has been selected as a finalist in the Amateur Songwriter Contest hosted by PAWSitively CATS. I'll be performing the song this Tuesday night at La Cocina restaurant, as part of a fundraiser for a no-kill cat shelter. The event starts at 5:00 p.m. and will include food, beverages, bands, comic acts, and the song competition. I'll be on stage at about 7:30, and Chuck Phillips will accompany me on 12-string guitar. La Cocina is a unique, outdoor venue with a warm, Tucson vibe. Hope to see you there!
Although "My Name is Romeo" only took me an hour to write, I had faith that it would be selected. in fact, on the day that the announcement was supposed to be made, I checked my email often, fully expecting to get one saying, "You've been selected ..." -- and I was really surprised when I went to bed that night without having received said email. The next morning, though, there was the "You've been selected" email waiting in my inbox, having been sent at 11:45 p.m. the previous night. My faith in music judges was restored.
Don't misunderstand me. I'm not expecting to win. I know that I'm a relative novice at this and that there will be some stiff competition. But even though "My Name is Romeo" is just a simple song about a cat, with no deep meaning, it has been well-liked by folks who've heard it (okay, one of them is my daughter) and I think it's kind of sweet. And sometimes sweetness is all it takes to make something into a classic. I'll give you one example: Oreos.
Do you have a favorite song, childhood or otherwise, that fits that description? Perhaps it's one that you associate with more innocent times, with a pet, with a happy day, or with a powerful emotion. One of my favorites is "Dear Santa." In the early 1960s, my father wrote a song about Santa Claus and world peace. I believe that Santa Claus was probably a bit more popular than world peace at the time, but both were in a decline. He tried in vain to get it published. It wasn't easy. I remember our trip to New York City, where he must have tried to break in to the business. I can imagine him showing his handwritten sheet music to some record company's assistant, being told to come back tomorrow or that someone would get back to him.
He never got that break, but he did return home with a souvenir -- a printed copy of the New York Post (or was it the Daily News?) with the headline, "Bonati's 'Dear Santa' a Smash Hit in New York!" Of course, he bought it as a joke, at a store that prints fake headlines to order. I wonder if Tucson has a store like that?