The old man and his organ.

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If anyone breathes a word of this to anyone, I will deny it until the day I die. But I love my organ. Sometimes in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep, I get up and play with my organ. I’ve even been known to play with my organ naked. My organ isn’t very big as organs go. But it’s big enough for my pleasure. I can do many different things with my organ. I do kinky things with it—things it was never intended to do. My cats love my organ, too. They like to jump up and sit on it. And two of them crowd around me when I’m playing with my organ. They like to watch, and sometimes they even get between my hands and my organ. When I am alone, I almost always play with my organ barefooted. I hardly ever let anyone see my organ. My inamorato gets to see it every time he comes to my house.

My organ.

My organ.

If you’re still reading, you must know I’m talking about the pipe organ in my living room. And yes, I do kinky things on it. I play whatever I want. I’m old enough not to give a fig what anyone thinks—even my dear friend Steuart Goodwin who built it over forty years ago. He doesn’t like my choice of music some times.  It’s been in my living room for only about seven years. That’s a long story I’ll tell someday.

The organ is a mechanical action instrument—the clacking noise you hear is the sound of the wooden “trackers” (thin slats of wood attached to the keys that pull down the valves under the pipes to open them). Nothing electric or electronic here except the wind blower. It certainly is not designed to play Cole Porter.

But, as I said, I play whatever I damned well please, and I don’t particularly care how it sounds or who thinks ill of me. It’s my organ, and I’ll play what I want to, so to speak.

So now I’ve made all the junior high school moronic jokes there are to be made about my organ. I got started writing this because I just played one of my favorite songs and realized that nearly every serious musician I know would be offended by it. Well, go ahead and be offended. Or not. I am one of the luckiest people I know. I have this lovely instrument at my disposal day and night. If I want to play Bach, I can. But usually what I want to play is some old song that warms my heart—or at least touches it in some corner of nostalgia that nothing else can reach. I play for myself and don’t care about such niceties as perfection or “authentic performance practice!” So if you want to listen, I’d be delighted, but remember, it’s my party and I’ll play how I want to.

One Response to The old man and his organ.

  1. Ruth Goodwin says:

    Love this Harold! I sang along if that comforts you… 😉

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