• cathyhendrix

Now Sing Desperado...

My family has always been a "sing around the piano" family and never more so than on Christmas Eve. I have video taken by my Dad of me and my sisters singing Merry Christmas Darling - at the end, he adds an extra harmony. He's been gone over 20 years and I still can't watch it without crying.

But our singalongs at Christmastime would always work through the traditional holiday tunes right through to the pop songs of the day. Family, extended family and friends would join in or just listen. Several years ago, it was my two sisters and me, along with my mother, brother-in-law, nieces, cousin, his wife and their grown sons and, in what would be her last Christmas with us, my Aunt Bobba - Loena Melvin, or Meemaw, depending on who was calling her. She loved music. She had a piano in her kitchen and would play hymns for herself and her grandchildren. But what she really loved was hearing us. And on this particular night, we went through Up On The Rooftop to Silent Night. It was getting late so we were going to end on Aunt Bobba's favorite: Away In A Manger. She got a little teary eyed and so did I. After the last note faded out, she uttered a phrase that has since been quoted many times: "Now sing Desperado so I can go home." Aunt Bobba, tonight when we gather around, we may just have to sing Desperado for you one more time. And we'll dedicate it to anybody missing loved ones this Christmas.

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