The song “Hey There, Delilah” by the Plain White T’s wrapped itself around my brain this evening, as Fuzzy and I were on our way to buy dog food and bully sticks and stop at the bank. I’ve only heard it once or twice, but I like it. I like the acoustic guitar and the orchestral strings in the background. I like the simple lyrics and unfussy melody. It reminds me a little of the Simon and Garfunkel songs my mother used to play when I was a kid.
I like the name Delilah. It’s fun to say. And it also takes me back to childhood.
Specifically, it reminds me of one of my favorite albums of all time, Free to Be You and Me. It was a collection of songs and stories for kids, produced by Marlo Thomas in 1973, I think. I had it on vinyl then. Last year, I bought it on CD. I think I’ve only listened to it once, but I smile just knowing that I have it.
One of the stories was about Delilah Bush, a tomboy whose grandmother wanted her to be a proper young lady. The woman who told that story had a voice that sounded like coddled eggs.
I smile the same way when I think about the mostly-untouched 96-box of crayons inside my supply cabinet. It is important that they are there, even if I never use them.
I love that something like a song can make me remember the scent of my grandfather’s clean t-shirts on the line, or the taste of honeysuckle on a summer afternoon. I love that the texture of the paper wrapping on a crayon can carry me back to a time when we ate raspberries straight off the vine, and I reveled in the soft coolness of a paper napkin that had come from the bottom of a picnic cooler at the beach, and wasn’t grossed out by a little sand in my tuna sandwich.
I think there’s a little bit of Delilah in all of us.
Hey there Delilah
Don’t you worry about the distance
I’m right there if you get lonely
Give this song another listen
Close your eyes
Listen to my voice it’s my disguise
I’m by your side