Cradle Rock

My son will likely be the youngest concert-goer at a Joe Bonamassa concert next month. At 4 years of age, AJ can sing  7 of Joe’s most popular songs imperfectly (who among us hasn’t butchered the lyrics of songs we love only to find out the artist was saying something else altogether?), but the tune is always right. He has emulated Joe’s style for half of his life, so when seats were available in the front row of the balcony, offering him an unobstructed (and affordable) glimpse of his favorite musician, I couldn’t resist.

Why Joe? AJ chose him, not me. Never exposed to children’s music, he has been “rocking out” to Daddy’s music since he was only a month old. A VERY fussy child who always needed to be held, I would bounce with him in my arms for hours every day, in rhythm, while watching assorted concert DVDs. For 4 years, he has been exposed to everything from Dream Theater to Stevie Ray Vaughn, Symphony X to Bruce Springsteen and Evergrey to David Gilmour. And while he will often ask to listen to “big music” (think Heavy Metal), Joe has always been his favorite.

Later this year, his pre-school classmates will be going to shows of their own, The Wiggles, perhaps. And when the kids are talking about their respective concerts, I can already hear my boy now, “The Wiggles? Did they play John Henry?”

In anticipation of the concert, there has been more Joe Bonamassa playing in my home than any other artist. With the stereo on 4 hours per day, and a large library of live performances by Joe, there are many songs that I hear multiple times per day, one of which struck me as unintentionally profound the other day. One man might say that it was my moment of “Dorkitude.”

A staple of Joe’s setlist for the last couple of years has been a cover of a Rory Gallagher song, titled Cradle Rock. The song starts with this lyric:

If I was a cradle, would you let me rock?

This song got stuck in my head (against my will) and I found myself humming it unconsciously while rocking my daughter to sleep in the soft recliner in her nursery. When I thought of the lyric, I took pause…literally.

I stopped the rocking chair, with me in it (still holding my now sleeping daughter). I made a decision not to move; to see how long I could remain (comfortably) in the same position, without motion. In a few short seconds, I had the urge to move; it was overwhelming and distracting, however, I maintained my willful isometric pose. With a tight abdominal wall, shallow breathing, and tightened hamstrings, gluts and scapular stabilizers I held my posture, unmoving despite a compulsion to the contrary. I held on as long as I could tolerate…

…after almost 60 seconds, I began rocking again; as the tension that had built up was already dissipating, I shook my head thinking, “Man…that sucked.”

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