Teach Me Your Songs.

I always wonder about the things I see left by the side of the road. Why are people throwing away that old couch? Or what looks like a perfectly good table? Or a chair? Most of the time stuff gets left there because they’ve called a removal service to come and take it away but I wonder, would they mind if I pulled over and grabbed it? Most of the time it’s not something I want or even have space for, and in the case of that old couch, if it’s rained recently it’s probably not even worth taking. It’s going to be consigned to a sad fate in a dump somewhere.

And then there was the piano. The house it was sitting in front of was being completely refurbished—I mean there was a construction crew tearing the house apart from the inside, leaving the outside mostly intact, I guess so they could completely update it with a modern design. Maybe the house was falling apart inside but had solid bones that they considered worth keeping. Most of the time in my neighborhood when a house gets sold, even if it seems to be a perfectly good house, it gets completely demolished so they can build a McMansion that’s too big for the lot and taller than any of the other houses, so it was nice to see the outside of a house being preserved.

What about the piano, though? Since I was taking pictures I also tapped a few of the keys—they were sticky. I don’t mean my fingers stuck to them, but they were hard to press down and didn’t make much sound. Some were okay but even my tin ear could tell they were seriously off-key. It reminded me of a piano my grandparents had in their front living room, which sat under a reproduction of Gainsborough’s Blue Boy. Nobody ever played it except me—I liked tapping on the keys sometimes, but most of the time it sat closed. I never thought to ask why they even had it since no one in my family had any interest in music. Maybe, like the Gainsborough painting, it was just something post-war middle class suburban people had in their living rooms, along with overstuffed chairs and sofas.

There’s something special about a piano, though, something that makes me hope this piano will be rescued, that makes me hope the one from my grandparents’ house found a better home.

Here’s a song about rescuing a piano.

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2 Comments

  1. mydangblog

    I can’t count the number of treasures I’ve found at the side of the road! Pianos that don’t work are still great—you can use the keys to make art, make a desk out of the body—the possibilities are endless ????

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That piano really was something. It was a small piano, and, yeah, I could see the keys being turned into art, the body into a desk, even the wires and hammers repurposed in some way, but I also thought the whole thing could be cleaned up, maybe disassembled and put back together, as a working piano. Maybe I’m only thinking that because I was on my way to a music lesson when I saw it. 😀

      Reply

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