Classic Songs of My Youth Revisited #7

Edward Bear – Last Song

I don’t remember how old I was when I first attended a dance, but it was definitely well before my 12th birthday, because I was still 11 when I experienced my first heartbreak at one of those dances. But before Patsy Jessome tore my heart apart – yes, I went there – on an earlier Friday (probably the one exactly seven days earlier, given the trajectory of our “relationship”), she and I had certainly danced to “Last Song” by Edward Bear. I know that because every dance I went to at that point in my life ended with Larry Evoy singing us into the night. Well, evening – they always ended at 8:00 pm. (Shoutout to the friends who had my back that night when I cried like a kitten at an empty food dish – you know who you are (or maybe you don’t – it naturally was a bigger deal to me).)

My first dances were the Friday sock hops at the church hall in Florence, the village closest to mine where I attended elementary school. This was the Catholic hall and I was Catholic, but that was just incidental – I often went to the Saturday evening Protestant church hall events, and would have gladly spent time with Rosicrucians or Santerians for the chance to spring awkward boners in the close proximity of a pretty classmate.

I know the classic end-of-dance tune is “Stairway to Heaven” – the Barenaked Ladies didn’t sing about Edward Bear in “Grade 9” – but that wasn’t how our disc jockey rolled in 1975-76 Florence. Maybe he thought we were idiots – even the dimmest altar boy couldn’t miss the message – or maybe he needed the reminder himself or maybe it was a CanCon thing. Maybe he just loved the song.

In any event, this was our song. Was it any good? Eh, not really – it’s a slow poppy tune that’s perfect for the side-to-side shuffle we called a waltz, but the lyrics are nothing special and the music diabetes-inducing sweet. But at 7:55 pm on a Friday with the girl you’re in love with that week in your arms (well, your hands on her waist and hers on your shoulders), it was the greatest fucking song ever. So, yes, it wasn’t good – it was, for that brief moment in time, the greatest fucking song ever. And that’s all that matters.

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