Dear Mr. Anonymous Band Director, I know you’re really angry, and I want you to know that I appreciate you taking us on this trip to Orlando and/or Los Angeles to be in this strange and occasionally terrifying Halloween pageant/parade thing. I’m sorry that I left my flute at home, but I’m going to try to make it up to you by fake-playing this trumpet that’s conveniently placed on the ground next to me. Uh oh, I can see by the look of insane rage on your anonymous yet vaguely familiar face (Mr. McMillian? Is that you? Oh, wait…Uncle Herbert?) that you’re not buying any of it, since I don’t even know how to hold a trumpet.
Hey, wait a minute, someone’s passing me a flute! But this isn’t my flute, it’s got some kind of goop sticking the keys down. Don’t look at me like that, Mr. Anonymous Band Director! Yeah, okay, so I sold my solid silver open hole flute when I was a starving graduate student, eating on my Texaco credit card, and replaced it with an el cheapo nickel beginner flute from a garage sale years later. I regret it more than you can know, trust me. But it does play just fine and there’s no goop in the keys. So stop staring me down and go talk to the many anonymous professors whose classes I forgot I was taking until the day of the final exam and was forced to take it anyway. I’m pretty sure they’re standing over there with my first grade class, the one that always laughs when I fall out of my desk over and over. In my underwear.
Now let’s rock out to some flute songs. Here’s a list of songs I found that have good flute parts. Of course, it’s an incomplete list (What?!!! No “John Barleycorn”?!!!) but it does list a bunch of good ones. Here’s a hilarious lip-synched version of “Going up the Country” – the flutist doesn’t even pretend to really be playing, ha! He’s not even holding it right, ha! I like to think I’d do the same thing in that situation. So as you are watching the bearded, biker-looking flutist doing his silly shenanigans, just substitute the band nerd above in your mind.
And now let’s hear from that flutist extraordinaire, Ian Anderson, performing one of my favorite songs ever. Ever. Again, please substitute the above band nerd in your mind. Just imagine me in tights and lace up boots posturing in a vaguely medieval way across the stage. What a dream come true that would be for me. In fact, I think I’ll get out the old beginner flute, put on some tights and boots, and lip/flute-synch in my living room to this video when I finish this post. Maybe. It won’t be as good without that jacket. And without me being Ian. In the shuffling madness of the locomotive breath…
You really can’t do a flute post without talking about Traffic, but they really warrant their own full post, so I’ll save my Traffic-raptures for later and simply say – here’s another of my favorite songs ever. Ever. It shouldn’t be too hard for you to pretend that I’m playing the flute on this song, since my pained flute-face above is pretty much identical to this one…
Okay, future Traffic post be damned…you know I can’t resist a little Barleycorn. I play this song on my humble little garage sale flute a lot and it sounds just fine. (You got that, Mr. Anonymous Band Director? It sounds just fine. Now be gone!)
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