Bay Reflection
Vol. 9, No. 21
May 24-30, 2001
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Love’s Summer Song
I Know I've Heard that Song Before

by Hanne Denney

After a great dinner in Annapolis, we were driving home to Southern Anne Arundel County. My husband was telling us about his favorite new oldies radio station. On came one of my favorite oldies, "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond. You know the song, "hands reaching out, touching me, touching you "

I fell in love to that song many years ago. It was not my first love, but it was my first great romantic love. I still kind of swoon when I think of it. I was 16, living in Australia as an exchange student. That night, I was at a dinner party with some 10 other teenagers at a house high on a hill overlooking a bay of Sydney Harbor. We were dancing on a stone patio under the moonlight while sipping champagne (I know!). I was dancing for the first time with a boy named, well, let me keep that to myself.

The music of this song starts softly and builds to a crescendo that makes you feel as though your emotion is intensifying. When you listen to it in the arms of a very good-looking, very tanned, Australian surfer boy, it becomes the most memorable song of your young life. It became, for me, a song to fall in love by, a memory of sound to be treasured.

After a year's time, I came home and moved on with life. I've never been back to Australia, but I still hope to go one day. I don't know how that boy's life turned out, and I harbor no secret fantasies of reunion. I am married now and have danced with my husband, and certainly I am in love with him. I remember the moment when I knew we would be together as a family. It was exciting - even though there was no champagne and we weren't in Australia and he didn't surf.

There are times, when this song plays, when I can remember the feeling of falling in love while living in another land. I remember the squeezing of the heart when thinking of someone and that incredible longing to be with him now and forever. It is a good thing to remember. It helps me remember that I love my husband.

While my family and I drove home, I told them that I had fallen in love once while listening to "Sweet Caroline." But they weren't really interested, or maybe I've told them the story before. I let the memory fade away as the song ended.

It's wedding and prom season again, and young women are thinking of flowers and gowns and of ways to share their special feelings for someone. Brides are picking the special song for that first dance as Mr. And Mrs., and committees are picking songs to be themes for proms. Song will help them, too, recover their treasured moment. You know the moment I mean: the one when you knew you'd never feel quite that same way again.

If we can remember the moment of first love, of love's exhilaration, of love's promise, we can remember why we came to be with that special someone.

Celebrate the feeling, celebrate the love you have in your life. Celebrate the romantic memories, and go make some new ones. Go play some music. Surely somewhere, you have a CD with that song on it. Or turn on the oldies station. They'll play it eventually.

Copyright 2001
Bay Weekly