…on my knees and I pretend to pray

Wha’?  February 29th and after a near-snow-free winter there’s snow in the forecast for much of the Baystate?  As the leap-year storm hasn’t arrived there’s only its portent and I know I’ve told this story before but, beyond that debut album cover of the four of them in the bathtub (1966’s “If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears”), The Mamas & The Papas will forever come to mind when the weather is raw and wintry, but not quite white.

The 28th of December 1981 in Northern Ireland was just such a day. I was bumming around Ulster Province, which (at the time) was one of the few places outside America where it was actually beneficial to look like an American. It was early and having purchased my railway ticket to Belfast at the station in Coleraine, I had just enough time for a quick cuppa’ tea. So I was sitting by the window in a nearby cafe (pronounced “kaff”) when a local farmer sporting a flat cap and soiled tweed jacket pulled up on a tractor, clearly his way of getting around, and entered the shop next door.

Time was tight and I soon headed back to the station, marveling along the way how quintessentially Irish this scene was, what with that farmer in his wellies and the morning mist mingling with the smell of peat smoke from someone’s fireplace. Then I passed the tractor…with its built-in radio blaring today’s selection (and ‘pop’ went the reverie).

Written by John and Michelle Phillips in 1963 while they were living in New York and recorded and released in 1965, this was The Mamas & The Papas breakthrough single and it quickly peaked at Number 4 on the U.S. Charts and Number 23 in the UK.

TODAY’S SONG – Wednesday 29 February 2012

California Dreamin’

All the leaves are brown

And the sky is grey

I’ve been for a walk

On a winter’s day

I’d be safe and warm

If I was in L.A.

California Dreamin’

On such a winter’s day

 Stopped into a church

I passed along the way

Well, I got down on my knees

And I pretend to pray

 You know the preacher likes the cold

He knows I’m gonna’ stay

California Dreamin’

On such a winter’s day

All the leaves are brown

And the sky is grey

I’ve been for a walk

On a winter’s day

If I didn’t tell her

I could leave today

California Dreamin’

On such a winter’s day

On such a winter’s day

On such a winter’s day

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