…you’re never gonna keep me down

There’s no actual time written on the official Statement of Live Birth, which (unnervingly) is in my handwriting (that’s how it’s done in the Province of Ontario) so I’ll have to rely on recollection in saying that he was born at around 01:30, the morning of Wednesday 17 April 1991 at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto.

After receiving stellar advice we’d brought a cooler to the delivery room with sandwiches (for the waiting father), beer (ostensibly for the post-partum mother to help with lactation) and champagne for all participants, except the doctor…and the baby.  We also brought pillows, a telephone, playing cards and a cassette player.

Other than the cards, (just couldn’t get a game going) all else came in handy because it…took…a…long…time (hours and hours) for those final centimeters of dilation. Although Linda wasn’t eating much besides Lime Jello, I eventually availed myself of the sandwiches, and the beer too (he started out lactose intolerant in any event). After which I made use of the phone. We knew there was a betting pool about the baby’s birth amongst members of the family so I called to lock in my bet.  I know, that’s “insider knowledge,” but I never collected in the end.

Midnight came and went and as Linda had enough pillows, thank you, I availed myself of the ones from home and we dozed a bit with Puccini on the cassette player. Then came “Um, honey, you’d better get the doctor,” and everything happened in a flash.  I held Linda’s hand and worked on the rhythmic breathing (nearly hyperventilating and passing out due to the surgical mask I was wearing) and Giles was born with the Aria from Madame Butterfly playing in the background.

Soon the cork was popped (we left most of the bottle for the grateful nurses who were having a slow night), phone calls were made to expectant grandparents and it was time for mother and baby to get some rest…and father to go home.  By now it was nearly 03:00 a.m. and while stopped at a red light on Bay Street I saw a homeless fellow asleep on a subway grate, so I leapt out of my car and handed him a $5 bill.  Next block same thing. On this day, it seemed important for everyone to be happy, if only just a little bit.

In later years Giles and I would learn how to snowboard together.  Eventually he got really good while I was ordered by my eye specialists to revert to skiing (after lots of surgery, “no falling allowed”) but today’s selection was the song we liked to sing together back in the earlier, free-falling stages.  That it has a more literal meaning that might be applicable to a 21 year old college kid in New Orleans is beside the point.

Written and recorded by the British band Chumbawumba, Tubthumping was released on their 1997 album of the same name.  It peaked at Number 2 on the UK Singles Charts and Number 6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. That sampled monologue at the very beginning is the late Pete Postlewaite in the 1996 film, Brassed Off.

Happy Birthday, Old Man.

LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Tuesday 17 April

Tubthumping

 The truth is, I thought it mattered

I thought that music mattered

But does it? Bollocks! Not compared to how people matter

(We’ll be singing, when we’re winning, we’ll be singing)

 I get knocked down, but I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

I get knocked down, but I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

I get knocked down, but I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

I get knocked down, but I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

(Pissing the night away, pissing the night away)

He drinks a whisky drink, he drinks a vodka drink

He drinks a lager drink, he drinks a cider drink

He sings the songs that remind him of the good times

He sings the songs that remind him of the best times

(Oh Danny Boy, Danny Boy, Danny Boy)

I get knocked down, but I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

I get knocked down, but I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

I get knocked down, but I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

I get knocked down, but I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

(Pissing the night away, pissing the night away)

He drinks a whisky drink, he drinks a vodka drink

He drinks a lager drink, he drinks a cider drink

He sings the songs that remind him of the good times

He sings the songs that remind him of the best times

(Don’t cry for me, next door neighbour)

 I get knocked down, but I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

I get knocked down, but I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

I get knocked down, but I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

I get knocked down, but I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

I get knocked down

(We’ll be singing)

But I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

 (When we’re winning)

You’re never gonna keep me down

 (We’ll be singing)

But I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

 (Ooh)

I get knocked down

(We’ll be singing)

But I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

 (When we’re winning)

I get knocked down

(We’ll be singing)

But I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

 (Ooh)

I get knocked down

(We’ll be singing)

But I get up again

(Pissing the night away)

You’re never gonna keep me down

 (When we’re winning)

I get knocked down

(We’ll be singing)

But I get up again

(Pissing the night away)

You’re never gonna keep me down

 (Ooh)

I get knocked down

(We’ll be singing)

But I get up again

(Pissing the night away)

You’re never gonna keep me down

 (When we’re winning)

I get knocked down

(We’ll be singing)

But I get up again

(Pissing the night away)

You’re never gonna keep me down

 (Ooh)

 I get knocked down

(We’ll be singing)

But I get up agai

(Pissing the night away)

You’re never gonna keep me down

 (When we’re winning)

I get knocked down

(We’ll be singing)

But I get up again

(Pissing the night away)

You’re never gonna keep me down

 (Ooh)

 I get knocked down

(We’ll be singing)

But I get up again

(Pissing the night away)

You’re never gonna keep me down

 (When we’re winning)

I get knocked down

(We’ll be singing)

But I get up again

(Pissing the night away)

You’re never gonna keep me down

 (Ooh)

 I get knocked down

(We’ll be singing)

But I get up again

(Pissing the night away)

You’re never gonna keep me down

 (When we’re winning)

I get knocked down

(We’ll be singing)

But I get up again

(Pissing the night away)

You’re never gonna keep me down

 (Ooh)

 I get knocked down

(We’ll be singing)

But I get up again

(Pissing the night away)

You’re never gonna keep me down

 (When we’re winning)

I get knocked down

(We’ll be singing)

But I get up again

(Pissing the night away)

You’re never gonna keep me down

 (Ooh)

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