A Song for My 30th Birthday

I feel a bit uneasy to break with what feels by now like a well-established tradition, but I have not chosen a song by the great Paul Simon as this year’s Song for My Birthday. Instead, I have chosen one of my all-time favorite songs, one that calls us to hold on to the people of our lives. As someone inspired by the Augustinian vision of friendship, and to whom the society of his friends has meant nearly as much as it did to St Augustine, I celebrate on my 30th birthday a lifetime of making friends and holding on to them. Yes, in the end, I know who will still be there.

Needless to say, I shall not tolerate the mockery of the odious philistines who fail to grasp even the most basic meaning of this wondrous song. And if MMMBop ruined the 90s for you, well, I guess that’s just too bad!

Many thanks to all for the birthday greetings and good wishes. The Irreverend Mr Ker sent me a lovely lingapotamus mug as a gift, for which I am most thankful. I’ll upload a picture as soon as I have access to a camera. Also, Dan, Yvette, and an as yet anonymous third person have kindly gifted me with books from my Amazon Wish List. To them I am profoundly grateful. Although two of these three books have already been delivered, I have not yet seen them, since they were shipped to Michigan, where I will be moving at the end of September. So, I’m looking forward to reading them about a month from now! (And of course, if you felt inclined to soothe the sorrows of my old age but thought you had missed your chance, this means that you still have a few more weeks to exercise your munificence!)

Once again, thanks to one and all.

Previous Songs for My Birthday:


13 responses to “A Song for My 30th Birthday

  1. Happy birthday Compadre,

    I wish I could cooperate with you Amazon Wishlist but I live on a grad student’s stipend. Still, hope you had a nice day, particularly with the apparent gift that John McCain gave us on his birthday.

    Michael Palin 2008!


  2. Thanks, my friend! No worries about the Wish List; I know full well the woes of living in a ridiculously reduced fixed income! Besides, I’m almost certain that I couldn’t reciprocate come October. ;-)

    As for McCain’s “gift,” I’ll just borrow the response of another friend of mine: “That crafty little weasel!”


  3. New song to me.

    Enjoy the day, you old coot. And BTW sorry about your computer getting zapped. Is it repairable?


  4. Dave> Well, how refreshing! :-) Admittedly, the song was, shall we say, a bit overplayed in its day. Heh.

    And I did enjoy my day–in part, thanks to my awesome, custom-made lingapotamus mug. Woohoo! As for the computer, well, at least it appears I shall be able to extract my extensive files. So I'm in the market for a new computer (hopefully a laptop, since I'm moving and all). We'll see what happens between now and the end of September!

    Manuel> ¡Muchísimas gracias! Y por supuesto, bendiciones también a ti y a los tuyos–tu hermosa famila, tu congregación, y tus afortunados estudiantes.


  5. Dude, “a bit overplayed” is an understatement. I had completely forgotten about them until last night. I’m working hard on my proposal and now I can’t sleep because you gave me nightmares with Hanson…


  6. Yes, and ‘Mmmbop’ needn’t be overplayed at all in order to become tenaciously lodged in one’s mind, the harmonised, scat chorus repeating itself ridiculously until all ability to concentrate on the business of life is hopelessly dissipated. Thank you, however, for you have given me a new appreciation for it.


  7. A very happy birthday to you, young man!

    When is your name day? Do you have a Slava as an adoptive Serb?


  8. When I read the first paragraph I was expecting this equally bad song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbPKaIozS-c

    I turned 30 last December and have experienced a strange mixture of clarity of thinking and forgetfulness.

    I am on the 2 living children with 1 on the way budget and so I cannot afford to fulfill your Amazon wishes either. If I could afford to do so, I would probably send you a copy of “What Does This Mean?” by Dr. James Voelz. It’s hermeneutics textbook that I just recently finished reading and I think you would like it. So I will have to be like that man that St. James wrote about who said, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled” to the naked and starving man (James is part of the antilegomena so why should I care what he thinks anyhow. He doesn’t even get an icon in my Orthodox Greek New Testament. Loser!).


  9. Juhem> To echo the response of every 13-year-old girl who was bonkers about Hanson c. 1997, "You're just jealous"!!!

    Aaron> Wow, way to come dangerously close to be labeled a wholly odious philistine, but redeem yourself at the end! ;-) Meanwhile, all this talk of harmonized, scat choruses lodging itself in one's mind only reminds me of post-Petrine Russian Church music.

    Doug> Oh, come on! You know you love Hanson, and rock hard to them in private. Heck, I bet you can even sing the Mmmbop chorus flawlessly without giving it a second thought!

    Kevin> Thank you ever so much! And yes, like all civilized people, I have a Krsna Slava: the holy Protomartyr and Equal to the Apostles Thekla, who is feasted on 24 September (7 October, N. S.). My nameday is 11 November (24 Novemeber, N. S.), the feast of St Stefan of Dečani, King of Serbia.

    Charles> Must you defile my blog with such dreck?! I will have you know that I listen to Real Music, which necessarily excludes the senseless screeches of MWS.

    Your comments about turning 30 were most enlightening, but I'm afraid I've already forgotten why.

    No worries about the Wish List, but I do thank you for the book recommendation! I will certainly look into it; I love me some hermeneutics textbooks. As for the holy Apostle and Brother of the Lord James, watch thy mouth, O Lutheran! Or better, think to thyself: What Would Piepkorn Do? ;-)


  10. I was skeptical about the song at first, but I actually like the more mature sound of an older Hanson over the overplayed kiddie sound version from the 90s. I actually understood the words this time and it was a good choice for your song. So, don’t let anybody make fun of your choice. Anybody who’s been fated to share a birthday with John McCain and Jim West deserves some slack.


  11. Why, THANK YOU, Doug! I knew that someone out there would understand not only my choice of song, but also my birthday-sharing plight. ;-)


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