When I first met Charles he had, among other appealing attributes, a nice repertoire of old time jazzy, ragtime piano music. Alexander's Ragtime Band, The Dark Town Strutter's Ball, You Made me Love You, Five foot two - and he played Nola, with great dexterity and liveliness. Probably it sounded like this video, as he learned many of the pieces he played from his cousin's Player Piano.
We learned to play a few duets and entertained the children with them, - mostly Sousa Marches. Charles was into marches, having played the tuba in the school band, and then in the Penticton City Band after we were married.
After a while, when he was leading a very busy life, and his fingers lost some of their dexterity, he drifted away from the piano, and it is difficult to coax him to sit and let his fingers remember the tunes we once so enjoyed listening to.
Just lately I came across the sheet music for 'Nola' which Felix Arndt composed for his wife in 1915.
In the early years, when we both played, I had tinkled out the tune, but never really learned it properly so that my fingers respond to the melody, and this morning as I stumbled through it I caught him as he passed the piano and asked for a demonstration, but he was off to do important things, and so I sighed and swung into the Peacherine Rag.
But one of these days.....
Our oldest son has inherited his father's strong, rhythmic left hand and I do admire it in both of them.
Felix Arndt's lyrics to Nola
I realize within your eyes for me there lies a paradise
What other bliss is like a kiss from pretty lips I idolize\You are so sweet and you are so neat
A girl like you I'd never meet
Just to behold you is a treat that's hard to beat.
Nothing I do can show how true I am to you, my only one
Cuddle up near and let me hear a word to cheer your lonely one
Your winning style my heart beguiles
For one sweet smile I'd walk a mile
Let me enfold you in my arms awhile.
When You're near the birds sing in the trees pretty harmonies
All the world is humming a melody
When away from you I may be straying
Then my heart keeps saying
You're the heart of me, part of me, all of me
Nola, heed and listen while I plead, you're the one I need
Life for me is nothing but misery
Nola, Nola, hear your lonesome lovesick sweetheart calling Nola