“I Get by with a Little Help from my Friends”

Music helps too

I notice when I start to sing a tune which seems to be out of the blue but when I check on the lyrics, I know it’s something more.

“What would you think if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me?”

I let go and I’m in a space that’s freely me. If I’m at home, I’ll reach for the keyboard. Sometimes the notes just play me. Simple chords. My fingers know where to go and they follow my heart.

“Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song. And I’ll try not to sing out of key.”

I get a little less shy and put my voice to the notes. You see, a very long time ago I wanted to be jazz singer, but my stage fright was so intense my throat would close. Only a few friends, back then knew of my dream.

“I get by with a little help from my friends. I get high with a little help from my friends.”

My love at that time was with a drummer. We were 19 or 20. He introduced me to Pat Matheny, Thelonious Monk, Jethro Tull, Dave Brubeck, Charlie Parker, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie….

His best friend played the piano and the piano players father played a mean bass. My other dear, dear friend sang.

Over the years she was pivotal and coaxed me out from my closet. We’d belt out tunes in her dorm room and once in a blue moon we’d sing for her family. They’d clap and smile. Brava! I felt a bit famous and above all intimately heard, loved and encouraged.

“How do I feel by the end of the day? (Are you sad because you’re on your own). No, I get by with a little help from my friends.”

Back then, in the 80’s, the drinking age was 18. I looked about 12 so I was carded at every jazz bar we went. Sitting as close to the front, whenever possible, I’d soaked up the vibes, feeling the rhythm of each set made me alive. Wherever we went, it was a felt community. Musicians and lovers of music are often a sentimental breed.

The smaller the place filled the room quicker with smoke and brought us all closer. It seemed we all wore the colors of bourbon and whiskey. If there were standing room only, we knew we were about to hear something next to holy. At those moments’ music was my lover.

“Would you believe in a love at first sight? Yes, I’m certain that it happens all the time. What do you see when you turn out the light? I can’t tell you, but I know it’s mine.”

As I write this, I’m smitten with this one song that has sang through me since yesterday and has stayed with me as I write this piece. I’m a little teary. Music is everything and not. I still need to touch in with nature but somehow music and nature are kin and keep asking and answering me.

“Do you need anybody? I just need somebody to love. Could it be anybody? I want somebody to love.”

Yes and no, I tell no one in particular. For now, I’m flying solo with my invisible and trusted soulmate, music and of course my close, close friends.

“Yes, I get by with a little help from my friends.”

Thank you and much love, Carolyn xo

NOTE: Lyrics from With a Little Help from My Friends, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, released on The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967.

Carolyn Riker is a poet, writer and author. She has two books of poetry: Blue Clouds and This is Love. In addition to writing, she has a private practice as a highly sensitive mental health therapist. If you would like to read more of her words, follow her on Facebook at Carolyn Riker, MA, LMHC.

Dreamer. Poet. HSP. Empath. Licensed MH Therapist. 3 books published. 3X Top Writer. Love espressos & my chunky cat. www.carolynriker.com

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