My mother’s favorite song was Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” She wanted it played at her funeral, a request that my guitarist cousin Jack fulfilled.
Now as it happens, a running joke in my family was a Smothers Brothers-style “You’re the favorite” or “You’re the good son” bit between my brother and me. Some years ago, I was looking through a list of Billboard charts when I discovered that “Bridge” had been the number one song in the country when Mike was born. I called her, and in my finest tone of mock outrage, I delivered this info to my mom, and declared this was proof, dammit, that Mike was the favorite.
She laughed, of course, but then thought a minute. She said that she had fallen in love with the song because it had been a hit during my brother’s early months when his survival was rather dubious. She said, “I’d sit in the hospital and wonder if he was going to make it, but when I’d hear that song, I’d think things were going to be OK.”
Then she asked, “What was #1 when you were born, Smitty.”
I sighed, and told her.
I guess it explains why I play garage rock, though.