Pop Pop’s Song

In 2004 Andy and I were at the Blind Lemon listening to a guy with a guitar sing. We liked him but then he invited his friend, Griffin House, to sing a few songs. Andy and I loved him. As we were leaving the Blind Lemon we ran into Griffin House. I told him I liked his music. He said he wasn’t the one who was playing that night. A friend of his cut in and said he was just being humble and that he had, indeed, played a few songs. At the time, Andy and I still didn’t know his name—he was just a guy with a guitar who played a few songs at the Blind Lemon, and we liked them.

Either that Sunday or a few Sundays later, Andy and I were watching one of our favorite shows, CBS Sunday Morning. Bill Flanagan did a short series on the best emerging songwriters in the U.S. Griffin House was on that list—he played a song from House’s album, Lost and Found. “Wasn’t that the guy from the Blind Lemon?” I asked Andy.

It was. From then on, we were hooked.

We’ve been to many of his concerts throughout the years. One was with my parents, at an outdoor amphitheater, in Springfield, OH. My dad particularly liked House’s song “The Guy Who Says Goodbye to You is Out of His Mind.”

A few years later Sophie was born. We’d often dance with her, while listening to House’s various albums. And my dad always danced with her to “The Guy Who Says Goodbye to You is Out of His Mind.” In our family, it became known as Pop Pop’s song.

Sophie doesn’t remember much from when she was very young. But she knows this song. And still, to this day, out of the blue she’ll ask us, “Can I hear Pop Pop’s Song?” And when we play it in the car for her, she now sings along, softly—she knows the entire chorus by heart.

I thought for sure I had a video of my dad dancing with Sophie to this song. But last night, after much searching, Andy and I couldn’t find it. We did, however, find this, which was recorded about 1-1/2 years ago, right around her 2nd birthday:

I love her “dancing.” I love how, even at 2, she’s already singing some of the words. And call me sentimental but if she chooses to marry someday, I like to think of her dancing to this song with my dad years from now, at her wedding.

Tomorrow night Griffin House is giving a free show at 6pm at Veteran’s Park Amphitheater in Springfield, OH. Sophie and I will be in North Carolina, with my parents, visiting my sister and her family. But you should go. Next year, we’ll take Sophie—so she can hear Pop Pop’s song in person.

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” —Berthold Auerbach