Mojo, my Dad, the Cowans and I; doing what comes naturally


I just saw the most beautiful you-tube video of a couple, Marlow (91) and Frances Cowan (85), who’ve been married for 62 years – and obviously for all the right reasons – playing an impromptu duet on a piano they came across in the clinic they booked into for a checkup in September 2008.   When I watched them, Marlow reminded me of my Dad, it was uncanny.

Click here to see the video. Within a couple of days of being posted on YouTube it went viral and over 7 million people have watched it to date.

But the fame doesn’t mean much to the Cowans, doesn’t seem to have much of a pull at all.   They’ve enjoyed it – and loved being flown to New York to play for TV’s Good Morning America – but the truth is they’ve always been entertaining people, teaching, travelling for recitals and to give classes – and that’s what matters to them.   Seriously, if you watch them, you can see how much fun they’re having.   It’s infectious.

Bruce Horst said yesterday “I think being cool is being able to do what you want and not worry about what other people think”.   These guys are the epitome of that.   “We don’t use words like ‘celebrity’ around here,” Marlow said.   “We don’t think much about being famous.   We just like to do what we do.

My father was like that.   He used to play the accordion, and sang beautifully, poured his heart out, a true entertainer.   The idea of fame didn’t have any pull for him either, it was all in the doing, and the general pleasure of it all.   He was a real man of the heart.   He knew about joy, and he knew how to spread it around generously.   That’s what music is about, for me.   The idea of fame, glitz and glamor, and wearing heavenly outfits  is tremendously exciting but only because it’s like playing dress-up!   The most exciting thing is the fun of the doing, actually singing, pouring your heart out.

I lost sight of that for a while, but it’s coming back.   I guess that’s what mojo is.   My Dad said to me countless times “I don’t care what you become, I just want you to be happy”.   That and “Don’t put a ceiling on your dreams”.   He had mojo in spades.    So do the Cowans; they’d have had a lot of fun singing and playing together!

One last word or three: that 7 million viewers have watched the Cowan’s YouTube video proves that fame isn’t always about getting it right, being perfect and doing what other people want.   It’s about having heart and doing what comes naturally.   People are drawn to it.   As for my father?   He isn’t alive in the flesh, but his spirit, his mojo, and the joy that he spread around so generously will live on forever.

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2 thoughts on “Mojo, my Dad, the Cowans and I; doing what comes naturally

  1. Hi J,
    I like this blogg… you’ve got a heart, a golden one and enormous talent. I wish the world was allowed to experience it. I remember you on the piano, the guitar, your voice, how clever you were with your hands, and that years ago! Don’t be hard one yourself, you will be discovered ‘cos you won’t give up on your dreams and shouldn’t. Are there any clinics, nursing homes, hospices where you could play ? As a start…. to fun !
    F.

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