Patterico's Pontifications


Music by My Dad

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:11 pm

My sister asked me today to write down a song that my dad wrote as a kid. She wants her daughter, my niece, to learn it. I think Dad told us that he was 12 years old when he wrote it. He never wrote it down, but he taught me to play the song, and I never forgot it. Now that Dad’s gone, I think I’m the only person in the world who knows how to play it, or knows how it goes.

I hope that will change now.

My sister’s request motivated me to learn (awkwardly so far) a music note-writing program called NoteFlight. I wrote down Dad’s piece over the last couple of hours and exported it to a .pdf. It also made a nice MIDI file which very roughly approximates what the song sounds like when I play it.

I’m pleased to share it with you. It’s not right that this neat little tune should be lost to the world, so here’s my attempt to preserve it. Pianists, feel free to print out the tune and give it to anyone you like.

Sheet music:

Dad's Song

(Hit the arrows at the bottom left of this embedded image to scroll back and forth between the two pages. You have to hover the cursor over the image to see the arrows.)

MIDI file (as a .wav). This sounds a little robotic as it’s just a rendition of a MIDI file by a computer program, but hey. It’s better than nothing.

Nice job, Dad.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

16 Responses to “Music by My Dad”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. Haunting and lovely.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  3. Thanks, Beldar.

    If he were here today I would ask him: “Did you really say you wrote that at age 12?” But I’m almost positive I asked him that more than once when he was alive and he said yes.

    He had a wonderful singing voice. It was a pleasure to sit next to him in church when he sang hymns. Even today I always sit in the same place at the church I go to today, right in front of a man with a similar baritone voice, because it reminds me of being near my dad.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  4. And the crowd goes wild.


    Dave (1bb933)

  5. Yes, it is nice.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. It’s a delight, with surprising turns of mood. Wonderful that you’re preserving it, and sharing it.

    Radegunda (1db015)

  7. Wonderful.

    Evocative of Michel Legrand.

    Ed from SFV (6d42fa)

  8. Wow. Great. Seems like a murder mystery theme song. Much enjoyed – thanks for sharing.

    JRM (c80289)

  9. This is really good

    Dustin (6d7686)

  10. Delightful.
    Have you tried putting words to it?

    mg (8cbc69)

  11. Although our dad wrote this around 1937, this always made me think of how it would have been perfect music for the end credits of a lot of films back in the 60’s & 70’s.

    Brotherico (dfc953)

  12. “Play Misty for Me”?

    mg (8cbc69)

  13. I think it would sound great on a plucked zither. A bouzouki too.

    Here’s the theme from The Third Man, mg.

    nk (dbc370)

  14. Good call, nk.
    I loved it.

    mg (8cbc69)

  15. Nice tune.

    nk – another reminder of that small subset of movie fans who (after you recommend TTM as an all-time classic) come back later to tell you ‘pretty good except for that horrible music’.

    harkin (647002)

  16. Sweet

    Brent (81f0a6)

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