Allow me to set the stage for you: it’s morning, and I am NOT in any way a morning person (mourning? yes. morning? no! however I think there’s a good reason these words sound alike); my husband brings me a cup of coffee (because he’s amazing like that) and then proceeds to check his Facebook feed on his phone. This is where he discovers that someone has shared something about a cover of Stairway To Heaven, and he clicks the link and listens to said cover. I won’t go into details. It’s very good, as covers go, if a bit too much like the original for me (after all we HAVE the original already; I believe in putting your own stamp on a cover, not trying to make a carbon copy; I see no point in that… but I really, really digress, as this is not what this post is about). Then, he finished looking at what he was looking at and prepared to leave for work, leaving me with a cup of coffee and an earworm.
The opening riff of Stairway To Heaven wouldn’t leave me be. On a technical level, this is not a complicated song. What makes it what it is, is simply the artistry of the performers and, no matter one’s interpretation of the song, or whether you like it or not, that artistry is quite tremendous. This makes Stairway to Heaven a song that most people consider a guitar classic. A guitar classic that was now stuck in my head.
Sitting on the bed, I gazed down to the floor where my lyre harp sat. I picked her up and began plucking that opening riff. And, it sounded pretty. It sounded light and bright, instead of dark, but still haunting and unmistakably Stairway To Heaven.
I went on to record it on my phone and make it my ringtone.
Why play a guitar riff on a lyre harp? Answer: because I can. Why make said riff my ringtone? Again, because I can.
See, there are just a whole hell of a lot of things I can’t do, things I am prevented from doing for one reason or another. I find life to be a very great adversary, and most days the uphill, losing battle is extremely obvious. But, while everyone with a smartphone has the capability to create their own ringtone, not everyone could make one that sounds good. Not everyone can play the lyre harp, and not just anyone would have thought to play Stairway To Heaven on it even if they did know how to play one! All the things I cannot do sometimes feels like a very unfunny joke. Oh, but what I can do seems like a highly amusing one – a laugh in life’s face.
I did it because I could. And, in a world where I don’t fit and don’t belong, it’s being ABLE to do things like this (and, then actually DOING them), that can bring a feeling of cool accomplishment (and, yeah, that bit of needed laughter). ‘Yeah, I rock. Hear my ringtone? I’m not going to answer my phone, because I suffer from social anxiety and don’t answer or make phone calls, but just listen to that lovely ringtone. Isn’t it nice? I played that. Yup. I made that. Why, yes. That is Stairway To Heaven. Played upon the lyre harp. Yes, it is.’
Life is a harsh bastard. So, I take what I can get. And, I give what I can give, as well. And, I do it….because I bloody well can.