Coming Back to the Accordion (and Happiness)

Frank Cerebino wrote a great piece referencing Accordion Awareness Month in his blog for the Palm Beach Post. At first, I thought it was just going to be another excuse to make bad accordion jokes, but he instead writes about how he played as a youngster, abandoned the instrument, and then unexpectedly picked it up again after 25 years. Frank was lured back by his “accidental discoveries” of the instrument’s beauty, like strolling accordions in cafes, Yann Tiersen’s beautiful Amelie soundtrack, and the powerful tangos of Astor Piazzolla.

The whole piece is worth reading, but I wanted to share a fantastic Carl Sandburg poem he quoted. It’s called “Happiness” and was first published in Sandburg’s Chicago Poems in 1916:

I asked the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell me what is happiness.

And I went to famous executives who boss the work ofthousands of men.

They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though I was trying to fool with them

And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along the Desplaines river

And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with their women and children and a keg of beer and an accordion.

Amen, Carl!

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