Not theYellow Ribbon I’d Expected

Posted on April 22, 2013

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Yellow ribbon around oak

A symbol of love and loyalty.

I hate it when somebody bursts that fragile, romantic bubble I attach to songs, places, etc. For instance, the other day Hubby and I were enjoying a cool beverage in the warm sunshine (hooray, finally) and listening to the oldies channel of our favourite 70’s tunes, when a real blast from the past started to play. A smile washed over my face as Tony Orlando and Dawn began that very recognizable tune “Tie a Yellow Ribbon (Round the Ol’ Oak Tree)”.  The two of us unabashedly started warbling aloud. During the instrumental refrain I asked Hubby if he’d like me to tie a ribbon around our cherry tree when he returns home from a trip. Romantic, right? That’s when he commented that I knew the song was about being incarcerated, right? After all these years singing along, I’d apparently dismissed that fact that it was about a criminal coming home. I’d always envisioned a military man returning from a deployment far away, hoping that his sweetheart would be waiting for him. In my mind, Tony Orlando could never be a felon. A great song – about a felon.

When I went back and reviewed the lyrics, I also realized that my 70’s-styled, shaggy swooner talked about doing three years in prison. By today’s standards, that would make him a serious predator, maybe a person charged with assault at the very least, maybe a corporate fraudster – yikes! (That’s it, probably a con artist with his smooth voice, vested suit and platform shoes. And that flashy smile. Those back-up singers, his “girls”, likely have some suspect interests in his organization too, I just know it!) How was I so naive all this time?!

But then Hubby pulled me back to reality after watching the video clip himself. He remarked how he used to wear those similar 3-piece suits “back in the day”. That jogged my memory of that time decades ago when styles were bold, hairdo’s were long and shaggy, a little “bling” was cool, and platform shoes were an amazing asset for a short gal like myself. Hubby had long wavy blonde locks back then, not that different from Tony O’s. That feeling of romance started to creep back into my head. Some great memories. Yeah, I’d wrap a few yellow ribbons ’round a fruit tree if my sweetie was coming home – but then again, his only crime would be that he takes up too much of the bed.

Alas, I’m going to continue to sing along with Tony Orlando and Dawn because the music makes me want to move and it reminds me of a special time. Truly reformed criminals deserve a second chance. Hubby says I don’t even have to worry about any yellow ribbon on the cherry tree either.

Tony Orlando and Dawn

A 70’s favourite – Tony Orlando and Dawn

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Posted in: Mid-Life Quirks