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Alfred J. Garrotto

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· There's More: A Novella of Life and Afterlife

· The Saint of Florenville: A Love Story

· The Wisdom of Les Miserables: Lessons From the Heart of Jean Valjean

· Down a Narrow Alley

· I'll Paint a Sun

· Circles of Stone

· A Love Forbidden

· Finding Isabella

· Battling Writer's Guilt

· The Saint With the Dragon Tattoo

· My Cello Year

· In a Child's Eyes

· We Both Had Dads Named Joseph

· Highjacked by a Great Novel

· When All Else Fails

· House of Faith

· Keep It Simple . . . The Way Jesus Did

· O How Will We Ever Pay For All This?

· A Wedding Prayer-Poem

· A Prayer for Esther on Her Birthday

· Earth Mother”

· In Memory of Bill Joyce

· Aging Actor

· Graduation 2003 . . . Wedding 2010

· A Wedding Toast

· Driver's Prayer

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Books by Alfred J. Garrotto
A Little Night Music
By Alfred J. Garrotto
Last edited: Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2009

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Recent articles by
Alfred J. Garrotto

• Catholicism in a Nutshell
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           >> View all 27
How I sang my grandson to sleep.


Sing, Papi, sing."


I obeyed and, in a near whisper, sang the refrain of "Springtime In the Rockies." Every night for three weeks this past summer, I repeated this command performance in the pitch-dark stillness of my two-year-old grandson's bedroom.

When it's springtime in the Rockies,
">">When it's springtime in the Rockies,
I'll be coming back to you,
little sweetheart of the mountains,
with your bonny eyes so (true ).
Once again I'll say I love you.
and the birds sing all the day,
when it's springtime in the Rockies,
in the Rockies far away.


Why "Springtime in the Rockies"? Call it a resurrected legacy, the only song I remember verbatim from my early childhood. Once in a while, my dad would pull out his black acoustic guitar and sing to my sisters and me. I don't know if he included the verses. All I remember is the refrain. Dad had a wider repertoire, of course, consisting mostly of Italian ballads, but "Springtime" burrowed into my brain, waiting decades for an opportunity to regift.  

Oddly, I don't remember singing "Springtime in the Rockies" to my two daughters. Somehow, this lovely melody only resurfaced, when my grandson was born. The refrain speaks of undying love and a steadfast pledge ("I'll be coming back to you") that endures across great distances and monumental obstacles. My twangy rendition seemed to soothe him, as I cradled  him in the crook of my elbow, and he nestled against my chest.  It's been our "thing" ever since, our unique point of contact. 

If I ever doubted the importance of "our song," my grandson gave me the answer one night. I sang and sang and sang the refrain, but he couldn't say goodbye to our day in the park, feeding ducks and swinging "up to the sky." Weary of repeating myself, I switched gears, making up some dumb song of my own. 

Out of the darkness came a tiny, but decisive, instruction: "No, Papi, 'Springtime.' "



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