I’ve thought about the Robert Browning story, “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” lately. You remember the children’s story about the town of Hamelin that was being over taken by rats. The town council offered money to a piper to take the rats away, but when they refused to pay up, he took the children away as well.
Consider for a moment that Taylor Hicks is the pied piper and the children are the Soul Patrol. How many of us have heard the call? That sweet, whiskey-tenor voice that calls us dance wildly and let out shouts of “WHOOO” and “We love you Taylor” at random intervals. The guitar-strumming that leaves us puzzled as to how anyone can play open-handled and pick-less. That clinking of the tambourine as it pounds against the chest. Or those harmonica riffs that melt us to putty and cause us to scream out for more.
And what about the children of the Soul Patrol, those middle-aged, overweight, housewives as we’ve been called, whether the description is justified or not. We have attended his shows in packs, groups, cliques, or solo. We have attended multiple shows. We spend hours planning our next escape to watch this young man dance and dazzle us with his voice and instrumental ability. We have gathered in strange cities, far away from the safety of our homes. We’ve made friends with total strangers who share a common love.
It’s not really such a far stretch to see Taylor Hicks as the pied piper of soul or the Soul Patrol as those children. I’m guilty as charged. After a spring of multiple shows (check out the Traveling Circus), I’ve already packed my bags for the summer tour (yes, the Traveling Circus will be back). When I hear that harmonica, just like the children of Hamelin, I am beckoned to follow.
Will you be joining me on the summer journey? After all, it really is all about the music! And spending time with our fellow children! Do you hear it? That harmonica melody, the one that goes with “Long Train Running”? Are you ready to follow? I’ll meet you in Big Flats on Friday as we follow the sweet melody of our pied piper!
SOUL PATROL! Play on, Taylor Hicks! We’re right behind you!
Tags: Taylor Hicks, American Idol, Soul Patrol, RagsQueen, Traveling Circus