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散文佳作108篇 第84期:My Father's Music 我父亲的音乐

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My Father's Music

我父亲的音乐
我父亲的音乐

Wayne Kalyn

韦恩·卡林

I remember the day Dad first lugged the heavy accordion up our front stoop,taxing his smallframe. He gathered my mother and me in the living room and opened the case as if it were atreasure chest. "Here it is,"he said. "Once you learn to play, it'll stay with you for life."

我还记得那天,爸爸豁出瘦小的身躯,第一次把那沉甸甸的手风琴拖上我们家的门廊。他把妈姆和我召到客厅,打开箱子,好像那是个百宝箱似的.“给,”。他说,“你一学会拉它,它就跟你终身做伴。”

If my thin smile didn't match his full-fledged grin, it was because I had prayed for a guitar or apiano. It was 1960, and I was glued to my AM radio,listening to Del Shannon and ChubbyChecker. Accordions were nowhere in my hit parade. As Ilooked at the shiny white keys andcream-colored bellows, I could already hear my friends' squeeze box jokes.

我淡淡一笑,满不像他那么喜笑颜开,可那是因为裁一直巴望着有一把吉他,或一架钢琴。当时是1960年,我迷上了在调幅广播里收听戴尔·香农和查比·切克的音乐。手风琴在我的流行曲目里根本排不上号。看着那白晃晃的琴键和奶油色的风箱,我都可以听到伙伴们嘲弄这玩意儿的声音。

For the next two weeks, the accordion was stored in the hall closet. Then one evening Dadannounced that I would start lessons the following week. In disbelief I shot my eyes towardMom for support. The firm set of her jaw told me I was out of luck.

后来的两个礼拜,手风琴一直搁在门厅的壁橱里。有天晚上,爸爸宣布,’下周起我就开始上手风琴课。狐疑中我直向母亲递眼色,求她帮忙。可她紧闭着嘴,就是说我这次倒了霉了。

Spending $300 for an accordion and $5 per lesson was out of character for my father. He waspractical always-something he learned growing up on a Pennsylvania farm. Clothes, heat andsometimes even food were scarce.

花300元买架手风琴,每上一课还得交五元,这可不合我父亲的性格。他向来都很讲究实际——这是他自小在宾夕法尼亚州的农场学来的。当时穿的,取暖的,有时候连吃的都很少。

Before I was born, he and my mother moved into her parents' two-story home in Jersey City,N.J. I grew up there on the second floor; my grandparents lived downstairs. Each weekday Dadmade the three-hour commute to and from Long Island, where he was a supervisor in acomparty that serviced jet engines. Weekends, he tinkered in the cellar, turning scraps ofplywood into a utility cabinet or fixing a broken toy with spare parts. Quiet andshy, he wasnever more comfortable than when at his workbench.

我出生前,父母搬进了新泽西州泽西城外公外婆家一楼一底的房子。我就是在那儿的楼上长大的,外公他们住楼下。爸爸每天去长岛上班来回要坐三个小时的车。他在那儿的一家飞机发动机维修公司做监督,周末他就在地窖里东修西补,不是把零星的胶合板拼凑成多用柜,就是找些个零部件修理破玩具。他生性沉静腼腆,只有坐在工作凳上时他才最为自在。

Only music carried Dad away from his world of tools and projects. On a Sunday drive, he turnedthe radio on immediately. At red lights, I'd notice his foot tapping in time. He seemed to hangon every note.

只有音乐可以使爸爸陶醉,忘却他那个近视工具和活计的天地。星期天只要一开车,他便打开收音机。遇见红灯,就见他的脚及时地轻轻打起拍子。他好像不放过每一个音符。

Still, I wasn't prepared when, rummaging in a closet, I found a case that looked to me like a tinyguitar's. Opening it, I saw the polished glow of a beautiffil violin. "It's your father's," Mom said. "His parents bought it for him. I guess he got too busy on the farm to ever learn to play it." Itried to imagine Dad's rough hands on this delicate instrument-and couldn't. .

然而,我还是没有料到,又一次翻一个壁橱,竟发现一只盒子,我看像个小吉他盒。打开一看,却是把漂亮的小提琴,光滑锃亮的。“那是你父亲的,”妈妈说,“他父母给他买的。怕是农场上太忙了吧,他压根儿就没顾上学。”我尽量想象爸爸那双粗手在摆弄这把精巧的小提琴——可就是想象不出来。

Shortly after, my lessons began with Mr. Zelli at the Allegro Accordion School tucked betweenan old movie theater and a pizza parlor. On my first day, with straps straining my shoulder, Ifelt clumsy in every way. "How did he do?" my father asked when it was over. "Fine for the firstlesson,"said Mr.ZeUi. Dad glowed with hope.

不久,我在手风琴速成学校跟泽里先生上起课来了,那个学校夹在一家旧电影院和一家馅饼店之间。第一天,我肩上勒紧了两条皮带,怎么都觉得别扭。“他怎么样?”过后父亲问老师。“第一课嘛,还可以。”泽里先生说。爸爸看有希望,神采奕奕。

I was ordered to practice half an hour every day, and every day I tried to get out of it. Myfuture seemed to be outside playing ball, not in the house mastering songs I would soonforget, but my parents hounded me to practice.

按规定我每天的练半小时的琴,而我每天都没法躲过去。我看我的前途是在户外打球,不是呆在屋里练很快就会遗忘的曲子,可父母逼着我练。

Gradually, to my surprise, I was able to string notes together and coordinate my hands toplay simple songs. Often, after supper, my father would requesta tune or two. As he sat in hiseasy chair, I would fumble through "Lady of Spain" and "Beer Barrel Polka."

想不到我渐渐可以把各个音符串起来,两手配合着拉起简单的歌曲了。晚饭后,父亲常常要我拉上一两段曲子。他坐在安乐椅里,我就笨手笨脚地拉完《西班牙女郎》和《啤酒桶波尔卡》

"Very nice, better than last week," he'd say. Then I would segue into a med-ley of his favorites, "Red River Valley" and "Home on the Range," and he would drift off to sleep, the newspaperfolded on his lap. I took it as a compliment that he could relax under the spell of my playing.

“很好,比上星期强。”他会说。于是我一口气拉下去,把他最喜欢的歌曲《红河谷》和《家在牧场》混在一起,于是他不知不觉地睡去,报纸还摊在膝上。他能在我的演奏感召之下,也轻松一下算是对我的赞赏吧。

One July evening I was giving an almost flawless rendition of "Come Back to Sorrento,"and myparents called me to an open window. An elderly neighbor, rarely seen outside her house, wasleaning against our car humming dreamily to the tune. When I finished, she smiled broadly andcalled out, "I remember that song as a child in Italy. Beautiful, just beautiful."

有年七月的一天傍晚,我正在拉《重归苏连托》,几乎是无懈可击,父母把我叫到一扇窗口。一个上了年纪的邻居,很少见她出门,这时正依在我家车旁,恍恍惚惚地跟着曲子哼着。我拉完了,她笑眯眯地喊道:“我小时候在意大利就记得这首歌。好听,真好听。”

Throughout the summer, Mr. Zelli's lessons grew more difficult. It took me a week and a half tomaster them now. All the while I could hear my buddies outside playing heated games ofstickball. I'd also hear an occasional taunt: "Hey, where's your monkey and cup?

整个夏天,泽里先生的课越上越难。现在要花一个半星期才能学会。我一边学琴一边可以听到伙伴们在外面玩棍球玩得好热闹,不时还听到句把损人的话:“喂!你那猴儿罐儿呢?”

Such humiliation paled, though, beside the impending fall recital, I would have to play a soloon a local movie theater's stage. I wanted to skip the whole thing. Emotions boiled over in thecar one Sunday afternoon.

不过,眼看秋季演奏会就要到来,这么糟践人也就不算个事了。强得耷本地一家电影院上台独奏。我想赖掉这差事。个星期天下午在车上,我们都动了感情,都发火了。

"I don't want to play a solo," I said.

我不想独奏。”我说。

"You have to," replied my father.

你就得独奏。”父亲答道。

"Why?" I shouted. "Because you didn't get to play your violin when you were a kid? Whyshould I have to play this stupid instrument when you never had to play yours7"Dad pulled thecar over and pointed at me.

“为啥?”我吼道,“就因为你小时候没能拉成小提琴?你不拉就行我干吗就非得拉这笨乎乎的玩意儿?爸爸刹住车,面对着我。

"Because you can bring people joy. You can touch their hearts. That's a gift I won't let youthrow away." He added softly, "Someday you'll have chance I never had: you'll play beautifulmusic for your family. And you understand why you've worked so hard."

“就因为你可以给别人带来欢乐。你可以打动他们的心。,那是给人的一份礼物,我不许你白扔了。”他又轻声说,“总有一天你会有我从来没有的机会:你会给你的妻子儿女演奏美丽动听的音乐。那时候你就会明白你干吗要这么苦练了。”

I was speechless. I had rarely heard Dad speak with such feeling about anything, much less theaccordion. From then on, I practiced without parents' making me.

我无言以对。我很少听到父亲说话这么动情,更何况是说的手风琴。从此我练琴不用父母逼了。

The evening of the concert Mom wore glittery earrings and more makeup than I couldremember. Dad got out of work early, put on a suit and tie, and slicked down his hair withVitalis. They were an hour early, so we sat in the living room chatting nervously. I got theunspoken message that playing this one song was a dream come true for them.

音乐会那天晚上,妈妈戴上亮晶晶的耳环,脸上没见她这么打扮过。爸爸早早就下了班,扎上领带,一身套装,头发用发油梳得溜光。他们提前一小时就打扮完了,我们便坐在客厅里紧张地聊天。这时我得到一个无言的启示:演奏这么一首歌是实现他俩的一个梦想。

At the theater nervousness overtook me as I realized how much I wanted to make my parentsproud. Finally, it was my turn. I walked to the lone chairon stage and performed "Are YouLonesome Tonight?" without a mistake. The applause spilled out, with a few hands still clappingafter others hadstopped. I was lightheaded, glad my ordeal was over.

在电影院,我意识到我是真想使父母感到自豪时,简直紧张死了。终于轮到我上场了。我走向台上孤零零的椅子,演奏了《今晚你可寂寞?》没出一点儿错。一时掌声四起,落下后还有几个人在拍手。我高兴得轻飘飘的,总算熬到头了。

After the concert Mom and Dad came backstage. The way they walked—heads high, facesflushed—I knew they were pleased. My mother gave me a big hug. Dad slipped an arm aroundme and held me close. "You were just great," he said. Then he shook my hand and was slow tolet it go.

音乐会散后妈妈和爸爸来到后台。瞧他们走路那神气——昂首挺胸,红光满面,我就知道他们很高兴。母亲紧紧拥抱了我。爸爸伸过一只胳臂搂住我不放。“你真是好样儿的!”他说,然后又握住我的手,久久不松开。

As the years went by, the accordion drifted to the background of my life. Dad asked me to playat family occasions, but the lessons stopped. When I went to college, the accordion stayedbehind in the hall closet next to my father's violin.

随着岁月的流逝,那架手风琴在我的生活中也渐渐隐退了。爸爸只要我在家有节庆的时候拉一拉,课是不上了。我上大学,那琴就放在门厅的壁橱里,挨着父亲的小提琴。

A year after my graduation, my parents moved to a house in a nearby town. Dad, at 51, finallyowned his own home. On moving day, I didn't have the heart to tell him he could dispose ofthe accordion, so I brought it to my own home and put it in the attic.

我毕业一年后,父母搬到了附近一个镇上。父亲在51岁终于有了自己的房子。搬家那天,我不忍心告诉他可以把手风琴卖了,于是我把它拿回我自己的家,放在阁楼上。

There it remained, a dusty memory until one afternoon several years later when my two childrendiscovered it by accident. Scott thought it was secret treasure; Holly thought a ghost livedinside. They were both right.

它就呆在那儿,一件灰尘扑扑的纪念物,直到好几年后的一天下午,我的两个孩子偶然发现了它。司各特以为是个秘藏的珍宝,荷里以为里头住了个精灵。他俩都讲对了。

When I opened the case, they laughed and said, "play it, play it." Reluctantly,I strapped on theaccordion and played some simple songs. I was surprised! my skills hadn't rusted away. Soonthe kids were dancing in circles and giggluig. Even my wife, Terri, was laughing and clapping tothe beat. I wa samazed at their unbridled glee.

我一打开箱子,他们就笑了,说道:“拉拉,拉拉嘛。”我勉强套上琴的背带,拉了一些简单的歌曲。没想到我的琴法竟然没有荒疏。很。陕孩子们就转着圈子跳呀笑个不停。连我妻子特丽也乐呵呵地和着节奏拍起手来。他们那兴高采烈的痛快劲儿真让我吃惊。

My father's words came back to me: "Someday you'll have the chance I never had. Then you'IIunderstand."I finally knew what it meant to work hard and sacrifice for others. Dad had beenright all along: the most precious gift is to touch the hearts of those you love.

这时,父亲的话又回到我的脑海:“总有一天你会有我从来没有的机会。那时你就会明白的。” 我终于明白了为他人努力工作和做出牺牲的意义。爸爸始终是对的:打动你所爱的人的心才是最宝贵的礼物。

Later I phoned Dad to let him know that, at long last, I understood. Fumbling for the rightwords, I thanked him for the legacy it took almost 30 years to discover. "You're welcome," hesaid, his voice choked with emotion.

事后我打电话给爸爸,告诉他我终于明白过来了。我拙嘴笨舌地不知说什么好,只说我花了差不多30年的工夫才发现了他留给我的这笔财富,为此我感谢他。“不客气。”他说,嗓音因激动而哽咽了。

Dad never learned to coax sweet sounds from his violin. Yet he was wrong to think he wouldnever for his family. On that wonderful evening, as my wife and children laughed and danced,they heard my accordion. But it was my father's music.

爸爸从未学会从他那小提琴上拨出甜美的声音。但他以为他永远都不会为他的家人演奏乐曲,那是他错了。就在那个美妙的夜晚,我的妻儿又笑又跳,听着我拉手风琴。可那是我父亲的音乐。


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