I was driving home from a town board meeting last night in the previously-mentioned satellite and CD-free atmosphere when I happened upon a soft rock station that I just knew was featuring Delilah dedications at that time of night and so I waited though the commercials. That's how much I dislike Delilah. Sure enough, piano music soon rose to a crescendo, a chorus of heavenly angels sang "Deeeeeeee-li-lah," and I waited eagerly to hear what atrocity the woman would shell out to her next avid, and undoubtedly emotionally impoverished listener.
The caller, who'd "put Dad in the ground" that very day (mark, my words, if any of you call Delilah on the day you "put me in the ground" there will be hell to pay) and, having a five-week old baby, the poor man was sad, but also felt fortunate that his father had held on, five years past the time doctors had given him, to see his grandson.
Listening to this particular call, I learned that Delilah doesn't know the difference between playing a song to make someone feel better, and playing a song which simply has lyrics that relate to a given situation. Like, you'd never play the song "Breaking up is Hard to Do," by Neil Sedaka for someone who'd just broken up with someone. You'd be subtle and play "No one is to Blame" by Howard Jones.
I waited in the brief, quiet moments just after Delilah said she wanted to play something to honor this man's father and bless his newborn son wondering what soft rock gem this woman could possibly pull from the vaults when the opening notes sounded...and yes, of course, she'd chosen Mike and the Mechanic's ultra-sentimental and tragic "The Living Years," a song that features the troubled relationship between a father and son littered with "crumpled bits of paper" and quarrels "between the present and past." The singer wishes he just could have told his father how much he meant to him in "the living years," but, here's the winner, thinks he just may have caught his father's spirit, post-death, in his "baby's newborn tears."
I couldn't stop listening so I drove and wondered about the others affected by the radio show. The caller, perhaps writhing on the floor, reduced to a mess of tears, and the radio queen herself, smug in her studio, lecturing the timid crew, "Did you see that? A father's death and a newborn baby in that song. Now that's award-winning programming."