faq: have you heard that song about you?
This frequently asked question is usually followed by “You know… the one by Simon and Garfunkel…”, along with the questioner singing the first few lines…
This is typically asked by people who have known me for all of five seconds. If they waited another twenty-five seconds or so, they would realize two things: 1) The song is not about me, and 2) It would be rather improbable that I lived thirty years without ever hearing the 1970’s hit “Cecilia”.
I realize my name and the song are a good conversation starter for the newly acquainted, but I think it very forward of them to presume the song is about me simply because my name is Cecilia. It’s a fun song with a catchy tune, but the main character of the song leaves a lot to be desired by way of morals. There are plenty of ways to make use of the song as a part of a conversation without insulting me within the first moments of our meeting by insinuating that I am at all like the one for whom the song was named.
On the bright side, I do get serenaded a lot. About ten years ago, I worked at the front desk of a hotel and a quartet of German men sang to me as I was looking up their reservations. Several years later, I was at a party for friend when another friend, who was providing the entertainment, sang “Cecilia”. After finishing, he said “That song is dedicated to Cecilia Schwartz… It is in no way a reflection of her character or moral standing.” The disclaimer wasn’t necessary since everyone in attendance knew me, but I appreciated it just the same. To this day, I am reminded of that disclaimer every time I hear the song, and it still makes me laugh!
Seriously, people sing to me all the time. If I had a dollar for every time someone sang to me or told me I was breaking their heart, I’d have a small fortune. I actually enjoy when people sing to me… I just wish someone would break up the monotony of breaking hearts and sing the other version of “Cecilia”, which is a song I wouldn’t mind relating to. (Look it up! The Louis Prima version is my favorite, but I like hearing Jimmy Durante sing it, too.)
So to answer the question: “No, I haven’t heard the song about me! There’s a song about me? Oh, the song that has the same name as I do? I believe I’ve heard it a time or two, but you are more than welcome to sing away!”