I remembered something I had forgotten.
If you had asked me, I would have said no.
But the moment I heard it, the answer was yes.
A big yes.
A life-changing, personality- forming, empowering YES.
This morning I saw an article about Jack Wild. A memoir of his life is coming out. He started it before his death in 2006, and his wife has finished it. Most of you probably remember him as the Artful Dodger in the film Oliver.
He was also in the psychedelic Sid and Marty Krofft's children's telly show Pufnstuf.
It is not an exaggeration to say I was obsessed with the show. I was so in love with Jack Wild's cockney accent that i am sure this started me on the road to being the Anglophile that i am today.
Anyway, it was sad to read that Jack Wild suffered so much with alcoholism and drugs. He was, in many ways, my first crush.
But then as I was reading about the show Pufnstuf on Wikipedia it said there had been a movie of Pufnstuf in 1970.
I swore up and down (and side to side) that I had NEVER heard of this.
I watched a few clips.
Nothing looked familiar. But I could clearly tell that the voice of Pufnstuf the Mayor was not Lenny Weinrib. Humph. I did not like that at all.
But then I saw that all the songs had been released on an album.
I had that album.
I played one song after another on youtube.
I could sing Every. Single. One.
And there it was. A song I had long forgotten about. A song that had meant so much to me as a child. An anthem I sang to myself to remind me that I was wonderful just the way I was.
The song was called Different. This song got me through so many dark times as a child and teenager.
Because I was always different.I was always weird. I always had bigger dreams and ideas than anyone I knew and I suffered greatly for it growing up.
This song was MY song. I recall how much i loved the voice of the singer--it was warm and real, not high and operatic. It meant I could sing along easily.
To my complete surprise, the singer turned out to be Mama Cass from the Mamas and the Papas. Seriously, she was a neighbour of Sid Krofft and he asked her to be in it.
Listen to it here. Ignore the very badly costumed and choreographed scene. Ignore the giant Nazi rat. Just take in the words of Mama Cass as she sings that it is OK to be different.
This was me.
It was hard. It was lonely.But I was always true to myself no matter what people said.
This song was a great reminder that it is a blessing to be different.
I really would rather be different than be the same.
And like the song says, eventually I found some others like me.
What was your childhood like?