My childhood hero. This explains so much about me, doesn’t it? ^_^
When I was still a boy on a small farm in western Norway and had not yet learned English, this song must have appeared on radio, for my brother had captured it on his tape recorder. I think this was our first tape recorder, before my second brother got his hands on one of those newfangled cassette recorders. So yeah, back in the days.
I loved the song obsessively, but I was too young to understand the lyrics except a few words here and there. My brother claimed the song said Snoopy was dead, but I defiantly refused to believe it. My hero could not die that casually. (Besides, my brother did not exactly have a sterling reputation for upholding the truth…) I assumed he was just trying to torment me, but now that I have access to the lyrics, I realize that my brother, although older than me, might not have been familiar with the idiom of having someone “dead in their sight”, meaning aiming straight at them. Still, the context should have given it away.
I played the melody of the chorus over and over on my toy xylophone, quite probably driving the rest of the family nuts. I still remember the melody now decades later, and I would not be surprised if the surviving members of my birth family remember it too, although less fondly. ^_^
We named our next dog Snoopy, with quite a bit of input from my side, I’m afraid. He wasn’t even a beagle, but he was the smartest dog I’ve met so far. How much this song contributed to that event, I am not sure. But the Norwegian translation of Peanuts has another name for the dog, so it is likely that the name came from this song or another.
Months became years, and the song was lost to me. Years became decades, and I occasionally whistled the melody to myself during happy moments, in this way keeping it alive as one generation of Peanuts fans gave birth to the next. But knowing nothing of the lyrics except “Snoopy” and “Red Baron”, I had no hope of finding it again.
Today, I took the time to look through my “stream” in Google+, the social network for Google users. I have only a few people there who could reasonably be called friends, and who I try to keep updated on. But sometimes I have the time to read acquaintances with similar interests (many of them writers, published or otherwise). One of these semi-friends happened to post, on this particular day and time, a link to a YouTube video with the song: Snoopy’s Christmas.
I thanked her profusely, of course. I was kind of touched by this unexpected reunion between a boy and his favorite song after decades of separation. The truth is that I remember very little from my childhood, only a few glints here and there like fireflies in a dark valley. So I kind of value the remaining memories. My family may disagree, but I will happily promise not to play this song for them on a cheap xylophone ever again. ^_^