My Dad, the Musician

Left to right: John, Lindsay, Ryan

by Lindsay McDonald

When I was growing up, my father was a pretty typical dad. His Saturdays were filled with things like getting my family Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, reading the newspaper, watching my brothers and me play soccer, listening to music, reading us bedtime stories, and tucking us into bed. Before having a family, however, he began his Saturdays by sleeping late, going for a run, writing songs, listening to music, recording music, playing in clubs and taverns and concert halls until the wee hours. Quite a different lifestyle.

However, his love for music and his passion for song writing never dwindled. We listened to his songs all the time as kids. In fact, it wasn’t until I got older that I realized not everyone grew up listening to them. I thought everyone knew “Maria” and “Sweet Montana” just like everyone knew “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Born to Run.” It was when I got older that my dad told me stories about opening at the Boston Garden for the J. Giels band and playing with Willie Nelson’s Band at the Lone Star in New York City. What a paradigm shift—my dad the songwriter AND the musician.

I have always been passionate about the song “Angel Midnight.” I can remember being tucked into bed by my father, after just listening to it.

“Goodnight” my dad would say. “Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.”
“Goodnight Dad.” The song would continue playing in my mind as I drifted off to sleep.

There is something beautiful and heavenly and yet dark and mysterious about “Angel Midnight.” She always intrigued me. Who is she anyway? When I was young (being the egocentric child that I was), I believed that I was Angel Midnight, that my dad wrote the song for me. Although now that I’m a grown woman, and I’ve outgrown my childish, egocentric ways of thinking, I still like to believe that my dad wrote this song about a women he didn’t know yet, and that the women grew up to be me. I was thrilled to find out that the album was going to be called “Angel Midnight.”

It had always been my father’s dream to have his CD released. The last three years have been difficult, since he has become ill. But it’s because of his illness that my dad became more focused on his music again. It is a wonderful thing to know that he will be able to see his dream come true.

“But the weight of her trouble, can sometimes match her worth.” (Angel Midnight)