I feel a little blah about my song today. It qualifies as a minor violation of rule #1. I don't dislike the song, but I don't exactly love it, either. ...but it's kind of a standard, and I admire Dolly Parton. It's a fine song... but you know me and sentimentality. This song is basically a long, drawn-out goodbye, and in order to get into it, you have to have a thing for long, drawn-out goodbyes. So sometimes I bend rule #2; today, I bend rule #1 a little bit. I have three versions of this song: Whitney, a dance mix of Whitney, and Dolly. Last week I saw the very talented performer and celebrity impersonator Jason Cozmo do this song as Dolly, and it reminded me I should learn it. I learned it this morning before my lobby gig, and opened with it.
I-vi-IV-V pop songs notwithstanding, I did decide to mix in a little classical for the benefit of the non-condescending classical music lovers who walk by me every Monday, and was rewarded for my efforts by a woman who was very appreciative of Fur Elise (don't judge, people like hearing things they recognize). Mr. Condescending P. Dude walked past me today just as I was finishing a Mozart slow movement. I could have proceeded to the rondo, like any well-behaved sonata player would do. But the triumphant smile he shot me upon hearing that final, intrinsically baroque/classical delayed cadence inspired me... to play a few schmaltzy-twinkly ii-Vs in the key of Eb (not the key of the sonata). It was an instant, one-time standard I made up on the spot, called "That's What a Piano's For".
A piano is for hitting. A piano is for hits - hits that are centuries old, hits that no one except the composer has heard yet. Everything that stands the test of time has to be new at some point.