Roundabout the Godfather

I’m not a musician but I play one onstage. I have the utmost respect for the gifted souls who eke sounds out of their instruments. I also have a lot of respect for the buskers who fill our public spaces with music for some loose change. But if I hear one more accordionist play the Theme from The Godfather I’m going to reenact a scene from that movie. Either the one with the horse’s head or the one where James Caan gets it at the tollbooth.

There must be a way to get them to stop. Refusing to pay means nothing. Shouting “learn a new song!” might seem like the way to go, but musicians are very hardened to criticism. Most of them really shouldn’t have quit their day jobs, but here they are in the subway cars, tunnels and parks all day long. There needs to be a positive way we can steer them away from this song.

I suggest a request. When talking about this with my coworker Larry, he said, “Yeah, I’d like to hear something by Yes instead.” That makes perfect sense to me. The minute that ominous minor chord progression starts rolling out of that squeezebox, hop on up and say “Hey, do you know ‘Roundabout’ by Yes?” When the guy says no, just point him to some guitarist flailing away only a block or subway car away. They all know how to play that song’s beginning, with its clever harmonic notes. It’s almost as annoying as Stairway to Heaven when a guitarist plays Roundabout, but I could imagine it being fun from an accordion, with that baroque melody and those chords chugging away.

That’s the proposal. If you’re as sick of it as me as me, you’ll join the movement to turn “The Godfather Theme” into “Roundabout.” Then when we get sick of that we’ll resort to homicide.

–Dan Kilian

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