Here in Vermont our woods still slumber, snowy, dark and deep, with miles to go before we sleep. Spring remains a dream just beyond our reach, like the plump fruits above Tantalus or Michelangelo’s hand of God, a mirage fancifully constructed from blue skies and sunshine, dissolving immediately upon setting boot out of door, where we shiver hard to reality, and can see our breath bloom for an instant before the arctic chill steals it from our lungs.
Speaking of blooms, here’s one named Bobby, a songwriter who specialized in “bubblegum pop,” one of the catchiest and most popular subgenres in the late 60s and early 70s. Bloom co-wrote “Mony Mony” with Tommy James, penned some hits for The Archies and 1910 Fruitgum Company, and scored his only solo hit with the Top 10 smash “Montego Bay” in 1970.
With its loose, Jamaican rhythms and lyrics about drinking rum and sunning on the beach, “Montego Bay” proved the perfect escape from the everyday. As the war in Vietnam dragged on and people reeled from the breakup of The Beatles, Bloom’s single gave everyone a reason to smile as the summer of 1970 came to an end.
And what of summer here in Vermont? A distant season as far as the dimmest star. So we fill our living room with sand, hold a pina colada in our hand, and let the music carry us away.