Date: May 3, 1967
Location: St. Augustine Catholic Church, Bridgeport, PA
Occasion: the Sacrament of Confirmation
Featuring: Fourth Grade students, including nine-year old Jimmy Borden
It used to be a big day for kids in Catholic School back in the 1960s – the day you were going to get confirmed. These days, with the dwindling population of kids going to Catholic School, I’m not sure what it’s like.
And for whatever reason, I was completely stoked for my confirmation.
So stoked that I made up my own song: “I Just Can’t Wait Till May 3rd”, sung to the tune of “The More We Get Together, Together, Together”. If you’re not familiar with that song, here is a little clip:
The only difference in the two songs, besides the obvious word changes, are that my song just kept repeating the refrain over and over: “I Just Can’t Wait Till May 3rd, Till May 3rd, Till May 3rd. I Just Can’t Wait Till May 3rd, Till May 3rd, Till May 3rd.
I’m sure my parents and sisters couldn’t wait for the day to come either; they had to be sick of listening to me going through the house singing the song over and over.
As big a day as it was in my life, I only remember one thing from the actual ceremony.
We had been preparing for the big day for weeks, being drilled by our teachers with how to answer the bishop if he called on us with a question or two. As part of that prep, we were told to address the bishop as “Your Excellency”.
Well sure enough the bishop asked a question, and we all raised our hand (as we had been told to do), and he called on one of the girls in our class. As it turned out, the girl simply could not pronounce the word “Excellency”. She kept trying over and over, and after about the tenth time, the bishop finally said it was OK, and told her to just give the answer. I think that may be the only question the bishop asked that day, which was a great relief to the rest of us.
I often think back to what may have been.
What if I had kept up with my songwriting ability – could I have been a future James Taylor, Kris Kristofferson, or John Prine?
The world will never know.
But for that one day, I had the number one hit in the country…