Always look on the bright side of life

This photo was taken by Bernie D and is reproduced with his specific permission. I’ve left his title for the picture just as he has it on Flickr because it is so appropriate to the picture, and for me, it creates what some call an “ear worm,” that I just can’t get rid of. The song is “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” and I first encountered it in Monty Python’s, “The Life of Brian.” The lyrics can be found here.

Thanks for the permission to post your photo, Bernie, and for brightening my day with this picture.

If you’d like to hear the song, you’ll find a link at this web site, dedicated to the memory of Paul van der Sijde. Here’s the intro to the series of messages, within which there is a link to the song, …

On May 22, 2002 our good friend and harmonica sage Paul van der Sijde, also known a “Doctor Harmonica” or just “Doc”, lost his battle against lung cancer. Doc was only 40. Many of us remember his thoughtful and thorough postings on the various Internet harmonica lists. He was always eager to help out a beginner and never tired of answering the same questions again and again in a courteous and helpful manner. He also wrote several articles that appear on this site. Even though I never met him in person, I counted him as a friend.

Doc chose to share his journey with a group of his friends and acquaintances from the Internet harmonica community in what he began to call “gang mails”. I saved Doc’s messages as he sent them because I felt that they gave a powerful and seldom seen insight into the lows, highs, thoughts, and feelings of someone with this terrible disease. He shared his journey with us for a year and a half, from the moment he was first diagnosed, and I have published his messages here in honor of his memory.

The Saga of Doctor Harmonica


3 thoughts on “Always look on the bright side of life

  1. Juan G.

    Hi Perry,

    I loved the song,”Always look on the bright side of life.” Thanks for sharing it.

    AND, I like the new website. WordPress looks to be a great place to blog.

  2. Colm Smyth

    Hi Perry,

    Amazing photo; off-topic, but that guy razerbern is a bit of a foto-wiz – great eye, creative captions, decisive cropping, and great digital after-effects.

    I got to see Terry Gilliam’s Brazil again recently – that same Monty wizardry, that same comic way with truth and beauty. The flight of fantasy scenes were even better than I remembered them. But if you’re looking for a feel-good movie, hit the stop button just when the camera pulls back from the “mobile home” in the country!

    What can I say about Doc Harmonica? From reading his letters, it seems truer than ever that only the good die young.

    All the best,

  3. perry Post author

    Juan, thanks for your regular visits to the blog and for your comments. Like you, I like the WordPress system, though I will like it more when I am permitted to edit my template so that I don’t have to go with the stock image as a header and have more control over the various elements of the blog. Still, I think this is a better blogging tool than Blogger was, at least for me.

    And Colm, I appreciate the fact that you’ve continued to check out my blog. I have been following yours as well. I haven’t commented there as much on your recent posts because they are frankly over my head technologically. Still I read them and learn from them.

    I haven’t seen Brazil, but I’ll keep an eye out for it on my next visit to Blockbuster.

    I’m pleased that you took the time to read some of the posts about Doc Harmonica. I did too, and his tragic story is an inspiration about how one faces death. I’m sure that, like all of us, he had his flaws, but he certainly demonstrated a lot of courage and grace while facing his ultimately losing battle with Cancer.


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