Happy Birthday, Barbara!

Three A’s“- CT demo w cameo appearances from Berke McKelvey, Kami Lyle, Joey Spampinato, Fred Boak, and Rikki Bates, plus  bday greetings from Steve “Woo Woo” Wood, David Greenberger, Steve Shook, et al. My longtime lyricist/collaborator David “Davey Baby” Greenberger wrote this lyric to celebrate his wife Barbara Price’s birthday on January 28 (it might be considered un-gallant to specify her exact age); Barbara’s one of our true favorites, plus she took a giant load off our hands by marrying David all those years ago, bless her; plus she’s just a total sweetie pie, so the occasion definitely demanded something deluxe!

In addition to writing this extremely touching (or is it touched?) lyric that includes a long list of words that have three a’s in them (ending appropriately enough with “Barbara”), David brought a much, much longer list to the Ale House in Troy last Saturday, where many of us were observing the occasion, which he read for what seemed like quite a long while before he was ejected, having only made it halfway through his painstakingly compiled (over the course of many years, he says) list of the words with three a’s beginning with “A”. (It’s telling that Barbara was his most persistent heckler during this process.) 

As my grandmother always said, “What’s better than crazy people?!”   

And from David …

About a half dozen years ago I started a list of words with three A’s in them as the only vowels deployed. Up until then I simply carried them in my head, having noted that places like Atlanta and Manhattan (both of which we’d visit) had the same A trio as Barbara. I started to notice more than I could dependably hold in my memory for easy retrieval. So I started a simple document on my computer. It now has several hundred, in alphabetical order – I don’t know the exact number without counting, as I didn’t set it up in any program that would count or organize. That means as I find a new one I scroll through the list and enter it where it belongs, alphabetically. I alphabetize manually.

I often encounter new three A words when reading, in books newspapers, and magazines. Many of them are people’s names or foreign locations and I don’t know how to pronounce them. I’ve seen them on signs and menus. I jot them down on little scraps of paper or also in the notes section of my iPhone (though I much prefer the former as I’m accustomed to and trust the little pieces of paper that I remove from my pocket and put on my desk). Barbara knows I’m working on this collection and often give me words she finds.

One day I came into the kitchen and Barbara was sitting at the counter with her laptop, and she closed it when I came near. There was something about the speed of her shutting it based on my proximity that led her to say that she didn’t want me to see what was on the screen. I inquired further and she relented, having not taken too definitive a stand on maintain secrecy in this matter. She revealed that she had googled “words with three A’s” and it immediately brought forth multitudes. It had never occurred to me to do that and I assured her I never would do that, because I was gathering these words manually, one by one. I have been, and will always continue to be, Barbara’s hunter-gatherer in this very specific realm.

– David Greenberger

Happy Birthday, Barbara!
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One thought on “Happy Birthday, Barbara!

  • January 31, 2019 at 7:23 am

    Oh…so sad that I missed this. What a fun tribute to an extraordinary person!!! Love you Ba!


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