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Our River House Days

The music sprinkled through my memoir Our River House Days reflects a poignant yet almost illusory era in time when my family huddled together and learned how to love in their most difficult days.

By Donna Beriont

July 22, 2022

Buckle up and let me take you on a musical ride through my memoir-in-progress, Our River House Days, a story about a family who had the capacity to love even during their hardest times.

We begin the journey in my childhood when I’d stand on my PopPop’s feet to dance to “You Are My Sunshine” by Jimmie Davis while my parents jitterbugged to “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley & His Comets.

Our next stop is poolside at the River House when my family belted out Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” together: “Hands, touching hands … Reaching out … touching you!” Then, an emotional downshift when my daughter strummed on her guitar and sang those poignant lyrics in Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

When I learned I would never hear my mother’s voice again, I listened to Stevie Wonder’s “If It’s Magic.” In fact, I played Wonder’s entire album Songs in the Key of Life on repeat until I couldn’t listen anymore.

On this trip’s playlist is “In the House” by Crowder. This song reflects a specific time at the River House and how my family felt when we were there for four months with my mother.

Finally, soothing tunes from Glen Miller, Bruce Springsteen, and Doris Day are sprinkled throughout this playlist ride. I hope you enjoy the trip!

After graduating from Montclair State University, Donna Beriont produced news and feature stories at WCBS TV news and TV3.