Sarah Vowell Research Paper

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Word Count: 1, 897 Musical Hardships Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen are just a few of the famous musicians mentioned by Sarah Vowell in her book “Take the Cannoli: Stories from the New World.” Many of her essays mention music. Her love for certain musicians, the music she has received from past boyfriends and her lack of musical talent are just a small number of the times Vowell talks about music in her book. Sarah Vowell’s music choices are a bit more than out of the ordinary. The second essay of Vowell’s book is entitled “Music Lessons,” in it, is where she talks about how, as a young adult just starting seventh grade, Vowell was in marching band. “Music Lessons” tells about the accidental life lessons Vowell learns while being in marching band. The quote from her book, “…but somehow I was supposed to lift a baritone horn that measured twice my body weight, blow into it while reading microscopic sheet music…” (26) shows just how much Vowell enjoyed being in marching band but she stayed with it for as long as she could. Later in the essay Vowell explains that in eighth grade she switches from the baritone horn to the trumpet, which is cut short because of the shape of her jaw (30). In an interview with Robert Birnbaum of Identity Theory “I trained as a musician growing up, and I think a lot about sound.” This quote just puts together how much Vowell enjoys music even though she is not skilled in music or musically talented. But not being musically talented does not mean that you cannot write or talk about it. In the section of the book entitled “Post Cards” the third essay is “These Little Town Blues.” In this essay is where Vowell first talks about Frank Sinatra and how “punk” she believes him to be. In reality anyone who has heard Frank Sinatra sing, knows that he is one of the least likely people to be

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