Jay Bookman

Opinion columnist and blogger at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in foreign relations, environmental and technology-related issues

Musical by nature ... or is it by nurture?


In the long-running debate pitting nature against nurture, I come down firmly on the side that argues that our DNA is more influential in our personalities than how we were raised.

Except, of course, on those occasions when I believe the opposite.

For example, I like almost every form of music known to mankind, a fact that I attribute to growing up in my father's household, where music ranging from jazz to country was a constant presence. (Rock and roll had to grow on him. I vividly remember him saying after a Beatles song played on the radio that those guys were great songwriters, but they had to learn to sing).  If I walk into a house in which no music is playing, it feels odd to me, as if something crucial was missing, something that turns a structure into a home.

Now is that a result of nature? Or nurture? Either way, it is a great gift to be passed on from parent to child. So for this Father's Day weekend, this one's for you, Pops. It's a song that he used to sing and play to his children on his ukelele, in what I guess could be called a ragtime style. But here's it's performed in a jazz style by Ella Fitzgerald, one of his favorites:


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About the Author

Jay Bookman writes about government and politics, with an occasional foray into other aspects of life as time, space and opportunity allow.