One of my favorite songs from the 50s is “Little Darlin” by the Diamonds. It rose to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1957.
One of the highlights of the song is the spoken interlude by the bass singer. He begins his pleading soliloquy to the girl of his dreams by saying, “My Darlin’ I need you,” and he finishes with an imploring, “Please…hold my hand.”
I picked that line up a long time ago and began using it around the house as a calling card. Every once in a while, I’ll go up to Brooks or Patty and say, “Please…hold my hand.”
Sometimes, I get my hand held, but most of the time I don’t…because, you know, once you make a joke of something like that, it tends to get old. Still, like I said, I do get indulged now and then.
And even though I wield the line half-jokingly sometimes, can we all agree on one this: Getting your hand held — held seriously — is a beautiful thing?
…This is a roundabout way of getting to an irresistible love story that was posted this week on The New York Times website. The story, written by John Leland, is titled “Too Much in Love to Say Goodnight.”
It’s about a 27-year-old man named Caleb Wiese and a 24-year-old woman named Katherine McClintic — both New Yorkers — who got acquainted through their mutual love of swing dancing. For many months they were just dance partners, shaking hands and saying “thank you” after songs.
But as they became more frequent dance partners, going to and from dance venues together, ol’ Cupid was doing his thing.
McClintic said Wiese’s first romantic overture came in the middle of a song, when he was looking at her, stopped and said, “I need to talk to you.”
And what he said was simply, “I like you.”
Somewhere around that time, after a night of dancing, Wiese took her hand and held it while they rode the subway toward their respective residences.
“I started freaking out. It was very nice, and I was enjoying it a lot, but it was like, well, I don’t know what to do about this. Just the hand-holding. It was very old school.”
Now, the couple is engaged, and, according to The Times story, they’re getting married today…For the reception, naturally, a swing band will be performing, and some swing-dance friends will be giving lessons to the uninitiated.
So, back to where I started…
Never underestimate the power of holding hands. Sometimes, it can just carry you away, as if you’re dancing on a cloud.
Now, here’s that song.