According to About.com, “The sixth day of the week and the number 13 both have foreboding reputations said to date from ancient times, and their inevitable conjunction from one to three times a year (there happens to be only one such occurrence in 2011 and three in 2012), portends more misfortune than some credulous minds can bear.”
Tell that to Monk.
If it is the gullible mind that helps feed the bad luck reputation of Friday the 13th, then it only makes sense that someone as headstrong and original as Thelonious Monk would celebrate it; reversing its meaning and deflating its negative energy. When you listen to the 1959 Town Hall version of Monk’s tune “Friday the 13th”, it is anything but eerie and shuddersome. It’s one of the most joyful, fun, and celebratory minor four-bar phrases I’ve ever heard!
Many studies have suggested that the “bad luck” some people experience on Friday the 13th is directly related to their paralyzing fear of the day, not validity. For example, if you’re terrified to drive a car, it is likely you could have some sort of accident if you venture behind the wheel. Monk being ruled by fear proves impossible if you listen to his music. One of the biggest risk-takers and musically principled figures in jazz, it is brilliantly poetic that Monk would turn paranoia into play. So, get out there and enjoy the day! Here’s a little motivation music!