So I was driving down 376 west to come home from David’s Bridal in Robinson. I heard a beloved Eric Clapton song “Wonderful Tonight” That song is a perfect example of the power of melody and songwriting. That particular song as well as many others create a severe nostalgic moment for me. I remembered being fresh out of high school and prancing up to the dj booth at Top O Mast on Ft. Myers Beach, Fl and requesting the DJ to play that song so my Dad and Stepmom would have something to slow dance to. They were both like too teenagers themselves. A little embarrassed and a little fuzzy (possibly due to the Rum Runner special drinks that include the souvenir glass). Its such a serene and wonderful memory and the song alone can bring all those sights and feelings back. When I hear Blind Melon I remember watching Woodstock ’94 on television and thinking, “Wow those people are naked and muddy on MTV! That girl is soooo grounded.”
Some music and specific songs have overlapping memories. John Denver’s “Country Roads” initially made me think of my trip to WVU with Cheryl. When an entire bar full of young drunk co-eds roared the lyrics in what could of sounded like a harmony (I was also one of those drunk co-eds so anything could have sounded harmonious at that time.) Years later, an older and more sober woman I got the pleasure of hearing “Country Roads” in heavy rotation working in blue jean overalls at The Rustic Peddler Country shop. Sometimes even live fiddlers would be playing their version too! Hearing that particular song makes my heart skip a beat. The simplicity of the verses, the legacy of John Denver himself, and the places I have been in my life when the song came through are pretty awesome.
Being a self proclaimed “music nerd” there isn’t a genre yet that I haven’t been able to draw at least one soul touching tune. Sometimes I even enjoy an angry hip hop tune. I am able to appreciate the lyrical poetry and mastery. It also is a great work out soundtrack or background noise when I am stuck in traffic.
Not to sound morbid, but I have often heard a song and thought that it has been prominent enough in my life to be played at my funeral. Unfortunately I have been to quite a few funerals these past few years and I have seen the wonderful ways that the family and friends choose to display the lives of the loved ones they have lost. Not that I would be in a state to actually hear or see the events of my funeral but perhaps I will start making a list of the songs that meant the most to me. Eric Clapton, John Denver, Billy Joel, Neil Young…will all be featured of course.
If this was a formal piece of writing, then there would be a thesis statement. It’s not formal, but if it were my statement would be that we all have a soundtrack to our lives. We all have music that reminds us of the past, music that fits our current emotions, and music that helps us prepare for or question our future. I have found it very therapeutic to listen to some music from my past. Music from a simpler time when the middle school dance and the newest episode of Dawson’s Creek was the only important event in my calendar of things to do.
Perhaps someone will read this and they may smile thinking of particular memories attached to songs. We have soundtracks for weddings, proms, and yes even funerals so we all have a soundtrack for our lives. What would your soundtrack consist of? Why do those particular artists, songs, albums mean so much to you? Do they make you dance like a fool, sing out of tune, shed a few tears, or sweat off a few pounds?
Music has helped me through some of the most difficult times and has also been a great unknown guest through some of my fun adventures.