Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Music really is amazing.  Yesterday we were over at mom's and my brother brought over the cd's he made for the funeral service for dad.  He picked out the most amazing songs.  It got me thinking how meaningful music is, how it can stir you up emotionally, how it can cement memories in your brain.

The song that he played first is "Minor Incident" by Badly Drawn Boy.  It is so simple and perfect--you should go give it a listen.  I was immediately teary at the words.  Two others that we're using are "Into the West" by Annie Lennox, and sister picked out "Parting Glass" by Shaun Davey.  They're all beautiful and moving.

Songs get to me all the time.  I remember when I was pregnant I cried at most of the music I listened to.  But that may have had less to do with the music.

I can tell you the year most of the music in the 80's came out.  I relate it to what house I was living in or what boy I had a crush on when that song was on the radio, and I can pretty much pin it down every time.  "You're The Inspiration"?  1984, 4708 Pine Ridge, Scott Cortez.  Kind of a sad thing I do, actually.  As I got older I still do that, but it's more about what job I had at the time, or other grown-up kinds of things.  I love most kinds of music.  I don't listen to enough new stuff, but I depend on Nephew1 or my brother to fill me in on the stuff I'd like.

There are songs, like "Ships" by Barry Manilow that take me WAY back.  With that one I'm back in Bozeman, Montana, playing in the drapes.  I can still remember the way they felt and smelled.  They were this greenish color with a sheer liner that I would wrap myself up in.

The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack puts me in the same house, up in my bedroom with the red carpet, dancing around my room while I obsessively cleaned it.

We moved to Denver, Colorado in 1979.  That's when I really started loving the radio.  "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" by Billy Joel.  "My Sharona" by the Knack.  "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen.  And I remember going to my friends house and listening to Shaun Cassidy and Leif Garrett records.  Who knew I'd be watching Leif Garrett 30 years later on World's Dumbest.  Another show I can't walk away from.  Sad, I know.

In 1980 I was in Cheyenne, and I remember making up a dance routine with the neighbor girls to "Upside Down" by Donna Summer.  I remember what her basement looked like.  But I can't see it in my head unless I think of that song.

I have songs with each boyfriend, of course.  Even with boys I liked but didn't ever go out with.  "Running to Stand Still" by U2.  "Follow You, Follow Me" by Genesis.  "And So it Goes" by Billy Joel.  I can't hear those songs without thinking of those guys.  All good guys, by the way.  I think I chose well as I was growing up.

Now, unfortunately, the most concentrated time I spend with my iPod is when I'm mowing the grass.  It's a several-hour long project, and I enjoy it, but now I have tons of my favorite songs that make me think of mowing.  Weird.

I love my music.  All kinds, and all the mental stuff that goes with it.

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