A LIFE IN SONG.
Not unlike most everyone else there have been times over the years when I would turn on the radio and hear a song that just seemed to “speak” to me. Maybe it was a problem I was dealing with or a romance gone south but for some reason there it was in music and it was like the writer had been standing in the shadows just watching and waiting.
I never really gave it much thought at the moment but here recently I have been listening to a lot of music in a way I never did before. For me music has always been background noise in my life. Something to fill the air while I was busy doing other things. Oh sure there were those times when I was dancing through the livingroom pushing my vacuum that a catchy lyric would grab my attention for a moment but for the most part it was the melodies that comforted me. I have always been drawn to music of all sorts but I never really listened to the words.
While driving home I had the radio on as usual and all of a sudden realized I was listening to the words of the song on the radio. Now I will admit I am not a “music guru” at all and most of the time can’t tell you who sang it or even the title of a song but this one I knew! It was Gloria Gaynor and she was belting out, “I will survive”! As my brain processed that information, the road in front of me sort of blurred and I was transported back almost 30 years to a time in my life when this very song was my mantra. The words said everything I desperately want to say but didn’t have the courage or chance to say. When the song was over I started thinking to myself about my life in terms of music and it was then that I realized that my entire life has been a musical journey unlike any other so I decided to try to catalog that journey here. Who knows maybe my kids will read this and discover something they didn’t know about their mother. Maybe the hubby will read it and find himself in the songs, and maybe my friends and enemies alike will take a moment to see the impact they each have had in my life.
I will try to give you a brief explanation for each song and how it fits me or my world. You may find yourself in here and if you do then I have done it right, if you don’t then maybe music isn’t your thing.
1973: Crocodile Rock, Elton John
I had just turned 13 and thought this is it! Every Saturday night I went to the Roller Rink and it never failed this song was played for the “girls choice” skate. For weeks I had waited to ask the boy who lived across the street to skate with me and then I got my chance…this song…that boy…pure heaven and Elton John sang it all for me!
1976: Only Sixteen, Dr. Hook and Breaking Up’s Hard To Do, Neil Sedaka
Sixteen, that magic age between almost an adult and not quite a kid when the world is your oyster and your invincible. Problem is this is usually the time when you discover the opposite sex in a new way as well. At least back then most of us were still virgins at 16 but that didn’t stop the hormones from racing so Dr. Hook and Neil Sedaka stepped up and played to my broken heart.
1978: How Deep Is Your Love, Bee Gees; Baby Come Back, Player; Emotion, Samantha Sang; and Can’t Smile Without You, Barry Manilow.
Baby Come Back
Eighteen and my world was in turmoil. A relationship I wanted desperately, living away from home for the first time, falling in love for real, and being terrified to give in. The Bee Gees haunted me with questions, Player, Samantha and Barry all said what I wanted to say. I was flirting with danger and pretending I was an adult while still very much a little girl. He was everything I had ever dreamed of but I didn’t know how to hold him and he was just as scared as me but I didn’t understand that.
1979:I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor; We Are Family, Sister Sledge; Sometimes When We Touch, Dan Hill and Bad Girls, Donna Summer.
Sometimes When We Touch
(Not the original but not a bad version)
I Will Survive
We Are Family
Nineteen and I had given in and Dan Hill explained what it felt like but the worst happened and then Gloria Gaynor said it all for me and I lived it every step of the way. I was determined to survive and I did. Sister Sledge reinforced that family feeling because they were all I had left. On the night of my 19th birthday it was the song they played at the club and the ones that were celebrating with me were my family and friends, but it wasn’t long before Donna took hold as did the Disco Scene and I became the “bad girl”.
1980-1983 Another One Bites The Dust, Queen; Celebration, Kool & The Gang; Maneater, Daryl Hall & John Oates and Always Something There To Remind Me, Naked Eyes.
Another One Bites The Dust
This was my downward spiral. I was a new mom, I let him walk away and I was determined that I would find or make someone just as good want me and then leave them hanging. I was becoming the “maneater” Daryl and John warned about, and if “another one bites the dust” so what was my thinking. It was a constant “celebration” and Kool & The Gang were right there to remind me but even when I didn’t want to see it, there was “always something there to remind me”.
1984 Three times a Lady, The Commodors and Faithfully, Journey.
These were not my songs they were his, but on the day I said “I do” he held me and we danced. He had found me and pulled me back to who I was. Who I wanted to be. He let me know that love was possible and promised to be my friend. He had seen me at my worst and still said “I love you”. It was what I hoped for but dared not to dream of.
1985-2010 25 years of songs that touched my life and highlighted the events that help mold me into the person I am today. From “Candy”, “Shannon”, “Amy” and “Sara Smile” to “Daddy’s Hands”, “Butterfly Kisses” and “I Love Her First” one artist after another has sung my life.
While these songs are not how the girls got their names I did find it interesting that all 4 of them has a song. While I searched in vain for a copy of “Shannon” by Henry Gross, I was not able to find one. If I do in the future I will update this blog.
On the day our oldest got married I watched as her and her Daddy danced to this very song. While their relationship had not always been a bed of roses, it was clear to anyone watching them that there was a deep and lasting love between Father and Daughter. He held her close while singing in her ear the words that meant so much. As I sat there and watched them, I couldn’t help but thank the stars that I had both of them in my life.
As the years have passed and I have grown older and wiser hopefully I was blessed with 2 more angels in my life and for them both “Cinderella” will always remind me of them.
Now today after having taken this journey down memory lane I find that there are still songs that “speak” to me and if I had a chance to say thank you to those who sing them I would, but I will just let this blog say for me now what I may never have a chance to say, and that is….
My family and friends Rascal Flatts said it best when they said….
Mom and Dad…you taught me well and left your mark on my life…this one is for you…
And now my life and world are “Unstoppable”