I was talking to a friend yesterday and he was telling me what music he was listening to. At the time it was Guns N Roses. Man, it had been a LONG time since I had listened to them or even thought about the, but when I listened again to their songs and as I hear the verses of "November Rain" wisping through my brain even now the memories from that time bubble up. That is how music is for me and for most of us I would guess. It marks a place in time for us and reminds us of where we were and what we were doing or going through or who we were with or who knows what else. It made me think of the songs that represent something in my life of significance that will be marked forever by these songs.
My earliest music memories come from my mom. She seemed to always have music on the record player and I am sure that has been foundational for each of her children; I know it has been for me. We'd listen to the Beatles, Loggins & Messina, James Taylor, Carol King, Carly Simon, Simon & Garfunkel and Christopher Cross. I can remember her in the kitchen of our house on Marlowe making apple skin ribbons for my older sister and I as we ran around the table in the dining room eating them, laughing and listening to Christopher Cross' "Sailing". I can remember the curtains in that room, the window seat, the record player, my mom's hair, my sister's bowl cut...the whole thing--oh, and let's not forget the fantastic, green carpeting under our feet as we ran in circles.
To this day, I love that song, James Taylor, Kenny Loggins, Carly Simon and many songs by the other artists. They will always be a part of the soundtrack of my childhood and even my early-adulthood. When I went away to the Navy, my mom and I had a very tenuous relationship. She made me a mix tape where she also recorded herself telling me some things about the songs she chose. The one of the most significance was by Carly Simon's "Love of My Life":
It meant a lot to me to hear these things from my mom and I DO so love lilacs! As a mother myself now, I know exactly where Carly was coming from. To be loved in this way and to have lost it for so long with my mom as I got older turned a corner because this song made an impact on me and helped my mom express what I'd needed to hear for so long.
When I was in Pesacola, FL for Aircrew school, The Red Hot Chili Peppers came out with "Under the Bridge". When I talk to anyone I went to crew school with, this song represents that time we spent together. I can see myself on the road behind the barracks in Kim's white Grand Prix, my Ray-bans on, the sun shining, the windows down, a smile on my face and this song on the radio:
When I was in San Diego living with my roommate who became my best friend, Jessica, we listened to Blind Melon, Soul Asylum, Spin Doctors, and Reba McEntire. The songs "Runaway Train", "Somebody to Shove", "No Rain", "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong", "What Time is It?"
and the entire Reba's Greatest Hits Vol 2--the whole album--played a million times between us during 1993-94 when we lived together. I still own every one of those albums! For my time with her, while "No Rain" was probably the most played song, the most significant and (later) meaningful was "Does He Love You?" by Reba. Jess would always have me sing the Reba part and she would sing the Linda Davis part. Wish I'd paid more attention at the time!:
On September 3, 1994, I married my now-ex husband. We didn't have a song at the time and I guess I'd never really thought about it. I was pregnant with our first child at the time when I heard this song by Donna Lewis, "Always Forever", came out. The verse about the baby's blue eyes stuck with me because early on both Pierre and I had dreamt we'd had a blonde-haired, blue-eyed baby boy...and we did. Today, he is a dirty blonde with green eyes and over 6' tall, but this song is forever for my first baby:
Following the birth of our middle child, things got tenuous between us. We went out one night to sing karaoke at Corky's bar. My ex sang Creed's "With Arm's Wide Open" and dedicated it to me for our son who'd been born just months before:
When our middle child was about 7 months old, we went to New Hampshire with my cousins to stay at my dad's house where I'd spent 1977-80 with my family growing up. My aunt took us on a hike up the back of a hill by her house where you can view the Presidential Mountain Range. While our marriage was falling down around us, I found us standing in a field of gold around us. Pierre had declared this our song long before. As we stood there, he sang this to me. For a moment, I had hope:
Nine months later, my ex moved out. We spent 6 months separated. Then, we got pregnant with our third and final child. When she was born the following year, I can remember him sitting at the computer with her in his arms and playing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as sung by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. In the version he'd play her, it would start with "This one's for Gabby"...and that made it her song. To this day, she still asks for him to hold her in his arms and play her song. Here it is, my little girl...remember that dreams really do come true!:
For many years, music was just background noise. I forgot the joy and emotion and sadness and memories held inside the rhythms and lyrics. I love hip-hop, rap and dance to workout to or just listen to in my car. I like country and folk because they tell stories. I like pop and alternative because they carry emotion. I like classical and nature sounds because there are no words and just the movement of the music or the rhythm of the sounds.
For my SAM, this song will always be our song. You were the first person to whom I spilled all my secrets and I am the person with whom you felt comfortable enough to tell yours. When I put together the playlist of my time with you, I hadn't heard this song yet. As I was burning the first CD, I heard the song and knew it belonged. Now, I hear it CONSTANTLY on the radio and have it on a number of my playlists. It will forever remind me of you and make me appreciate that time when you were my safe haven. I hope you stay safe and well and know you are loved: