I have heard it is music that makes the world go around. Although I am not certain of the exact meaning of that phrase, I do believe music creates feelings and connections to others. People, places and things get attached to certain songs or artists of the time. Most people who hear the song they danced to at their wedding will remember something from that day, seventy five years later. Memories that I associated with music seem to always give me comfort. It’s as if my brain makes no association between unpleasant and music, it will only pick out something that, even if sad, will still make me smile.
Listening to Stevie Nicks reminds me of an uncle, who was more like a brother growing up. I have been waiting four months for him to call back, just to make sure I am good, while the rest of our family has slipped into insanity. While that thought is there, it does not make me feel good or bad, it just is. However, the flashbacks of snow skiing, Pizza Hut and a shattered bottle of Peppermint Snaps makes me laugh every time.
Metallica‘s Master of Puppets brings up memories of driving around in a 80′s something silver Chevy Cavalier, best friends, 3.2 Shaffer beer, 7-11 Slurpee’s, and broken curfews. While a young Justin, Britney or Christina is an instant picture of, “singing” along as loud as possible in old blue Pontiac Firebird with my little girl, while pregnant, fat, and hot as hell in the Nevada desert. And twenty year later it is Boyz II Men that still makes my stomach flutter, thinking about the night my husband’s number came across my pager for the first time.
Play anything that is Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, and I can taste the ice-cold beer, feel the heat of the sun, smell the charcoal grill, hear the laughter, and see the miles of red rock reflecting back from the still glass as the light fades into dark. Regardless of family relationships that are currently spinning around in some weird shit storm, that is one memory that will never be blemished.
I remember when there was an uproar about the music created by bands like Judas Priest, AC/DC, Metallica, etc. It was crazy devil music that was going to turn kids into suicidal mass murders if they listened to it backwards. I do not know anyone that, in the safety of a group of friends, did not try to hear what that “message” said. If only for the reason so much attention was placed upon the horror of it. The last time I checked, my friends and I were good, not one satin worshiping homicidal maniac among us. If they would have seen what basic cable had in store for my kids to watch thirty years later, they would have thought we were listening to a nursery rhyme that Barney wrote.
Two decades later, I can cause an uproar just by bumping some TuPac or Eminem in certain areas of town. It is that horrible “black” music that uses all the bad language, and makes reference to sex and drugs. Kind of like the “SEX DRUGS AND ROCK AND ROLL” Elvis Presley created in the last millennium with his hips and pills, causing so many to faint in shock. Rap is just today’s horror for those that only see things as absolutes, and have no imagination. Pretend there are no bad words and if you are prejudice, take comfort in Eminem’s whiteness, then try spending ten minutes on-line learning about the music your kid has blaring through his headphones. It will probably give you more insight into their world, than the sight of them rolling their eyes as you ask about their day.
Regardless of taste in music, if the words touch your soul, consider it a gift. Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men came out with “One Sweet Day“, in mid November of 1995. When my grandfather passed away a few days later, I instantly attached that song to my grandmother and what she may have felt. She had her late night TV shows and my grandfather had his early morning eggs, but from my view there was a rhythm, they went together. I often wonder why I never shared this song with her during that time, maybe I thought it would upset her. While I know Mariah and the Boyz did not write it about my grandparents, my memories of them will forever be cherished within their creation, and no one can take that from me.
“One Sweet Day”
Sorry I never told you
And now it’s too late to hold you
‘Cause you’ve flown away
So far away Never had I imagined
Living without your smile
Feeling and knowing you hear me
It keeps me alive
Like so many friends we’ve lost along the way
And I know eventually we’ll be together
One sweet day
Assumed you’d always be there
I took your presence for granted
But I always cared
And I miss the love we sharedAlthough the sun will never shine the same again
I’ll always look to a brighter day
Lord I know when I lay me down to sleep
You will always listen as I pray
All I wanted to say