I’m really lucky that my children indulge me from time to time and throw some of my songs into the YouTube mix of the day. Music is a big part of our lives. We love all different kinds. If you show up at our house you might hear anything from Kid Rock and Buck Cherry to Miranda Lambert and Johnny Cash, there’s no genre bias. If it’s good, we’re listening! Dancing around on the floor to some cranked up bass lines is a familiar sight in our living room!
When Blondie was little, she used to fight her Daddy for the microphone in our karaoke battles. She won, hands down! He’s still pouting about it.
Typically we crank up the computer, which has a better sound system than our TV, and the kids take turns surfing the videos.
The other day Tucker clicked on Paul Revere by none other than the Beastie Boys! “I can’t believe he died, he was so young!” I exclaimed. “How’d he die?” Tucker asked.”Cancer…”
“Did he smoke?”
(I’m no insinuating that he died from smoking, this is just kid thought process here.)
“To tell the truth, I don’t really know.”
“He probably did. Back in the old days they thought it was cool to do that!”
Yeah, the old days, I guess that song was cool in the old days too! I guess I can take heart in the fact that none of my children seem to think there would ever be a good reason to start smoking.
That’s a good thing! I always wonder what things they will and won’t try to learn on their own. I tried smoking once. For a whole big week. Okay, half a week! When I think about it, it’s pretty sad that in junior high I could walk into Stop N Go and buy cigarettes by simply saying I had graduated the year before! No i.d., no second look at my baby face, just took my dollars and handed me Marlboro Light 100’s that I packed down like a pro.
I smoked a few with my friends, and then started to do it after school. For about 3 days. Then one day, I put my clarinet up to my lips and out came the nastiest hacking cough I had ever heard. Surely a kid with asthmatic tendencies and severe allergies would know better than to puff on a cigarette, but when it came to hanging out with cute boys, I sometimes lost the ability to think clearly. I remember trying to get through our school fight song, hacking and coughing all the way. That day, I made a choice. I picked music. No more smokes for me, never, ever, not of any kind!
Instead, I spent the rest of junior high and high school in both band and choir, surrounded by a bunch of kids who loved music as much as I did. One time at band camp, wait, wrong story…. I remember listening to the boys do their very best Beastie Boy imitations, fighting for their right to party in the lunch line and me, I was Tori Amos in my bedroom belting out “Silent All These Years” and thinking about all the screams that were tragically lost in paper cups…
Its funny to me just how many songs are attached to my memories, as if the melodies were meant to tell my very own stories. Here’s my Top 10, scratch that, here are the first 10 that popped into my head!
10) And Justice For All : Metallica : I know the mere title gave you the urge to bang your head, but my grandpa gave me an old acoustic guitar and this boy I loved taught me to play that song on it. Later that boy used to have “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” with me every day.
9) Youth Gone Wild : Skid Row : The first boy to ever kiss me doodled the lyrics to this song on my notebook, and then my history teacher/ athletics coach was impressed by my deeply profound poetry. Until I told him it was a song… meanwhile my posters of Sebastian Bach had me dreaming of spending my summer with the top rolled down! Wished ever after could be like that…
8) Anything by Alabama, Lionel Richie, or Conway Twitty : My mother used to crank up the tunes, on vinyl, and clean house on the weekends with her Potpourri Pots simmering all over the place. I can still hear that Alabama Live Album spinning and the crowd cheering about a 40 hour week as I scrub the baseboards!
7) Nobody : Sylvia : Talk about your early 80’s country songs, this is where I learned all about who’s cheating who, and who’s being true, and who don’t even care anymore! Me and my sisters were the white Supremes whenever that song came on the radio! I still know every word.
6) Purple People Eater : Sheb Wooley : Here’s where my sister and I learned the fantastic craft of prank calling. Caller id ruined the art of prank calls, just ruined it!
5) Coca Cola Cowboy : Mel Tillis : I was 3 years old when this song came out, and my dad was driving a Coca-Cola delivery truck. I learned every word and used to go around singing all about his Eastwood smile and Robert Redford hair. We’ll call this obsession a foreshadow to my Coca-Cola collection! I can’t help it, I just want the world to sing in perfect harmony and then buy them all a coke from my very own coke machine!
4) We Built This City : Starship : I know, it’s hailed as one of the worst ever sell out songs, but I remember when my mom finally got us our very first house- 919 Elton Street if I remember correctly. It was the house where life was being rebuilt. I used to lay in my tiny little bedroom where every wall was a different color, and use my feet to rock myself to sleep on the waves of my super single water bed while the song whispered out from the clock radio in my bay window.
3) Tom Sawyer : Rush : One of my first ever concert experiences. And by experience, I mean there were no parents along for this ride! It was me, my best friend Kim, and the rest of the details are Top Secret, fully protected by the “We had just turned 18” Clause.
2) Her Man : Gary Alan : In the beginning, my hubby and I almost didn’t make it. He was getting over a marriage gone wrong. We were both pretty young. Too many wild oats needed sowing. Then one day he showed up, I climbed into his 1978 Camaro, this song came on and he said it was for me as he sang every word. I bought it, hook, line, and sinker… it’s still the ringtone whenever he calls my cellphone.
1) Remember When : Alan Jackson : Always makes me think of the amazing journey my marriage has been. “Life was changed, disassembled, rearranged! We came together, fell apart, and broke each others hearts… brought back the love, we found trust, vowed to never give it up!”
I find ten more popping into my head so fast, but I promised ten, and only ten, so the rest of my music memories will have to wait for another day. Maybe I will make it a weekly feature here on my blog. Everyone needs a soundtrack for their life! Like Trisha Yearwood says, “The Song Remembers When…”
In fact, I wanna hear your soundtrack. What’s the best music memory you have? What song always takes you back to that moment??