Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Life In Music

The house is quiet, hubby is out, the kids are asleep and I have been adding songs to my Playlist for my has put me in mellow mood, as always seems to happen when I have time to listen to meaningful music. Much like reading an emotionally powerful novel it takes my mind to a place that reflects on the past, the present, the future and all the events in my life related to or described by the lyrics and rhythms in the songs. My family is full of musicians, my father, brothers, uncles, nephews and cousins...guitar pickers, bluegrass lovers, rock and rollers and amazing songwriters are all in the mix. No family gathering ever occurs without guitars and a foot stomping celebration of our roots.

I had the urge tonight to post snippets of song lyrics that are the timeline of my life, but this blog would be 5 pages long. Then it occurred to me to just post the song titles. They are all on my playlist, anyone interested could just find the song and listen. However, this blog is really just for me. I don't expect anyone to be all that interested. I just have the need to purge this....there are no words of my own flowing from my brain tonight. No poetry. Nothing new...only things that have already been said. Only the words of these songs, stolen from others and applied to the realities of my life. Songs so significant in my life that many of them stop me in my tracks.

The first being Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd, which describes the descent of my mother's sanity and the feelings I have surrounding her loss. The song was written for Syd Barrett, the bands original singer and songwriter. His friends and bandmates watch him slip into the depths of mental illness at the beginning of their success....they have captured the feeling of loss so wonderfully. I want this song played at my funeral someday. "We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year" Those words seem to sum up my mother daughter experience. Even now that she is gone, I still feel that....year after year.

The second is For You by Stained. I hope that when I my sons are teenagers I have the sense to listen to this song and remember my own childhood. This song just embodies everything I felt as a teenager of a broken home, a victim of abuse, a lost child trying desperately to find a way out of the darkness that was my reality at the time.

The third is Not a Pretty Girl by Ani Difranco. This woman is such an amazing songwriter, every word she puts to paper touches me on some level, but this song is who I am. Once I found myself, became comfortable in my own skin, and decided to forge my own path in life, this is who I became. From the moment I first heard this song I felt like Ani had somehow reached into my soul and pulled out my inner feelings about who I am. Yes I am pretty, or pretty enough...but I don't care about being a "pretty" girl. I want to be the girl you remember because she said or wrote something that affected you in some way...not because she is attractive.

My feelings on politics, government and human rights? Blowing in the Wind by Bob Dylan. 40 years later this song still holds a powerful message that I wish every human on Earth could take to heart.

My family, my roots, my heritage - Leave This Long Haired Country Boy Alone by Charlie Daniels. These are my father's people. Hillbillies. Country Trash. River Rats. Guitar Pickers and Whiskey Drinkers. I love them fiercely.

The soundtrack of those family gatherings often included songs like The Ballad of Curtis Lowe by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Copperhead Road by Steve Earl and dozens of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Willie Nelson songs.

My experience with aging - Outlaw Women by Hank Jr. These are my girls. One of a kind. Loud, rowdy, strong, independent and opinionated. Take it or leave it. We have gone from being girls to women, girlfriends to wives, and kids to mothers. There are a handful of us who are still a tight knit group and Hank says it all about who we are.

The memories of being young and free as a teenager...ok don't laugh....Good Ole Boys by Waylon Jennings. Yes it is the theme song to the Dukes of Hazard, but more than that to me, it describes life for the youth of my generation growing up in rural small town America. We got our kicks taking risks and evading the law. We never meant any harm, never created any violence or vandalism, we were just kids with nothing better to do but drink beer, race cars, get crazy and be young. Another song that is an accurate description for my generation of country boys and girls is Fortunate Son by CCR, once again a song that was written for our parents generation seems to hold true, even for my own children.

My life today Small Town by John Mellencamp. He says it all.....

All of these songs....feelings captured in the words written by phenomenal artists. Writers I could only dream of being comparable to. They speak to me in ways that Wordsworth and Lord Byron will never be able to do.


Shannon said...

I LOVE Staind! Great band. O and Credence, ya and Dylan! Love (most of) your playlist! Not much of a country lover, but just may listen to some of these songs, just because they mean something to you. Maybe I can draw new meaning from them! You've also inspired me to update my playlist! I've been listening to a lot of oldies lately. Could be spending time with my good ol daddy!

The Flying Circus Mom said...

Thank you for posting this. I too can get into music and hear a song and it take me right back to certain times in my life. I can relate to alot of those songs also...