Flying back from our recent Christmas vacation I was listening to music on my IPod and on came Robert Earl Keene’s “I’ll Be There for You.” I was in a melancholy mood and the song struck me in an emotional way. It is the sweetest love song and listening to it made me think, “I wish someone would write or sing me a love song.”
That is so true. I’ve always been an admirer of great song lyrics but I was never a big hair band or Elton John fan because their lyrics were lame or made no sense to me. But, this girl from New Mexico discovered Bruce Springsteen way back high school because of his words. To me, he was (and still is) a lyrical genius. I had no relationship with the east coast at the time, but his words resonated with me. Still, I am not ashamed to admit I got down to many a disco song and have a host of Britney Spears hits on my ITunes. In short, I am a lover of music albeit not all music. My ITunes may have everything from “My Girl” to “My Fair Lady,” “Like a Prayer” to “Living on a Prayer, Petula Clark to Kelly Clarkson, rock ‘n roll to Kid Rock and all things country, but I’m not big on jazz, R&B, or hard-core, degrading rap. I do, however, appreciate the talent behind Eminem. I also don’t really get into Christian rock but I love a traditional church song. Go figure.
What is it about music? Certain songs are ingrained in our memories. Whenever I hear the song “Never Been Any Reason” by Head East, I immediately think of driving to Stillwater from Norman during college with my friend Lynn. We did it one time and undoubtedly heard several songs on the way, but that one stuck. I have no idea why. So very many songs can instantly remind me of a person or place…from years ago…I’m not talking weddings, first dates, or amazing trips. I’m talking driving to Stillwater! I also know the words to countless songs but can’t tell you what I ate for breakfast two days ago or some of my best friends’ phone numbers. Music is magical.
I have always loved music and it’s always been (excuse the pun) instrumental in my life. I still have my Partridge Family albums and I distinctly remember buying “The Best of Bread.” One of my fondest memories from high school is when I worked with the local radio station on a music montage for a big game against our rival team. I worked at the radio station in college and now I live in “The Music Capital of the World.” Sadly, even though I can sing, I can’t play a lick on a guitar or piano. I feel a New Year’s Resolution coming on!
When we first moved to Austin 27 years ago, Smitty and I were frequent attendees of live music events, near or far, big or small. When I made the decision to leave the TV news industry, the first job I took was that of Publicist at The Frank Erwin Center. To this day, it was probably the most fun and favorite job I ever had…perhaps tied only with my first TV job in Oklahoma City. I “had” to work every concert and promote the likes of Cher, U2, George Strait, Bon Jovi, and yes, Bruce Springsteen. What was not to love?! I was in heaven.
Times have changed. I became a mom and the job didn’t quite fit my new mommy schedule. Austin has grown increasingly bigger and more crowded so events are often more of a hassle than a pleasure. Smitty and I have gotten older so the club scene isn’t what we look for in our social life. We still love a live show every now and then, have passed on our love of music to our daughter Kristen, and I’m proud to say her taste in music is more often than not, quite good!
Yes, Kristen is a music devotee but sadly her ITunes generation will never know the joy of reading liner notes or A and B sides. Today’s kids like music, but things are still different. I will never forget visiting Open House at her high school at the beginning of her freshman year. We were in her ACE class, which was a first semester mandatory “learn the ropes of high school” course, and her teacher told us not to be alarmed if our high schoolers study with music on…”it’s what they do” he said. He was right. Kristen, to this day, studies with her earphones on and my country music-loving girl prefers Red Hot Chili Peppers during college finals prep!
This may not be the case with everyone though. My co-worker Ana recently told me about her son Max’s school research project in which he studied the effects of different types of music on someone while reading. Surprisingly, the project wasn’t for a music class, but AP Biology. Apparently music is a science!
To me, it will always be simply a love. A love of lyrics put to a rhythm that touches your soul and can sometimes even change your life. Who, after all, can argue with “Blow away the dreams that break your heart. Blow away the dreams that tear you apart. Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and broken hearted?” Sounds like good advice to me. As a matter of fact, sounds like music to my ears.