Friday, June 11, 2010

My soundtrack

I read Mama Kat's prompts for her writer's workshop this week and chose 30 things I vow to do this summer. But I also wanted to do her prompt about the soundtrack of my life.

We all have certain songs that transport us to specific moments. I mean, if I hear the Zoom theme song, suddenly I'm four and pretending I'm Edith and have a Boston accent. Or I hear Beyonce's All the Single Ladies and it's two years ago and I'm in a hotel room watching her video on TV - and Sage starts shaking it (in a CUTE way, I swear!).

Anybooty, these are the songs that stick me in a particular place in time. My soundtrack.

Top of the World, The Carpenters:  I am 5. I walk on a street near our house with my sister, who's 11, and her friends. I feel awesome because I'm hanging with the Big Kids. We walk, and sing, at a volume that belongs only to the young or the very drunk, "I'm on the top of the world looking, down on creation and the only explanation I can find, is the love, that I've found, every since you've been around, your love puts me at the top of the world." And that's exactly how happy I am. Until we see a dead bird in the gutter at the side of the street. I, for some reason, poke it with my finger. Everyone tells me how disgusting I am and that I probably now have rabies. I'm devastated and slink back home.

Day O, Harry Belafonte: I am 7 or 8. I am obsessed with Harry Belafonte. Obsessed! I find an old record of my parents and play it over and over again. "A beautiful bunch of ripe bananas!" Not sure if they do this at the new place, but when I used to go to the old Yankee Stadium, sometimes they'd play just the "DAY O" part and it would echo, right before the crowd yelled it. Always made me smile.

Hard to Say I'm Sorry, Chicago: I am 13. I put this 45 on repeat, turn off the lights and close the door of our family room. I lie on the couch and listened to this over and over and over. I loved it. Loved it, even though it did not at all apply to anything in my life. Finally my brother complains because really? No one should ever have to listen to this song. Especially 91 times in a row. My parents make me turn it off. What they must have thought..

Live from Hollywood Bowl, the Beatles; Doors Greatest Hits: All was not lost when I was 13. I discover both the Beatles and the Doors. In eighth grade my best friend Paula and I do a report on the Beatles. We make paper bag puppets for John, Paul, George and Ringo and dance them around to I Wanna Hold Your Hand from the Hollywood Bowl album. How fun was THAT? Let's just say the Doors fit in with my mood swings back in those days.

More Than a Feeling, Boston: I am 16. I love me some Classic Rock. Still do. I wear out my Boston tape listening to it constantly in the car. We cruise around - I wasn't driving, I swear! - and drink ice cold Budweiser and play area guitar and blast this. So now when I hear this song I'm taken back...and then I burp.

Faithfully, Journey: I am 17, hanging out at the Homecoming dance. I wear a soft rose-pink Laura Ashley dress that was my most favorite dress ever. I feel pretty. I don't dance with anyone, just hang on the bleachers. And watch everyone else make out and wonder if it would ever be me.

Crazy on You, Heart: I'm 19. A guy friend who lives above me in my dorm blasts this on particular mornings. We know it's time to wake up and start drinkin'. I still remember exactly how it sounded, muted by the floor/ceiling separating us, but loud enough to make me bolt upright. It may or may not have actually been noon rather than the morning..

Diamond Girl, Stevie B.; Brown-eyed Girl, Van Morrison; Just a Friend, Biz Markie; U Can't Touch This, MC Hammer; You Dropped a Bomb on Me, Gap Band; All Around the World, Lisa Stansfield; Fascinated, Company B., Cecilia, Simon and Garfunkel; Red Red Wine, UB40; Add it Up, Violent Femmes: More college. Different friends, different bars, different music. I could tell you about each song, but that would be VERY boring. You're welcome. Let's just say they involved drinking and dancing and loud drunk singing. It was college, y'all!

These are the Days, 10,000 Maniacs; True Companion, Marc Cohn: I am 32. I wear a beautiful ivory dress, with beadwork on the bodice and a band a silk satin around the hem. I peer down from the balcony as the music starts. The setting sun reflects gold sparks on the ocean. The people seated below radiate love for us and are there, together, from all over the country to share our happiest day. "Never before and never since, I promise, has the whole word been one as this.." ... The sun has just set, and I hear the sound of the waves from the beach 20 yards away. It is still warm. In the high 70s, maybe, and I can't believe how gorgeous the orange-red-pink sunset was. How perfect the ceremony. And now I hear the words, "Baby I've been searching" and David and I are dancing, and crying, and dancing. We're married. Each to our true companion.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing: I am 34. Sawyer is born Dec. 13. The next day, I'm in the hospital room with a friend. David and her husband leave so my friend can help me with the whole nursing thing. A nurse comes in and mentions carolers are walking around, and did I want to keep my door open?  I soon hear them singing about glory to the newborn king. I'm not Christian or religious or anything, but I look at my beautiful, perfect newborn. MY newborn king, and the tears fall.

Beautiful Day, U2; Sexyback, Justin Timberlake; Chump, Green Day; Pump It, Black Eyed Peas; Alive, Pearl Jam: I am 38 and training for my first marathon. These are the songs that get me through another mile, another hill, another few feet. These songs are still on my shuffle today, and they motivate me to go faster, harder or, some days, just to finish.

Don't Stop Til You Get Enough, Michael Jackson: I'm 41. I'm hold X. Sage and Sawyer play. David starts the music, and just like that, it's a family dance party. We spin, we shimmy, we booty shake. We sing. X screams with delight. Or maybe it's with fear from my singing. The older kids want to be picked up and bounced and spun, too. The stress of the day melts away. We are laughing and singing and dancing til we're breathless. Then we do it again.

Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen: I am 17. 21. 30. 37. 41. I am driving, and roll down my window to let the breeze blow back my hair at just the right moment. This is absolutely my all-time favorite song. Why? Because it has the best lyric ever written: "Show a little faith there's magic in the night, you ain't a beauty but hey you're alright." You may be all, "The eff?" at that, but it speaks to me. And that's what music's about, right? How it touches us and moves us and makes us feel.

I'd also like to take this moment to thank my husband for attending two shows with me, despite him not being a fan. Because he knows how much I love The Boss, and how his music makes me feel. That's what love is, people. That's what love is.

So I'm dying to know: what's on YOUR soundtrack?


Kirsten said...

SexyBack is one of MY running tunes too!! Gets me going EVERY TIME! And Journey? Well, who doesn't feel compelled to sing to Journey? Although it does bring back faint memories of hours spent in the orthodontist's chair as well....

Paula said...

Hey, that's me! ;-)
I have a long moto mix playlist on my phone, and I could only tell you very, very few of the titles, because you can't look at your phone's screen and ride at the same time.
But I am so cool listening to that soundtrack, riding fast, and singing very, very loudly in my helmet!

Cheryl said...

Kirsten - The song is great not only because it's got a fast beat, but also because it's really freaking long so I it lasts for more than half a mile. Never saw an orthodontist, so luckily I don't have that association!

Paula - I wondered if you'd see this! That was the best report - EVER! And you are ALWAYS cool, my friend!

Karen Mortensen said...

I think that is so wonderful that you have songs for each stage of your life. I wish I could do that. Music and me have just been more of aquaintences. But my husband on the other had could do this.

caroline said...

OK Cheryl, you had me at The Carpenters! Again, you've inspired me to make a summer playlist. Keep up the intensely awesome writing you've been doing lately! You have set the bar high for this summer.

Cheryl said...

Karen - I don't so much have a song for each stage (well, except for my wedding) as I just associate certain songs w/ those stages. If that makes sense!

Caroline - I'm blushing. Thanks! You must share your list once again.

Amy said...

the only song that I am sure about in the soundtrack of my life is "Walk on the Ocean" and it was a very powerful song to me when I was 21 and my best friends and I were all headed to different parts of the world. It still brings those memories flooding back.

Your soundtrack would be great on the ipod. :)

Cheryl said...

Amy - Oh! By Toad the Wet Sprocket? LOVE it!

The Empress said...

People will think I'm nuts, but there are a few eminem songs tht move my butt like no other:

first and foremost'"Love yourself." Try it, and see...

Aging Mommy said...

Wonderful songs and stories Cheryl, but the one that almost made me cry was Hark The Herald Angels. I'm not religious either but I still love carols and I can imagine hearing that song with a newborn in your arms was quite magical.

Anonymous said...

First of all I heart Heart! Also my husband wants you to know that he saw Bruce in 2004 in Toronto and after the show as he was walking to the car Bruce's vehicle drove by and Bruce was in it with the window rolled down and the hubs yelled "Great set, Bruce" and Bruce gave him the thumbs up sign. He's a total nerd and might have been taking herbal supplements but his friend who was there says the story is legit. That is are one and only brush with fame.

citymouse said...

Stopping by from SITS to say hi. I am impressed that you could come up with such a great list. I love music, but I think I might be challenged to have such a well thought out list. I smiled when you mentioned the Zoom song. I loved that show and haven't thought about it in ages.

MeCassieMarie said...

I love seeing the variety of songs here! This was such a fun post to read. Hope you are having an amazing day!

Stopping by from SITS! :)

Cheryl said...

Empress - Love eminem!

AM - It really was. I was a little mortified b/c my friend was there, but it was really moving at the time.

Mombshell - One time I was covering a World Series I was in a room listening to the Baseball Comissioner - while outside at the batting cages? Bruce! And I missed it! Ack!

CM - Zoom was the best! I so wanted to be on that show!

MCM - Thanks!!

Tonya said...

Great list and I love all the memories. Thank you for sharing. I chose this prompt too and it was hard... There are so so many songs that take me back to good, bad, indifferent, wonderful, heartbreaking and unforgettable memories.

hezro said...

I've been thinking that I need to switch out the music on my MP3 player because right now it's not all good stuff for exercising. I had just been using it for some "peace and quiet" while cleaning up the house. (And then I would pretend I couldn't hear the fifteen requests for this and that non-important things from my little ones. *hehe*) But it's not a good mix for exercising. Need to switch out the tunes.

Cheryl said...

Tonya - It was hard! I could've added a lot more!

Hezro - You totally need some booty shaking music!

Rachel said...

I also have certain songs that reminds me of certain times in my life. Madonna's Crazy for you was a song I listened to when I was infatuated with a friend, under pressure reminds me of the stresses i went to in gradschool. but if i were to choose one song as my theme, it would be Dust in the wind. :)

Dropping by from SITS! :)

Pamela said...

What a great idea for a post! I had an hour or so to myself this morning & started popping in some old cds that totally started bringing back the memories. I love how we all have our own special "soundtracks":)

Hagler Happenings said...

I've been thinking about this post. I have SO many songs I could include. We all have soundtracks of our lives. The one that keeps coming to mind is Dave Mathews Band - Under the table & Crash. Those CDs came out when I was in college... brings me back every time. :)

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