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?
Portraits of strength - [image: haitifeatured] Today I want to feature some of the portraits that I took that will give you my impression of Haiti better than anything I could write.
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