Truer words have never been spoken. Music is life, and it frames our lives. At least it does mine.
It is part of almost everything I do. Driving from one place to another, doing housework, sitting at my desk at work, any form of exercise I can squeak out, mowing the lawn, having dinner with friends, it's there. Be it faintly in the background, or blaring in my ears, it's there. It carries me along through my tasks.
It is in the framework of my life. It sparks memories. There are songs associated with every person and place and time in my life. I have many fond, wonderful memories of my Pepere, but when the song “He'll Have to Go” by Jim Reeves comes up on my shuffle list, I can literally see him sitting back in his chair, smoking his pipe and enjoying the song. Any Fats Domino comes on and I immediately think of my Dad. Glen Miller “In the Mood,” and I can see Memere and Pepere cutting a rug like no other. There are so many songs that remind me of my Mom as well. Anything by Hank Williams Sr. or Charlie Pride, The Twist, and she's taken a recent liking to “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.” Oh my…
I literally have a song associated with every relationship/love interest/infatuation I've ever had in my life. I turn on “Ray of Light” by Madonna, and I am literally back in the summer of 1998. 20 years old, the first summer of my relationship with Joe. Happy, not a care in the world, zipping around London with the top down and loving life.
I love all kinds of music. If I put a full shuffle on my playlist, you will hear quite a mixture of different genres. You'll hear some oldies, old style country, new style country, 60's, 70's – thanks Auntie Colette, lots from the 80's 90's, and current. You'll come across lots of show tunes, some gospel music, hip hop, etc, etc.
Spice Girls, Ozzy Osbourne, Roy Orbison, Guns N' Roses, Dolly Parton, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Metallica, New Kids on the Block, ZZ Top, Patsy Cline, the list goes on. Then of course you're bound to stumble across a Backyardigans tune and a Mugglenet podcast here and there. Several Broadway musicals, and TONS of Glee – you can imagine that show is right up my alley. 🙂
Few things spark emotions in me the way music does. A well placed song will spark tears (good ones or bad ones) – thinking about parts in movies that made me cry when I watched them will not make me cry again. Hearing the music that was played during that part of the movie – almost sure to make me cry again.
Music connects people. It runs through every culture in every part of the world. It is played at gatherings, weddings, funerals, celebrations, things that bring people together. It is woven throughout society everywhere.
You'll know if you read this post from a while ago, that I had been away from going to church for quite a while. When Joe and I were dating and around the time of our marriage, we used to attend chruch in London and I loved it. The choir there was great, and they often used to sing a particular hymn called “You are the Voice.” It is a wonderful hymn, and when the choir there used to sing it, I felt like I could rise up through the rafters. We got married in that church and I made sure it was played during our wedding mass. The book that it was in was not at our local parish and I had never heard it before going there and did not expect to hear it again unless we went back to the London parish. Sitting in the pew with my Mom and Nicholas waiting for mass to start on my first Sunday back and the choir was singing a few songs. You can probably guess what I'm going to say next: if they didn't break into “You are the Voice.” I sat there in astonishment for a few seconds before my eyes filled – gosh I'm a crybaby. To me, that felt like God himself was reaching down from Heaven and using the best way He could with me to say: “Hey kid, welcome back.”
I'm seeing this love that I have being passed on to my son. He of course has been exposed to music since before he was born, kicks increasing drastically whenever “Alberta” by Eric Clapton would come on in the car. When he was very little, singing to him was the only way to get him to fall asleep. Now that he's older, he loves to sing – though he needs to work on his pitch a little 😉 and dance. His favourite show since he was 6 months old is the Backyardigans, and I'm sure that is because along with being very bright and colourful, it is full of singing and dancing. I try to encourage this in him, hoping that someday maybe he'll even take up an instrument, something that I have always wished I had done, but never had the opportunity.
So many songs have made an impact on my life, but I thought I would share a few here.
One of my favourites – Mama I'm Coming Home by Ozzy Osbourne. I never get tired of hearing it, playing it loud, belting it out. It always astonished me how he could go from being well, Ozzy – to having the most amazing voice when he sang.
Another one that brings back memories, for me and I'm sure for my Mother, because she had to hear it on repeat 50,000 times when I was in High School when I was pining over someone or another, was November Rain by Guns N' Roses. I'm sure she would still recognize it and roll her eyes after just the first few bars.
The Phantom of the Opera was the first piece of musical theatre I was ever exposed to. I was in Grade 6, and our music teacher taught us about the musical. I became slightly obsessed. It remains one of my favourites to this day. I saw it nine times in Toronto before it closed. It also introduced me to the voice of Michael Crawford, the original Phantom, who I still worship and would probably pay a very large sum of money to see live if I ever had the opportunity. It led to a deep love and appreciation for musical theatre, and I have seen many shows since.
There are so many more that have impacted me, that have made me into the person I am today, and I'm sure that there will be many more in the years to come. As Darren Criss, an extremely talented individual from Glee says above: “The cool thing about music is that no one can take it away from you.” This is so true. Music is so widespread, yet it is such an individual thing, a personal thing. A truly wonderful, magical, inspiring thing.
I would love to hear about how music has shaped you, helped you, formed you. Please feel free to hit the comments with your experiences.