Make me sing, make me sound

I’m in a very ramble-y mood today… and yet I don’t really have any specific topic I want to ramble about. Therefore, this is liable to be all over the place.

I’m back to listening to my iPod at work instead of the radio. I finally had enough of the inane chatter from the DJs. One thing I’ve noticed over the past few weeks that cracks me up: it seems like every single time “Nothing But You” plays on my iPod, the song either immediately before or after it is “Train In Vain.” Considering I have it playing on a random shuffle — it’s odd that those two songs always end up together. One song, the person is trying to move on from a bad relationship, trying to get rid of the only thing they have to lose… and the other is pointing out to an ex how badly they lied. In my mind I can see it as a progression: “Train in Vain” shortly after the end of the relationship, and “Nothing But You” after they’ve got a little more time behind them, and have started to heal. And yes. I am very aware that I’m rambling about the order of songs on my iPod. I did mention that I’m ramble-y today, didn’t I?

I’ve fallen in love with Jason Sellers‘ music all over again. I imported both his “Matter of Time” and “I’m Your Man” cds onto my iPod, and I’ve been listening to them like crazy. His vocals on “Every Fire” are so beautiful; and it amuses me that it’s his ex-wife, Lee Ann Womack, singing backing vocals on that tune. It seems like that song has been playing on repeat on the jukebox in my mind.

I’m one of those people who ALWAYS has to have music on. Whether it’s the iPod, radio, or iTunes – if it’s in my control, then there’s music playing. (If none of those are on, usually I’ll have the TV on, mostly for background noise in place of music.) There’s just something about it that keeps me going, keeps me moving, keeps me focused. When I was very young (about 4-7 years old), we used to go back and forth to Shreveport to visit my Grandma once every few months. If we were in the car and the radio was off, I would pitch a fit and say I was getting carsick without the music. I can’t remember if I actually did start feeling carsick or not, but it was what I always insisted. I do, however, remember that on almost all of those trips to my Grandma’s, we would hear “Boy From New York City” at least once each direction. Since that was one of my favorite songs as a kid, I always got a kick out of that.

My memories are heavily tied into music, as well. I hear a song and can recall specific memories related to it, whether lyrically or because it was playing as whatever it was happened. “The Song Remembers When” describes my song-based memory pretty well, in fact. Music is one thing I know I can always count on. If I am depressed, I can put on sad songs to make me cry even harder, or I can put on happy, bouncy songs to try to lift my spirits. Great music always makes a road trip more fun, but I do have to be careful not to let the fast songs influence my lead foot too much.

When I was little, I had a fairly diverse group of friends, and whenever I’d hang out with them, I’d always allow them to choose the music we listened to. As a result, I was exposed to a wide variety of styles and fell in love with almost all of them. My parents used to play the likes of Roger Whitaker, ABBA, and The Carpenters on our home stereo system. My next-door neighbor’s family exposed me to country music, while she herself introduced me to Latin pop and heavy metal. (I have distinct memories of sitting on the floor of her room, listening to Menudo back in the early 80’s – yes during the days that Ricky Martin was a member.) Friends from the neighborhood, Girl Scouts, and school all introduced me to other genres, including rap, R&B, a wider spectrum of pop/Top 40/rock, etc. Through out all of it, I’d find artists I loved, others I didn’t, and amassed a pretty diverse collection of cds.

In elementary school, there was a group of us girls who would always get together at recess. We’d all gather together on swings or seesaws, and spend the entire time singing. We knew every word to the entire “Innocent Man” album by Billy Joel, as well as a good chunk of Whitney Houston and Prince songs, amongst many others. I can remember us sitting on the seesaws and singing “We Are the World“, or us on the swings singing “Mickey” at the top of our lungs as if it was only yesterday. That tradition kept up through roughly 8th grade, us gathering together before school in junior high. By then, the artists of choice had changed more into Guns N Roses, Whitesnake, etc. That was all before I completely ruined my singing voice, though. At least back then I sounded pretty decent. If I tried something like that now, people would probably offer me money to stop singing.

I could keep going and going, but I think it’s probably best for me to stop this ramble here before it goes on for pages. I will add one final note, though. If it’s not obvious how infused music is to my life by this ramble… check out the titles of the posts in this blog. So far, about 85% of them are taken from song lyrics. (The title of this post is from the song, “Andante, Andante.”)

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