Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Soundtrack

After watching Grey's Anatomy this past Thursday (which I thought was awesome and riveting and so powerful), it's made me think about how music touches each of our lives, how music is kind of the common denominator of us, how each person (whether cognizant of it or not) has their own personal soundtrack. Like a fingerprint, no two people have the same soundtrack, but everyone has one.

Classic rock (Lynard Skynard, The Beatles, Meatloaf, Eric Clapton, Bob Seger, The Allman Brothers, Don McLean, Pink Floyd, U2, and Tears for Fears) encompasses the bulk of my childhood. My father loved to crank the stereo when he got home from work in the evening and my sister and I would dance and twirl and jump. We would laugh and sing along to all of the songs that we knew the words to. I truly believed that Kenny Rogers would be my first husband, my sister fell madly in love with Willie Nelson.

When MTV was introduced, our world shifted. Suddenly, we had access to visual aids to the songs that we heard on the radio. Cyndi Lauper swirled and jumped, Madonna wore diamonds, and Toni Basil was a cheerleader. For months after it was introduced, MTV was the only TV channel that our family watched.

As we grew, we developed our own taste in music. Top 40 was our (sometimes unfortunate) choice. We rocked out to the Fresh Prince, Def Leppard, Guns N Roses, Whitney Houston, New Edition and later to New Kids on the Block, Bel Biv Devoe, Milli Vanilli, Vanilla Ice, Fine Young Cannibals and Gerardo (ugh, I admitted it).

Anytime that I hear any of this music today, I am transported into a land of innocence and despair, of emotional and physical abuse, of fear and nostalgia for my sister.

As my taste in music matured, I started listening to Toad the Wet Sprocket, Pearl Jam, Simon and Garfunkel, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

When J and I started driving around in my pink Escort, we were blaring Reba McEntireDeana Carter, The Judds, Patsy Cline, Shania Twain and LeAnn Rimes. We would sing as if in our own personal concert, with a careless abandon that I had never really known before, belting it out for anyone and everyone to hear.

When I met my husband, he incorporated rap, R&B and hip hop to my repertoire. Soon I was jamming to R Kelly, Bone Thugs N HarmonyWarren G and the Notorious BIG as well as the collection of Don McLean, Simon and Garfunkel, and Pearl Jam that I had on tape.

Now, I feel like I have an eclectic and sometimes scattered soundtrack.

I love angry rap in the morning when I am running late to work, fighting with rush hour traffic down country roads, surrounded by jacked up trucks that are covered in dust and mud.

I adore a good country song that speaks to my heart (think Dixie Chicks "Not Ready to Make Nice") or any power ballad from a strong female (Brandi Carlile, "The Story").

I like Christian Contemporary music when traveling with Z in the car or if I am feeling down and need to be lifted back up again with a reminder of the God that I serve and his plan for me.

If I am scanning and catch one of the "oldie but goodie" songs of my past, I will crank it up, turn off the air and put down all of the windows. I will let myself be transported back to those emotions, back to that time. There are some days that the memories are too close, too harsh, others that I am just happy. Happy to go back for a moment and see where I have been.

I wonder what Z's soundtrack will be, I wonder if she will hear all of the old songs and think of me or her dad. I wonder if she will approach those memories with fear or longing, with apprehension or welcome the memories to envelope her soul.

What's your soundtrack? Am I completely off base?

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