Monday, October 15, 2007

Winchester Cathedral

"Winchester're bringing me down. You stood there and watched baby left town."

I heard this today listening to the 60's station on XM Radio in my car. I listened intently. Had I really ever heard this song before? That is, had I ever heard it sung by the person who actually sings it? No, I decided. I hadn't. The only time I had ever heard this song it was sung by my Dad. Way back when. Probably in the seventies.

I started to cry. Okay, chalk it up to PMS. Either that or I'm a sad, pathetic, nostalgic fool.

I realized at that moment (I know, I'm forty. It's taken me a long time to realize a lot of things) that I grew up listening to music. Lots and lots of music.

I watched myself today, rap-tappin' my thumb (thumb only) on the steering wheel, realizing that this is just what my Mom always did, realizing that there was always, always, music on in the car. And that we were always, always, singing along. I remembered that my Dad had like the most extensive album collection you could have. He had 100's and 100's of albums. Hundreds. My friends were always in awe. Complete awe. He had EVERYTHING. Everything cool, that is. He didn't have any of the sappy, stupid stuff. He didn't have anything that any of the other parents had. He had all the cool stuff. Stuff anyone who appreciates music is still listening to today. The classic rock of the 1960's and '70s. Sure, they had a bit of Buddy Holly too, who could blame them? But most of it was pure Rock n' Roll.

This music was always playing in our house. When we were younger, my parents played this music nonstop with their friends. We did a lot of dancing back then too. My Dad mostly hated dancing, but my Mom and my Aunt were always willing to hear a quick disco beat and danced with us until we were blue in the face. Then, when we were older, we were always "borrowing" my Dad's albums and playing them. Most of the time, this was a positive thing. One day, however, after my parents had enough of us playing Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" over and over, well, my Dad just walked down to our family room, across the orange shag carpeting, and took the album over his knee and broke it. Broke it in two!

It was his album!

My parents loved music. They played it all the time. I grew up with music. I grew up loving music. I still have so much fondness in my heart for the music of the '60s and '70s and love to sing along in the car. But somewhere along the way, it got lost. I spent much of my young adulthood either car-less or listening to NPR. All seriousness. I rarely listen to music anymore, although, thankfully, I purchased the XM Radio option with my new car about a year ago and now we do quite a bit of listening in the car. Since XM, I'm slightly off my NPR obsession, but I'm still musically challenged. I'm still musically deprived. And I found myself today, fearing that my children will be too.

So today, I vow to play more music. Even if it's outdated. I don't care. As long as it makes us sing. As long as it makes us dance. I'm playing more of it, dammit. I am.


Jen M. said...

I think our souls get a little lighter when we listen to music that makes us feel good. I don't think it matters what kind.

Mary Alice said...

I understand the NPR obsession. I share that. I'm always listening to it in the car and I wake up to it on the alarm radio. My kids play things that assault my ears at times. Often my husband is listening to XM CrossCountry in the living room and each child is listening to something different in their rooms and it all floats out to the hall mingling in a short of musical cat fight. Sometimes I just don't want to hear ANYTHING these days! We also listened to music and sang along as kids - my younger sister could be on - what is it - Singing Bee(?) because she knows the words to practically everything! Jazz, hip-hop, country, she sings it all.

Family Adventure said...

Music is a great way to decompress, I think. Or pick you up. Cheer you up if you are feeling sad. Make you cry when you are PMSing. Whatever you need, really.

I use music when I run, and I find it makes a huge difference to how well I do.

I, too, should be playing more music for myself and my children, thanks for reminding me.

Thanks also for the walk down memory lane. Your dad was cool!! :)

Sue said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE music. My mom made us all take piano and would pack the whole lot of us (there were 9 kids) up and make us sing at nursing homes. My dad always used to play Abba and Kenny Rogers and the Beach Boys, and now that music is so special to me.

I bought the Abba greatest hits CD a little while ago and now my little kids love to dance around to "Dancing Queen." And I love it. What a great post.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Gosh, I wish that DJ's could be trusted on the radio; so many of them say the most obnoxious things (although maybe the oldies stations are safe?)

My dad also loved music and was always going through one phase or another. There was the Mamas and the Papas, Abba, Pink Floyd, classical, and, his favorite, Fleetwood Mac. Music is hugely important here too. (although NPR is always vying for my attention too).