2021 is almost over and yet I am not substantially closer to following my writing dream. The year has been difficult on many levels – the pandemic, personal health challenges, work changes. You know the drill.
Earlier this week I realized I had not listened to any Christmas music. If you have been following me since I started this blog, you may remember from this post, it’s hard to be sad when you’re singing. Sure enough, as soon as I started singing “Jingle Bells” in my car, my mood changed. Later today I will drive to my hometown for the holiday weekend. I plan to sing the entire 2 hour drive using this Christmas Road Trip playlist, which you can get to by clicking the link below.
I haven’t been driving much for the past year. There are many reasons why I do not yet own a new van with high tech hand controls for driving, and I will attempt to write about that in a later post.
However, today I am grateful that I DID spend two hours driving by myself in my car. Two blissful hours alone, listening to music and singing at the top of my lungs. Yup, that was me.
I love all types of music, but I get bored listening to the radio. There are too my commercials. They play the same songs over and over and over. IPod playlists help, but as I said, I get bored easily.
Last year I discovered Spotify. I love Spotify because you can listen to, and save entire albums if you wish. Sure, there are arguments for and against this type of streaming service. But today Spotify made my trip a very enjoyable sing-along.
With any luck, when I insert the next bit of text, the playlist of the songs that randomly popped up for my drive will appear. If you’re heading out on the road, give these tunes a try.
I looked at my mail after work yesterday and noticed a flyer from the local casino. I was about to throw it out when I noticed the photo on the back cover.
The signature concert advertisement featured an image of a Zac Brown tribute band, ZBTB. I held the flyer up to my face to get a good look and then sent my friend Tara a quick text.
Dude, is your husband playing at the casino in Schenectady tomorrow night?!
Yes, Dan’s band was playing. What’s more, Tara decided to come out with Dan for an impromptu visit.
That’s how I found myself at the casino tonight with Tara. We laughed, we sang, we danced. In other words, we acted like we did when we first met twenty-five years ago. Only this time, Tara actually gets to go home with the drummer.
Thank you Tara and Dan for a very fun night! I am grateful for your friendship and love in my life. I had fun, even if it was 2 hours of country music! 🙂
I have always been a person who associates memories with music. I can’t always remember what I was wearing for a specific event, but I can tell you what memories are attached to songs.
Growing up, our house was always full of music. The stereo was playing, or one of my sisters was practicing her musical instruments. I learned to sing songs which may or may not have been appropriate at a young age.
One of the first songs I remember singing is “Rhinestone Cowboy” by Glen Campbell. I used to have an orange plastic rocking horse with a blue mane. I named him Filbert. I would ride Filbert in my parents’ living room, wearing my cowboy hat, and sing “Rhinestone Cowboy” at the top of my lungs. I still know all the words. I don’t know whether to be proud of that.
Today I heard the news that Glen Campbell passed away. In honor of his life and legacy, I give you my Old School Country memory. Thank you for the music Glen.
Sometimes, I’m going through life doing something completely mundane when all of a sudden my brain becomes aware of a song and I’m instantly transported to a different place and time. This happened yesterday as I was completing an overdue monthly expense report for my employer. I heard the high hat and the keyboards and started bopping in my chair. In came the bass, and I turned up the volume on my headphones without even realizing what I was doing. I started singing the first chorus before I became aware of the sound coming out of my mouth.
Sidebar – this happens all the time, much to the annoyance of my former cubicle neighbors when I used to work in the cube farm. “I’m sure you think you have a lovely voice, but it’s very distracting when you sing at your desk.” Um, well, I actually do have a good voice, but most of the time when I’m singing at my desk at work, I really don’t notice that I’m doing it. I’ll try not to listen to music but you screaming into your phone is a distraction too! Is it any wonder I didn’t last there?
Back to the story…
When this happened yesterday, I was transported from my home office in Waterford, New York, USA, to the house on Mirramar Park in Blackmans Bay, Tasmania, Australia. I was sixteen years old in September 1990 when my host brother, Mike, blared the song at 6:45 AM and yelled at me to get out of bed. I remember the moment because it was one of the few mornings I did not get up before Mike to get ready for school.
This memory sparked another memory – February 15 is Mike’s birthday! A glance at the clock and some quick calculations and I realized it was already February 15 in Australia. I left a quick note on Mike’s Facebook page, sharing my musical memories and birthday wishes. He replied this morning (well, morning for me but I’m guessing he’s heading to bed).
Denise – You are AWESOME! I still absolutely love that song!!! i will play it tomorrow to my 3 daughters in your honour! I love how the bass line kicks in half way through the bar on the off beat…gold!
I love that music can be a universal language, connecting me to friends and family who happen to be on the other side of the world. Some people associate memories with food or scents. I know someone whose memories are triggered by clothes. But my memories have always been sparked by music.
The song that served as my memory spark this time was Modern Times by Daryl Braithwaite. Included on his album Rise, it is a staple on my “Aussie Tunes” playlist. I’ve listened to it hundreds of times, but yesterday I was struck by the second verse. Though the song was released twenty-seven years ago, the lyrics are still relevant.
Somebody pulls the trigger, while somebody waits to get hit
Somebody freezes in the winter, and I’m complaining about the heat
Nobody listens these days, though they’ve all got something to say
I’m singing songs about waiting, and you’ll come back some day
Now I need to go listen to the song again. You can listen to it too, in honor of Mike’s birthday.