Let’s talk music. One of the things that I am most passionate about it music; sing or play an instrument I cannot do but that doesn’t stop me from belting out my favorite songs at the drop of a hat or rocking a pretty wicked air guitar every now and then. I have been known to break into song in the shower, in the car, on the bus or even the airplane — that crazy girl you heard singing a more than slighty off-key version of Journey‘s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’, yeah…that was probably yours truly. You see, I have a terribly hard time trying not to sing out loud when jamming to my favorite tunes that it can cause some serious stares and thoughts of “oh-my-stars-she-is-SO-not-American-Idol-material from onlookers–it’s gotten to the point where I almost considered no longer listening to my i-pod in public…almost.
I love almost all types of music (my pod is loaded with everything from classic rock go-tos like Queen, Chicago, Journey and Styxx, rap and hard metal crooners like Eminem, Jay-Z, and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, current pop idols like Rihanna, The Fray and even, I will admit, a little Britney, to even a melting pot of country, jazz, hip-hop and alternative). One of the things that make music so great is that it is ever-changing, ever evolving and growing. It is so much fun discovering new bands, songs, and genres of tunage to rock out to.
One of the other things I like about music is how it can evoke emotion; it can pump you up for a run or the big game (think the Rocky theme song ‘Eye of the Tiger’…gets me every time), it can calm and relax you after a crazy day in the office or school (a bit of Enya or Five For Fighting perhaps?), it can set the mood for date night (guys, just in case you are wondering, a little Barry White never hurts) and can make scary movies even more scarier (try watching a horror movie without the sound–it’s the freaky soundtrack that totally makes the film, acting as a precursor to what is about to happen that will make you scream like a little girl and cover your eyes–when you take the music out, the scary goes right along with it).
Have you ever noticed too how music can sort of act as a scrapbook, a record of songs and lyrics, guitar strums and drum beats that take you back to certain key moments in your life?
As I was jamming to my i-pod the other day, I seemed to have pulled a Marty McFly, stepping into my time-machine of a Dalorian (such an awesome care by the way!). Each song that came blaring through my headphones took me back to a different point in my life, a memory of time and place. I was no longer kicking back on my Popason chair in my bedroom…
- Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison)-I was 2, at my Grandma and Grandpa Hansen’s house, wearing just a pair of Huggies and shaking my groove thang like nobody’s business (sadly, there is video-taped proof of such occurrences).
- Surfin’ USA (The Beach Boys)-I was 5, couch surfing with my cousin Aaron as we listened to the Beach Boys record, vinyl that is.
- You’re the Inspiration (Chicago), I Would Do Anything For Love (Meatloaf), Mr. Roboto (Styxx), Learning to Fly (Pink Floyd), Don’t Stop Believing (Journey), We are the Champions (Queen)- I was in the car at the wee age of 6, road tripping to South Dakota with the rest of my family. One of my dad’s favorite bands was Chicago (side note: his former bosses brother is the sax player! How cool is that?!) and he played that cassette tape over and over and over. I am surprised that the tape didn’t combust. I started out earplugging myself, trying to ignore the sounds omitting from the stereo that my dad called ‘music’ but after over 20 hours in the car, I actually was jamming along with him, hairbrush microphone and everything. I really want to thank my parents for opening up such a great world of musical tastes to me because without their fondness of amazing artists like Journey, Styxx, Queen, Chicago, Meatloaf and Pink Floyd, I wouldn’t have them in my amazing musical library!
- I Belive I Can Fly (R. Kelly)-I was 10. My best friends Jillian and Jana, along with my sister Lindsay were leaping from chair to chair, couch to couch, spreading our wings and ‘flying’. Space Jam was a movie that was so underrated in my opinion.
- My Heart Will Go On (Celine Dion)-I was twelve, rollerblading hand-in-hand with my first crush of all crushes…one Mr. Jason Kopp. It was our class’ end-of-the-year party at the coolest place in all of Wausau…High Roller. When the lights went down and the music slowed, the girls got in the center of the rink and the guys skated around, looking for a partner. He rolled right on over to me, took my hand and said, “Will you skate with me?” Celine Dion, you really know how to make a girl’s heart flutter.
- Hallelujah (Canadian Tenors)-I was 14, sitting in a church pew alongside my family and friends, celebrating the life of my best friend, my hero, my late Grandma Hansen. She was a women who lived each day to the fullest, who always had a smile on her face no matter how terrible she felt because of her cancer or arthritis. She was strong and passionate and funny and caring (and knew how to make on heck of a chocolate chip cookie).
- Kiss the Rain (Billie Myers)-I was 15, laying in bed listening to 95.5′s Top 9 at 9. This was the number one sing for eight straight weeks. I. Loved. It!
- Tubthumpin’ (Chumba Womba), Sk8r Boi (Avril Levigne), All Star (Smash Mouth), Where’s the Love (Hanson)-I was 16 and just got my driver’s license, going out on my first solo ride in my pimped out mini-van (and when I say pimped out, I mean pimped out!). There is nothing like the freedom of the road, just you, the wind and your hair (made possible from the roll-down windows) and the am/fam radio blasting!
- Gold Digger (Kanye West and Jamie Foxx), Lose Control (Missy Eliot and Ciara), Sugar We’re Going Down (Fallout Boy), Since You’ve Been Gone (Kelly Clarkson)-I was 18 and off on my own for the very first, starting the next chapter of my life in…college. Scary? A little bit. Exciting? You bet your peanut butter and jelly sandwich it was! Those four years were some of the best years of my life!
- Say it Ain’t So (Blink 182)-I was 21…and LEGAL! Go on with my bad self (if bad self means hitting up the bar with my aunt and mom, only to order a margarita, take a sip and spit it right out because it was so nasty…I am just not an alcohol fan. I instead chose to proceed to get ‘drunk’ on ice cream).
- New York (Jay-Z and Alica Keyes), Hakuna Matata and Can You Feel The Love Tonight (Cast of Lion King on Broadway)-I was 22 and in the BIG APPLE with my mom and sister for the Christmas holiday. It was amazing to see the city full of lights and cheer, packages and decorated trees. It was also my first time seeing a Broadway PLay (The Lion King = SOOOOO GOOD!!!!) on Broadway. That trip will go down in the books as one of the best trips I have ever taken!
- Have a Nice Day (Bon Jovi)-I was 23 and had landed my first big-girl job. I was moving to Milwaukee. I was embarking on a crazy but exciting new adventure and I was over-the-moon thrilled at what opportunities lay before me (not to mention, I was back in Brewer territory).
- Better Days (Goo Goo Dolls)-I was 24 and was unexpectedly let go from my first big-girl job. I was heart-broken but not giving up. I decided to take a different path on the road I was traveling, head on back to school and finally do what I had always wanted to do…TEACH!
And that was just a snippet of my first play list!
Music really is so much more than lyrics and instruments, vocals and the beat. It can bring people together. It can set a mood and feeling and it can even take you on a hop-skip-and-jump down memory lane, encompassing experiences and emotions from the past, almost as if you were really looking at a photograph. If that’s not powerful, I don’t know what is.
On that (musical) note…
Pond de replay Mr. DJ