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My Musical Time Machine

One of my favorite things in my daily routine is getting in the car at the end of a long, stressful, intense day of work and finding a happy song on the radio.  Today it was “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel.  For as long as I live, that song will remind me of a high school boyfriend I had who completely enchanted me for a few months when I was fifteen or so.  This is the magic that music holds for me – the power to transport me to another time and place where the emotions are as vivid as they were the first time I lived them.

“Mr Tambourine Man” by Bob Dylan

This was my baby girl’s lullaby.  I can’t explain it other than my possible delirium during her newborn, colicky days.  When nothing else would soothe my sweet baby, I would lie on the floor beside her bouncy seat and sing this song over and over again.  I can feel the hardwood under my back and bite back the tears of frustration of a new mommy with a very sad baby and a husband who worked at night.  I am still amazed that we got through those months sane and intact and I still sing this song to my baby girl who’s about to become a teenager.

“Hey Jude” by The Beatles

Ah, my sweet boy’s lullaby.  I don’t remember how it came to be, but I recall pacing the floors of a dark nursery with a fussy little guy in my arms, praying that a sad song would make it better.  My very favorite line, “you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool, by making the world a little colder.”  I hope that some of the wisdom remains with him his whole life.  And heaven knows it should, since we once drove from Alabama to Virginia with this song on repeat so our little guy would chill out in the car.

“These Are Days” by 10,000 Maniacs

You couldn’t get away from this song when my husband and I were first dating, so it very much in general reminds me of that time.  And how apropos the sentiment is.  There was one lovely spring day in particular that we hopped in the car, grabbed some lunch and drove to a lovely place full of rocks, water and bridges.  (I’m sure there’s a name for it and my Richmond peeps know it, no doubt, but cut me some slack.  This was 18 years ago.)  I can feel the warm sun on the rocks and the breeze on my face, spending a really wonderful day with the man with whom I’d later spend a really wonderful life.

These are days we'll remember... credit to my dear friend Shannon who was kind enough to post this piece of my past on Facebook for me

Any song from They Might Be Giants “Flood”

This is Katie, Sally and Bob cruising aimlessly around town.  There’s only one person out there who knows what I mean by that and I know she’s with me on this.  These were truly some of the happiest times of my youth and there are times I think I’d trade anything for one more night like that.  In all the wonderful ways my life has grown richer and fuller as I’ve grown, I always know that I’ll never again have moments like those with friends like that.

 “We R Who We R” by Ke$ha

This song somehow wound up on my workout playlist last spring and since I am completely incapable of operating an mp3 player and running at the same time (I’m barely capable of breathing and running at the same time), this song now reminds me of taking on a new challenge, beating my old records and the sound of pounding sneakers on the sidewalk in an otherwise silent and sleepy neighborhood right after sunrise.

“Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler

I suspect many of you share my same memories of cranking up this song in the dark, wallowing in teenage angst of one brand or another.  There’s never been a better portrayal of all the heartache and misery in the world, and I know I used that.  If I wasn’t already heartbroken about something, this song was sure to fix me up with some agony and tears.

I cherish these songs as much as I cherish the memories they hold for me.  This really is the soundtrack of me.

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