Saturday, February 14, 2009

Soundtrack of a Life

It's amazing how music can immediately transport us to specific memories, recollections that formed so far in the past that we thought they had dissipated. When I was running a few days ago with my IPod on shuffle, U2's "All I Want is You" flipped on. Without thinking twice, my mind automatically flashed back to a specific conversation from half a lifetime ago. The scene held such clarity that it was as if I had been transported back in time to it.

That occurrence got me thinking about other songs that remind me of phases of my life, and if I had to create a soundtrack for my life what I would include on it. Furthermore, what would my theme song be? Remember how Ally McBeal said that everyone should have a theme song?

My earliest musical memory is of my dad repeatedly playing Kenny Loggins's "House at Pooh Corner" for me from an eight-track tape when I was in preschool. It was "our" song, my father's and I. So I was thrilled when Kenny Loggins came out with "Return to Pooh Corner" when my daughter was the same age as I had been when I had first heard it years ago. I quickly bought her the new CD, and she listened to it over and over, especially as she dozed off to sleep at night, and I also loved hearing the song again.

The elementary school years were all about the Muppets and "Rainbow Connection." Two friends, sisters, and I were really into the Muppets. A & K even played the piano duet from The Muppet Movie together while acting out the roles of Fozzy Bear and Rowlf the Dog. Anytime I hear Muppets songs, a smile comes to my face as I think of those friends, one deceased way too soon, that I have palled around with since I was three.

I still can't believe that my parents let me go to a Prince and Sheila E concert in 7th grade! My girlfriends and I had a great time, though, and proudly wore our Purple Rain shirts to school on the same days to make sure that everyone knew how "cool" we were. Middle school also brought a flurry of excitement about a pre-multiple-surgeries Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall" album-yes, I said album- that was played relentlessly one summer after being introduced to it at camp.

I like to think that my musical taste improved in high school. I abhorred anything Top 40 and ventured over to the alternative side- R.E.M., The Cure, Depeche Mode. I still actually listen to these a lot on my IPod and am thankful for the First Wave station on satellite radio. Now that my kids are getting interested in music, I may have to cut back on it though because I'm not so sure how I feel about them developing an affinity for Robert Smith.

The college years were a funky mix of things. James Taylor, Simon & Garfunkel, as well as MC Hammer's "Bust a Move" call up a lot of memories from freshman year. Junior and Senior years were encapsulated by a friend and I's antics revolving around Melissa Etheridge's anthems (Get your minds out of the gutter. The activities did not involve other girls.).

Then came the years of a mature relationship, engagement, and the early years of marriage. To go along with the romance was plenty of Sade, Sinatra's "All the Way," and some Prince tossed in for fun.

Recently, I've been listening to a lot of adult alternative acts like Tegan and Sara, Kate Havnevik, and K.T. Tunstall mixed with some Casting Crowns and Toby Mac.

So then what would my theme song be? That's challenging . . . I have such eclectic taste in music, and I haven't even mentioned my love of show tunes. I think I will go with a show tune for my theme song, though. My all-time favorite song has to be "Seasons of Love" from Rent. It's one of the few songs that I could listen to over and over with the volume turned up all the way. Regardless of the fact that it is from one of my favorite shows, I just love the lyrics of the song. They always remind me that life is about relationships, not about money or the achievements that I may or may not personally accomplish. If I had to pick a song that I would like to exemplify my life, it is this one that reminds me to slow down and nurture my relationships because, honestly, sometimes I get so hung up on my to-do list that I forget to slow down to just spend time with the people who are always there for me.

I hope you enjoy this clip of my theme song. What would your theme song be and what would you include on a soundtrack of your life?

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