What is it about a song that makes the world make sense? It soothes the raw nerves. The right tune brings you back in time.
I’m nine, sitting in my grandmother’s living room in her olive green rocker with worn arm rests listening to The Gambler by Kenny Rogers. I can still sing it back to you word for word (and might have one night after my college grad party on a city bus that was taking us back to the school but in my defense, I didn’t start it).
I’m 13, sitting in my dad’s pick up truck singing to Aaron Tippin. Oh what was the name of that song?? That’s it, “You’ve Got to Stand for Something“. I still don’t know if that embodies my dad more than anything by George Strait, but it’s a close call.
I’m 17, learning to drive and my dad is in the passenger seat singing along with “Tougher than the Rest“. I can still see that picture clear as day.
I’m 21, on my way out of the church to the tune of “Holes in the Floor of Heaven” to go and bury my grandmother who stepped in and made sure we were ok after the divorce. She was less than a kilometre away from me my entire life. I don’t know who I would have become without her and I still can’t listen to that song without tearing up.
I can remember watching the Country Music Awards in the early 90s with my dad and siblings. Garth Brooks sang “Friends in Low Places“.
I walked down the aisle to my soon to be husband to Keith Urban. We danced to Bryan Adams for our first dance. And if you ask Husband, he won’t know. I promise you. I love that man for his lack of musical knowledge outside of Queen, it makes me feel smart.
On my phone I have over 800 songs. Some that have been downloaded because I love the tune and the message. Others are there because they bring me back a piece of my past and let me wallow in it. Country for my childhood, 90s hits for my teen years. A mix of everything for adulthood.
I measure my life in songs.
This is something I have delighted in passing on to my boys. They all sang along to “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond when they were learning to talk. I used to sing Fat Bottom Girls to Boy#1 while he was on the change table. Boy #2 and I danced to “As She’s Walking Away” by Zac Brown Band on the days where I wasn’t sure about what I was doing as a parent. Boy #3 and I would dance to “Living on a Prayer” at the end of the driveway waiting for his oldest brother to come home from school. All songs that I love for one reason or another.
On the way to the rink these days, they ask for “Fishing in the Dark” by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. That one takes me back to nights at the arena dancing with the Husband when we first started dating. They’ll sing along to Katy Perry’s “Roar”, a song that accompanies me on most of my runs. They love Queen, they are their father’s sons after all.
But really, who doesn’t love them? It’s Queen.
There’s always something about a song.