“I’m on the top of the world looking down on creation and the only explanation I can find is the love that I’ve found ever since you’ve been around, your love’s put me at the top of the world”
This is one of the first “grown up” songs I learned every word to when I was eight or nine years old. I used to ride my turquoise banana seat bike with the white wicker basket and the plastic daisies and sing. I would ride around Aristocrat as fast as my feet could take me with the wind blowing my face and I would sing this song at the top of my lungs. During the chorus I would coast and just be in the moment, revelling in the beauty and simplicity of a simple love song, a beautiful day and the freedom that bike represented. Of course I didn’t know any of that then, I just knew that it made me happy.
For as long as I can remember music has brought me peace. I’ve become a bit of an NPR junkie in the last few years but in the last six weeks or so I’ve turned off the talk radio and started listening to music again. I have listened to some new stuff but right now I’m feeling the need for some nostalgia and memories from the past. This morning I was in a Carpenters mood. Tonight I might decide I want some Black Sabbath. The truth is it doesn’t really matter what genre or generation, it’s the music and words that matter. Whether the songs are telling a story like “All I Want To Do is Make Love To You” by Heart or just playing good music like “A Fifth of Beethoven” by Walter Murphy or making me think like “Stay” by Rihanna it’s all about allowing ourselves to become part of the music and float along until that final note.
I have an IPod and I do love it but I also love the radio. I can turn it on in the car as I’m driving and be pleasantly surprised by songs I haven’t heard in years or be immediately transported back to another time and place in my life. I can roll up the windows (trust me I’m doing everyone a favor) and turn it up and sing “American Pie” by Don McLean at the top of my lungs, screwing up the lyrics sometimes but nobody cares, least of all me.
My Dad loved music and so does my Mom. We grew up in a house filled with albums and we knew who Count Basie was maybe even before we knew who Daniel the Tiger was in Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. My Mom is a great fan of Chicago and Bachman Turner Overdrive. She is an exceptional dancer and I can close my eyes and picture her listening to BTO while she is in the kitchen and she is moving her hips to the music as though she just can’t completely contain herself.
Music represents so much to me. Freedom, love, memories good and bad, peace and contentment, passion, loss … it’s so much a part of my life. I started pushing buttons to find music to divert myself from thoughts of losing my Dad. The car seemed to be the place where my memories of him were the strongest and I needed a distraction. Now, six weeks or so after saying good bye to him it feels like maybe a blessing. Thank you Mom and Dad for instilling in me a love for music of all kinds. Thank you Dad for giving me this gift and reminding me how important it is.