I got the music in me...
“A long long time ago I can still remember when
That music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had one chance That I could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for awhile….”
There are certain things in life that I believe are staples. Mainstays. Tried and true cures for many of our ailments, band-aids that can make our boo boos feel a little better, simple things that when implemented at the right time can turn that frown upside down. For me and I know for many, music is that magical cure all.
The roles that music plays
From the time that we were little, maybe even in vitro for some of you overachieving, read every how to make your child successful book, get the job done parents that play Mozart for your child in the womb (ummmmm - yeah. Not Rob and I). From lullabies to wedding dances to songs played at a funeral, music provides the emotion, the backdrop, the memories that are the very fabric from which are lives are weaved from. I know - sounds like a commercial, right? But give me a chance to explain and read on.
I think music plays the role of teacher at certain points in our lives. Think about it. When we are little we learn our letters. And how most often do we learn our letters? “A, B, C, D, E, F, G…now I know my ABC’s. Next time won’t you sing with me!” You guessed it - in the form of a song. We learn about caring for others. “I love you, you love me…” Barney. Purple Dinosaur. Remember? We learn about the Hokey Pokey, the seasons, how to count and so many other amazing things - by singing about them. And that’s what it’s all about! (clap, clap)
“One little pumpkin smiling, smiling. One little pumpkin smiling, smiling.
One little pumpkin smiling, smiling. One little pumpkin is happy.”
Music is a connector of people, a couple of groups, a joiner of individuals. Everywhere you go, you will find people that are joined together by music. Go for a walk in the park or the city and come across an artist strumming their guitar. You’ll generally find at least one or two people standing around, listening to the music. Connection. You could be at the gas station pumping gas and there is music playing over the sound system and the person next to you is tapping their foot to the music while you tap it out with your fingertips on the roof of your car. How many times have you been belting out HOLY by Florida Georgia Line at a red light only to look over and the person next to you is doing the same? Weird? Yeah but happens all the time. Music joins us with other people, gives us a common thread, serves as a reminder that although we are all different, we are all very much the same.
“Just a small town girl living in a lonely world. She took the midnight train going anywhere.
Just a city boy born and raised in South Detroit. He took the midnight train going anywhere.”
Purveyor of our Emotions
A purveyor is one who sells or deals in particular goods. If you think about it, wrap your mind around it, really look closely at it - music is a purveyor and the goods are our emotions. How often has a song come on the radio and it can bring you to tears in a matter of seconds? Made you want to stop and dance? Reach over and grab the hand of your spouse, your child? Give you reason to PAUSE. Music strikes many of us at the core of our emotions and we buy the goods every single time. Happy or sad, contemplative, spastic - music lets us run the gamut on how we feel.
“Well you only need the light when it’s burning low. Only miss the sun when it starts to snow.
Only know you love her when you let her go. And you let her go.”
Closely tied in to the Purveyor, like neighborly close, is the role of motivator. Music is a huge motivator for almost everyone. That certain song - it can push you to get one more rep. One great song can push you to get outside and mow the lawn that you didn’t want to mow, clean up the mess in the kitchen, take the dogs for a walk, tackle that project that with some good tunes and maybe a six pack, isn’t so monumental. Music can motivate you to give more than what you thought you had to give at any given moment.
“It’s the eye of the tiger it’s the thrill of the fight. Rising up to the challenge of our rival.
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night.
And he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger.”
Music absolutely serves as a storybook for our lives. As I mentioned earlier, music takes on a significant role early on in our life and as we get older, those songs that mean something special to us take us back to that moment in time. Could be something as insignificant as a song that was popular when you were a junior in high school to something as significant as the song that you danced to at your wedding. Music brings up those memories, those stories and connects us to our past, reminds us of the foundation from which we were constructed. This is invaluable for our families as it’s how we share about who we were and how we came to be.
“We might bend or even break. The journey’s long but we will celebrate when we get through the valley.
We’re not defined by the fall. We get back up and keep pressing through these walls. It’s worth the fight.”
Music also plays the role of our spokesperson. Sometimes there are words, sentiments that we simply can’t say. Don’t know how to put into words how we feel. Music can do that for us. It gives us the opportunity to express what we can’t always express. It bridges that gap in communication and acts as your own personal spokesperson.
“I know it’s kind of late. I hope I didn’t wake ya. But what I got to say can’t wait. I know you’d understand. Cuz every time I tried to tell you the words just came out wrong. So I’ll have to say I love you in a song.”
You could tie this in with the spokesperson but I think it’s deserving of it’s own role. Music for many that we know and most like each of us some day serves as the eulogist. Music played at a funeral is often chosen with regard to the deceased and provides insight to whom they were. What was important to them. What they would want to be remembered by. It’s a thought provoking role, that of eulogist, and one that has a profound effect.
“You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie. You’re in the arms of the angel. May you find some comfort here.”
Music in my world
We are a big music family. Typically in one room of the house, whether through headphones or through a speaker, music is playing for someone. It has played a role in my life from a young age as well as in our family from the very beginning.
I met Rob in The Black Rose in Boston. We were both there with other groups of people but each of us had pushed to go there singularly because Eugene Byrne, an Irish folk singer, was playing. We went back there seven months later, newly engaged, saw Eugene and told him our story. He dedicated a song to us that night that became our wedding song. Our story started because of music. #thisisourstory.
We don’t have family close by and we spend a lot of time in the car due to sports. So when those times come that we are in for an hour plus car ride and the five of us are lucky enough to be together we play music smackdown. Two people square off, each chooses a song and you get to play a snippet. All five of us vote on which song was the best and that song is listened to in its entirety. Winner moves on to the next round. #bridgingthegap.
There are songs that remind me of each of my children, moments in their life that mattered. Lexi when she moved away the first year to boarding school - "Let Her Go". CJ and his last year of being coached by his dad and the boys that he had been with for 8 years - "We Are Brave". And my Jax - "Let Them Be Little". Rob shares much the same with them and no matter where they go in their life, what they do - we will have that. #musicalties.
Let him be little...
All three of my little gooses know the words to Don McLean’s American Pie. Every word. Every verse. They know the story behind the song, what the song is about. We have a hard and fast rule that if that song should come on everyone has to sing. EVERYONE. And there have been many a car ride, where we have taken the long way just so we can finish singing. And there have been many a passenger that doesn’t sing that has learned that we don’t take no for an answer. #motivatedtosing.
Not too long ago I was home and Rob was wherever, working I believe. And out of the blue I got a text from him that read “Alessia Cara "Scars to Your Beautiful" reminds me of Lex <3”. Lee Brice’s “Boy” resounds in my heart when it comes to my sons. Songs that serve as a spokesperson for Rob and I when the words, the hopes, the dreams are just too much to try to convey. So we let music do that for us. #letmusicdothetalking.
I know that when my sister and her husband were planning Colton’s funeral that every detail was important. As it should be. And the music that they chose may not have been traditional but it was special to them because it was special to their family, to their family relationships, to their dynamic as a family. A part of their triangle. And it was perfect. #youwillalwaysbemysunshine.
Music serves as a powerful force in our lives. Far more so than what I believe people realize or give it credit for. Giving yourself the gift of music whether it makes you cry, heals your heart or helps you to remember can help you to move mountains. Help you to say YES I CAN to things you thought you couldn’t. It can help to teach our children, motivate them to do great things, inspire us to want to be better. Allow us to honor those that have passed from our lives. Tell our story. So turn on some tunes. Lighten the load. Unburden the heart. Listen. Sing. Dance.
“They were singing bye, bye Miss American Pie. Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry.
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey n rye and singin’ this’ll be the day that I die.”