Sunday, July 5, 2009

Music for the Soul

I nearly always listen to music when I write. For one thing, if it’s snappy songs, the writing goes faster. But if I’m writing a deeply emotional scene, I’ll put on my “writing” music, songs I’ve collected over time that put me in the mood. Among the artists are James Taylor, Phil Collins, a little Chicago, several Barbra Streisand, and an occasional country song, among the 169 collected songs.

Music, like fragrance, can recall memories. (The smell of Chantilly perfume will always remind me of the Christmas dance my sophomore year.) Songs from the late 60’s are my favorite among the 642 songs in my player. Those songs dredge up memories of high school. I was lucky. I consider those the best days. Sad, huh? But it isn’t. They’re happy memories, for the most part.

The ringtone on my cellphone is Hello, I Love You by the Doors. One day my phone rang in a store, and a lady near me chuckled. Ha! She got it! Hey, I thought it was appropriate. Truthfully, my oldest daughter is a bigger Doors fan than I ever was and she wasn’t born or even thought of when it played the airwaves. But that particular song reminds me of summer days dragging Main with Sandy in her mom’s red Buick Opel. The one we could ride all afternoon in on 50 cents worth of gas. Of course that was in the days of 18 cent a gallon gas during gas wars and attendants who rolled their eyes at our wealth. That’s only one song. 99% of the time, I can peg the year a song was played by simply connecting it to a memory.

Kicks – Paul Revere and the Raiders 1966: The style show (home ec dept’s little “play”) spring 1967 and dancing to the song on stage as part of the storyline, then getting a pitcher of water dumped on my head…part of the storyline. Saw the band perform two or three times. I lost count. But I did sneak up the center aisle of the Cotillion ballroom with my trusty Swinger Poloraid, avoided getting caught, and snapped a picture. Totally against the rules.

These Eyes – The Guess Who 1969: When I got up the nerve to ask a guy to the prom. (He turned me down. Oh, the heartache!) And then I saw the band perform it live in 1970.

Can’t Help Falling – Elvis Presley: Don’t know when it came out, but a trio of girls sang it at our Jr/Sr prom when I was a junior, 1968. And wasn’t that an after-prom party to remember!

People Got to Be Free – The Rascals 1968: Again, dragging Main with Sandy. Yeah, we did that a LOT. It was a SMALL TOWN with little to do. When not dragging Main, we were sitting in the park, resting the engine. ;) And getting ready to drag Main again.

Okay, that’s enough. I could do this all day, and words are not getting on paper. Well, the right words and the right paper, that is. Music ready, blank page staring me in the face…let’s write!

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