I drove to a nearby town this morning blaring Adele as loud as I could. I love Adele--not to sing along to--I can't sing with her. When I want to sing along, I have another set of CDs to play. But, it got me thinking about songs I associate with different parts of my life.
When we were young and lived at home, my sisters and brother and I remember our parents and their friends getting together to play cards many weekends. Country music blared throughout the house. Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams. Our lullabies. One song stands out from this. The Battle of New Orleans by Johnny Horton. One year at Christmas my siblings and I sang the song from beginning to end because Mom didn't believe we all knew it.
In high school I listened to whatever was on the radio. My best friend and I cruised up and down Main Street with the radio blasting. We would scope out the cute guys as we drove for hours up and down the same path, honking and giggling as we would pass them. But one song always takes me back to high school. I heard it in the parking lot of Walmart this morning as I parked my car. It reminds me of all my friends in contest speech and riding the bus to contest. Black Water by the Doobie Brothers.
In college I really broadened my music horizons--I hung out with many music majors. I listened to and liked many different styles of music (except opera. Just never could listen to it) But mostly I listened to folk singers with acoustic guitars, Barbra Streisand and Melissa Manchester. The song that stands out takes me right back to a certain place and time. As part of my work study, I worked in a little greasy spoon on campus. It was called Dantes. On weekends they would have live music. This was the song
I met my husband several years after college. One of the ways I knew he was the one--we had many of the same albums. Although, old hippy that he is, he had a lot more than I did. But no one I knew listened to Jerry Jeff Walker, Michael Murphy, or Michael Johnson--a favorite from college.
When we had kids, the song was Puff the Magic Dragon. When we would get together with friends, the women would sometimes take over the song choice--Mom's Night At the Stereo we called it. All songs you could sing along to! I still love Down at the Twist and Shout by Mary Chapin Carpenter. The guys didn't always want to admit it, but they enjoyed what we played. Except for Billy Ray Cyrus. They weren't too fond of him.
And now, I still listen to many different genres. Country, Rock, Jazz, Musicals. But I have to have lots of songs because I never know what I'm going to be in the mood for. Sometimes I shuffle through, other times I listen to a whole CD. My students are often amazed at the songs I know and what's on my ipod. Though they are more amazed that I have an ipod.