It may be an old cliche but I think of music as a soundtrack for my life. My family is big into three things: books, gaming and music. What can I say, we're geeks. I'm such a geek that I spent 7 hours on this post figuring out how to add songs and then finding them. My apologies if this kills your browser.
My daughters have been in school choir for years, we've sung in the church choir and we all have an amazing amount of music on our computers. iTunes counts your music by GB but also by time. Eldest has 8 or 9 days of music, Youngest has 7.9 and I have a lowly 4.4. The three of us are always on the look out for new music and unabashedly share what we find.
Music forms the background of memories for me. When I was young, my father used to watch HeeHaw and the Porter Wagoner show weekly. He generally dozed off while watching but snapped awake if you tried to sneak in and change the channel. So we start with Buck Owens and "Act Naturally".
My sisters were 9 and 10 years older than me and while I was used to country music from my Dad, they were typical teenagers of the period. They graduated high school in 1971, just in time for Jesus Christ Superstar to sweep the nation. I distinctly remember them playing that album rather loudly. Being all of 7 and not too interested in Rock of any kind, I didn't appreciate it. I banged on the wall and incurred the wrath of one sister who threatened to inflict severe bodily harm if I damaged her record. I don't think she turned it down, either. Add one "Superstar".
Of course, as I entered high school myself, music became far more important to me. I discovered all sorts of artists, some of whom I still listen to today. Chief among these was Billy Joel. I own just about everything the man has recorded, including his compilation "My Lives" on which are some rare recordings. Out of a vast body of music it's hard to pick a single song, so I won't. We'll start with the one that I always come back to: "Honesty".
Included in that soundtrack from high school are Queen's "We are the Champions",
Kansas' "Carry on Wayward Son",
Chuck Mangione's "Feels So Good",
Styx' "Grand Illusion",
John Denver and Jimmy Buffett. Those are two more that are really hard to pare down to just one song but I'll go with "The Captain and The Kid" for Buffett
and "Calypso" for Denver.
I was married to George Winston's "The Holly and The Ivy", no mp3, sorry. Put my children to sleep with Enya's "Orinoco Flow".
Shared a love of Bob Wills and Willie Nelson with my father. In his honor, I'll add "Roly Poly"
and "On the Road Again".
Discovered Mike and the Mechanics "The Living years" was a shared interest with my sister (she went from Jesus Christ Superstar to become a die hard Willie Nelson fan. Go figure.)
Back to Billy Joel. My mother was not a big fan of my music. Her tastes ran to Easy Listening and Big Band tunes. She did however like "Keeping the Faith". She said it was a song she could understand. I think it was the bit about the beer.
Garth Brooks entered the scene and left a lasting impression. "Unanswered Prayers" was Eldest's first duet. She sang it at a church event with an adult friend who got a huge kick out of singing with her. She was all of 8 or 9. He was also her first concert.
Our tastes, being broad and varied, saw us introducing our children to not only Country, but what to our chagrin was now called classic Rock and also to Jazz, New Age and Folk. They in turn introduced us to an amazing variety of music. We gave them Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World".
They shared Bowling for Soup's "Ohio"
and Green Day's "Wake Me Up When September Ends".
We countered with America's "Lonely People"
and the Corsair's "The Old Dun Cow"
and all things piratey and Irish. In return we learned to love the Dresden Dolls "Coin Operated Boy"
and Purple Haze's "My Immortal".
Eldest's iPod is likely to play Frank Sinatra's "In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning"
and move to Geoff Bryd's "Elusive Butterfly" and then on to Little T and One Track Mike's "Shaniqua". Youngest is just as eclectic going from Nickel Creek's "The Lighthouse's Tale"
to H.I.M.'s "Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly"
and over to Larry Allen Brown's "A Song for Kathryn".
We've watched our children sing in duets and solos with songs that have touched our hearts. Their duet of "Leaving on a Jet Plane" actually made me cry. "The Rose" came close as well. "Concrete Angel" was amazing. And the worst damn part is iTunes won't convert these to mp3s. So, no joy here.
Music has lifted us when we were down but not out. For a while it seemed like JoDee Messina's "Bring on the Rain" was the theme song to our life. Music has taught us and inspired us, made us laugh and cry and been an integral part of our lives.
Artists wide and varied, new and old have created the soundtrack of my life. I hope you've enjoyed listening as much as I have compiling. I leave you one last Billy Joel: "Lullaby".