Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Music of My Life

Every once in a while, I hear a song that just captures my soul.  Sometimes it is a section of the lyrics.  Sometimes it is a string of notes.  Sometimes it is just the tone or the rhythm.  A pounding beat.  I like rock and classical.  Blues and gospel.  Jazz and country.  I love Sousa marches and the crooners of the 40's and the 50's.  Sound tracks from movies.  Love songs old and new.  No matter where I am or what I am doing, there is usually something playing in my world.

So when I hear something new that really grabs me, it's like a love affair.  I will buy it, download it, turn up the radio - and I will play it and play it until I know every note and have memorized all the words.  One such song for me right now is called "All of Me" by a vocal artist and musician named John Legend.  His voice just knocks me out.  At least in this song, there is a clear almost bell-like quality to it.

It seems that some songs also speak to something that is happening to me right now at this moment in my life.  "All of Me" is not a brand new song - just new to me.  The words convey an unconditional love, and he wrote it for his wife.

                                      "Cause all of me
                                       Loves all of you
                        Love your curves and all your edges
                            All your perfect imperfections"

The words remind me of the way I love Sam and the way he loves me.  Certainly we are not beautiful or perfect in any way.  But I think we do appreciate the "perfect imperfections" that make us so happy to be in love with each other.  For me, Sam is my perfect HOH.  If you would like to listen to this beautiful song, I have provided a link  HERE.

Sam and I have been talking a lot about songs lately.  We are coming up on a milestone anniversary, and Sam has organized a party (to my surprise!)  One night we came up with the idea of a compilation of our favorite songs to play at the party.  We've done that before for long car trips, and it's lots of fun.  However, those old CDs are kind of a split between Sam's favorites and mine.  This time the challenge is that we both have to love them.  Much tougher!  We only can agree on about 8 so far, but we are trying to cooperate and laughing a whole lot as we work toward this goal.
Several of our mutual choices are:  

  • Sweet Virginia - The Rolling Stones
  • Hit the Road, Jack - Ray Charles
  • Jackson - Johnny Cash

This list probably ages us, but never mind.  What has been so funny is turning up our noses when one says, "Well, how's this song?"

And the other answers, "No, no. A thousand times no."

If you think back and reflect on songs you have liked or loved over the years, you start to see you could almost tell the story of your life in songs.  Decade by decade, there were songs or music that
became a part of who you are.  I remember my dad's crazy lullabies and him playing Rachmaninoff on the piano.  Learning patriotic songs and Christmas carols at school.  Songs sung around a campfire.  Tunes we sang over and over on car trips.  Jump rope songs.

                                 "Do your ears hang low?
                               Do they wobble to and fro?"

Singers my parents loved - Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nat King Cole.  Songs I listened to scores of times or sang with my dad while we drove to work.  I still listen to all of those.

                     "Two sleepy people by dawn's early light
                       And too much in love to say goodnight."

On we go to rock and folk music.  The Beatles and the Stones and Simon and Garfunkel.  My first "stereo" and my first "portable radio" and all that vinyl.  The top 10 countdown at 10:00 pm each night.  Falling in love with Sam and crying because a song was just so beautiful.  Having him hold me out on the dance floor, even though neither of us could dance.

                           "Moon River, off to see the world
                           There's such a lot of world to see."

Thinking of songs chosen for our wedding.  Songs we played for parties and holidays and birthdays.  Silly songs I sang with our boys or my kids at school.  A song, both happy and ever so sad, sung at my father's funeral.

Sound tracks from movies and TV shows.  So many!  Sam and the
boys always knew when I was in the grip of a cleaning frenzy.  I would jack up the volume of the music from the movie, Patton, so loud, and I would clean that house to within an inch of its life.  Just me and General George "advancing constantly" on Berlin. Marching right through the enemy          
                             " crap through a goose."

Epic westerns with music as big as the sky above.  Rawhide on the TV every Friday night.  

                     "Head 'em up, Move 'em out, Rawhide" 

Even as an adult I loved westerns.  Had an old set of Mattel pearl-handled toy cowboy pistols that I put on one day while I was ironing and watching Silverado for the hundredth time.  When the boys got home from school that day, I heard older son tell a friend that his mom always wore guns when she watched westerns.  The music during the gunfight scenes was so cool!  Ask Sunny.  I still have a thing for cowboys.

And love songs.  A lifetime of Sam and a lifetime of love songs.  That would not just be a post; that would be a thesis.  Music and love go hand in hand.  Lately I have been listening to an old album of songs by Jimmy Durante.

                                     "That's the Story of
                                  That's the Glory of Love."

           So, "Goodnight, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are."

                    Tell us about a love song that speaks to you.


  1. I'm not generally a music person. I never turn on the radio or download music - I'm odd, it's never been my thing. Now Ray, he can sing songs from way back before he was born - he know's artists, lyrics, you name it.

  2. Hello Ella, I am very affected by music. Eric and my "song" is Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran. When we are apart and missing each other a lot, we play Touch Myself, the Divinyls. Our last anniversary, Eric gave me a framed picture of the words to Keith Urban's Making Memories of Us. Enjoy your songs. Amy

  3. Hi Ella, as a dancer there are a million songs I have played in my lifetime! I especially love all the oldies. I could Waltz to Moon River with my beloved all night.My youngest who is 27 is in a blues/rock band (fab guitarist) and he says Ella Fitzgerald is the best singer ever. He loves all sorts of music from the twenties onwards.
    I hope you have a lovely anniversary , the pair of you
    love Jan,xx

  4. Ella,
    Great post.
    Our favorites for memories are those late high school and college tunes.
    While we were living back east, I discovering Chirs Botti and his music sends me right back there to that exciting time of living our a big dream.

  5. Terrific post Ella, made me go all sentimental. I love that John Legend song, it's on my 'most played' list on my iPad. I remember buying my very first record when I was eight years old, after saving my pocket money. I still have a large collection of vinyl.
    There's a song from the 60s that could have been written for me at that time, Young Girl by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. I also love a song about lost love by Justin Hayward called Forever Autumn. No matter how many times I hear it I always cry.
    Have fun compiling your anniversary playlist and enjoy the day.
    Rosie xx

  6. Terrific has such an impact on our brings back memories, can evoke emotions, and us to clean a house..
    We are huge Beatles my picks are....
    "Something"...and one that we have had to slightly adapt "When I'm 74"...
    hugs abby

  7. As a kid and teenager I had to make up a story for every song I heard - back before music video told us what to think about it. Many of my earliest stories came from lyrics. Now I don't listen to as much music - I like quiet in the car, so I can write in my head.

    I do know how important music is. When LJ and Collin got married, I nearly had to beat them to get them to work on wedding plans, but Collin spent nearly nine months on the music to be playing all during the party.

  8. Great idea for a post. I too love that John Legend song, I agree his voice has such clarity, it's beautiful. There are so many good songs to choose from. A favourite has always been Breathe by Faith Hill and another one that touches me is Love & Affection by Joan Armatrading. Thanks for bring back some lovely musical memories.

  9. Hi Ella, What a lovely post, how exciting a special celebration coming up. I love John Legends song also. As I listen to it I imagine my Bear singing it to me. So sweet!
    Have fun deciding on your music.
    Hugs Lindy

  10. Music is very much a part of me. There are so many songs I would not know where to begin. My favorite songs of late are the ones I sang with my children...the other day I was bouncing on an exercise ball and my almost 13 year old son came and sat on my lap. I used to lull him to sleep like that when he was a baby - easier to bounce back then LOL :-) It sparked happy memories and I started to sing to him just like I used to - making up silly little rhymes as we bounced...and then of course my daughter wanted in on the fun so she had a turn. :-) Thanks for sharing your music and sparking memories.

  11. First off how exciting to plan a party for your milestone Anniversary! We just had one ourselves!
    I also love music, but I am not often consistent in any part of my likes or dislikes! Every song can evoke a memory for me, or a general feeling of well being!
    As a child we always had either opera or musicals playing on the stereo Sunday after Church! When in the car with mom and dad it was always classical. I am also a lover of the 40s and 50s)
    Hubby and I have eclectic tastes ( good and bad) so we enjoy many eras! I even listen to contemporary music of the young!
    Even though he was old when I fell in love, I remember buying an Elvis album and a 45
    By Beatles, Knowwhere Man.

  12. How wonderful to be celebrating such a great anniversary, Ella. I love's amazing how listening to a song can take be back to a point in my life. I was raised listening to classic music along with big bands, Perry Como, Ella Fitzgerald, Sinatra, Dean Martin, etc. via my mom and classic country...Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Horton, Loretta Lynn, Kitty Wells, Patsy Cline, Roy Clark, etc. via my dad. And I was lucky enough to grow up during the birth of some of the best rock and roll! So I enjoy all kinds of music! Couldn't even begin to narrow down the list of my favorites! Here are three of my favorites, for different reasons, that I would suggest you two see if you can agree on: What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz and Home by Philip Phillips. Whatever you choose, I'm sure your party will be absolutely awesome!

    Hugs and blessings...Cat