Come on play.

4 years ago

Music is a universal comfort. My life has always had music playing in the background. I have very distinct memories of being in my home at 22 Main St., in Tiffin, Ohio, playing with my sister, Syd, while Dad played albums on the record player. I lived in this house until 1st grade. So Shani wasn't born and Ande was in diapers. Aretha Franklin. James Brown. Otis Redding. The Beatles. Just to name a few....

Once we moved to Coe Street, our music became almost constant. My sisters and I would play our records so loud and dance like mad. The Osmonds. The Jackson 5. O.C. Smith. We watched our Dad's taste transition to R&R with Janis Joplin. Three Dog Night. Al Green. Don McLean. Neil Young. My family fell apart at this address and yet my memories are mostly sweet and with a soundtrack that is amazing. All those summer nights sitting on that porch, watching traffic to and from Hedges Boyer Park, listening to our music and singing aloud in full voice. It is beyond cool.

Around about 5th grade, the sisters started developing their own musical tastes and we had only a few touch point songs that could always connect us. "I'll be there" by the Jackson 5, "Hickory Holler's Tramp" by O.C. Smith, "Delta Dawn" by Helen Reddy, and finally "Seasons in the Sun" by Terry Jacks. Go ahead and belt out a few of those golden I right?

Today, the 4 sisters are die hard Bruce Springsteen fans. We all also LOVE The Black Crowes. My current playlist has tons of Bruce, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, The Black Crowes, Kris Kristofferson, Elton John, and Justin Timberlake. I could not imagine not listening to music every day. Music is like breath to me. It may not always be a focus but it is always there, constantly sustaining me.

There are so many ways to listen to music today. Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, Sirrus, iPod, iPad, iPhone, albums, CD's.....oh gosh, remember 8-tracks? My uncle Brooke had a reel to reel set-up at my Gramma Carrie Jane's house. Complete with Black Lights and glow in the dark posters on the wall. I cannot remember what music he played us but we danced to it like we were at a live show. Good lord, it was probably Pink Floyd or something I hate today. 

I am not rocker chick. Never loved Bowie or Zeppelin. <------- is that R&R? I like music I can sing and dance to. If I don't know the words, I can't dance to it. 

My daughters are exposing me to music on a daily basis. I probably embarrass the hell-o out of them because I make it my mission to learn all the words to every song I like. Something untoward about their 50 year old mom belting out "thrift shop" right? 

My husband makes my passion for music seem positively pedestrian. He is a music FREAK. And he likes it LOUD. On a typical Saturday, he will have CMT on the TV, The radio on the rock station, in the garage, an actual vinyl record spinning some ELO, and then asking Grace to put Sly and Family Stone on her Pandora. We have possession of his father's albums. All 300+ of them. They are stowed in the closet in my office, in the cabinets in my butler's pantry, and in the book nook. He frequently exposes our girls to some obscure record from his childhood. We are raising girls who can sing along with Sly and Jay-Z, Bruce and Elton, Carrie Underwood and Willie Nelson. They love music as well. Every ride in my car is all top 40 all the time. In Daddy's car it is either "Classic Rock" or "Today's Country". They sing along to ALL OF IT. 

Aside from jazz, you cannot play anything I don't like or know. Jazz makes me homicidal, for future reference.

So today, when the writing prompt said to write about the song you play for comfort....I was motivated. Music stores my memories. Music makes me happy. Music makes me cry. Music heals my heart and breaks it as well. Live music makes me feel cool. Dance music makes me look cool. <----- if only (?!)

My current "comfort" song is Bruno Mars "When I was your Man", Rhianna's "Stay", and Muse's "Madness". Yes, I know there are 3 songs listed. You see what I mean...

Let's all take a moment to listen to a childhood favorite, a teenage anthem, a wedding song, and something you love from today....ready? Press play.

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