Stories have been told about how when I was very little, I would lie in my crib and sing gibberish to myself. I’m sure I understood the words even if no one else could. I love singing. It was my first creative outlet. And when my kindergarten teacher yelled at me for not cutting a piece of felt correctly and thus, I turned away from being an artist who created with my hands, I always knew I could sing and my creativity was expressed through music.
I took about 2-1/2 years of piano and played the violin for a short time as well. I always found my people whenever I started a new school by joining choir. I sang every chance I could get, much to the annoyance of my older brother who would chide me for singing to the radio or whatever music was playing from the boombox. My feet start moving when a song comes up that I can feel in my bones. It’s always been this way.
When my kids were little I sang to them. I’m sure there were times when they were annoyed as well. It is my first love and it brings to mind memories, good and bad. When I was dating my ex-husband, I wrote him a letter using some of the lyrics to “Faithfully” by Journey. We lived about 90 minutes away from each other when we first started dating. This is a song that brings bittersweet memories to me.
Both “Delta Dawn” by Tanya Tucker and “Country Roads,” by John Denver brings memories of me singing with my cousin into the handle of hairbrush as we stood on our “stage” in front of the fireplace. When the song “What’s Up,” by 4 Non-Blondes came out in the 90s, I remember singing that in our backyard to the kids in my home-based child care. Oh, that song, spoke to me in so many different ways. For me, it was an anthem of figuring out who I wanted to be when I grew up and it helped start my path of going back to school and trying to become the woman I wanted to be in the world.
When I was in ninth grade, I sang “What I Did for Love,” from the musical “A Chorus Line.” I was the only person that night to receive a standing ovation. I was never scared when I sang before people. I remember feeling like I was where I was meant to be at that moment. I think it’s one of the few times in my life where I felt truly alive and in the moment.
I’m fortunate to now be with a man who appreciates my love for music. If we are out somewhere and a song comes on that makes me want to move, he won’t hesitate to dance with me, even if we are the only ones doing so. My latest obsession is “Dance Monkey,” by Tones and I. I love the quirkiness of this song and it makes me want to move. When my husband and I were at dinner last Friday while in Cabo, there was a band playing. I looked around to people oblivious to the music around them. I’m always aware of the music playing and I very literally cannot stop myself from moving to the beat. As we were leaving, “Dance Monkey” came on and we danced for a bit before leaving.
Everytime I hear “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, it gives me chills. The lyrics to this song are powerfully beautiful. Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” makes me thankful for her brilliance. And if you ever have a chance to go see Dolly, do it. She is a living legend and listening to her tell the stories around her songs is something you won’t forget.
There are so many songs that speak to my heart and soul. There are many songs that I could write about and the different ways they speak to me or spark a feeling inside or bring me back to a moment. It’s a love affair that I will have until my last dying breath.