Music Hath Charms

So an interesting conversation that I had with my son. One that I am sure parents have been having with their kids since the dawn of music. Why music matters so much. For my son, like most kids – or hell I am sure like a lot of people – music is just something you listen to. It’s got a beat and you can dance to it. My sons taste of music, much like mine, varies wildly. He loves Watch Me by  Silentó  and equally loves We Built this City by Starship. He can’t, however, get into any kind of folk, jazz or blues music. When it comes on he loses his mind completely. Even with out lyrics! I played Whammer Jammer by J. Geils Band and you would think I was preforming water torture on him. Forget listening to any kind of folk music like Old Crow Medicine Show.  I tried (in vain) to explain to him the meaning behind the music, the appreciation of the lyrics, the artist, the musicians. I tried explaining that the same song can be sung in a variety of genres, that basically music was just poetry being put to instruments. I then tried explaining that someday he would hear a song and he would get it. It would hit him just how powerful music can be. (at this point I think I lost him…) new-girl-gif1

Still I continued to explain to him the magic of music. I started thinking to myself that it can take you back to a sweet summer night with your first love, it can bring to tears over a lost friend, it can make you smile because of some silly adventure you had when you were all young and free. It got me thinking of my musical choices and what songs have stood out to me over the years.

The first song I really ‘got’ was probably something by Nirvana Heart Shaped Box or All Apologies …”I wish I was like you Easily amused”  After that it was a lot of depressing alternative rock. A lot. Were talking Jeremy by Pearl Jam “Lemon yellow sun Arms raised in a V And the dead lay in pools of maroon below” Told you – depressing.  Adams’s Song by Blink 182 or Smashing Pumpkins,  – “Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage” those were my jams I laugh now thinking of all that pent up, misplaced teen-aged rage. giphy

As I went through high school other music came to me, some new like Sublime – “It all comes back to you, you’ll finally get what you deserve”  Some older like Grateful Dead-” Every silver lining’s got a Touch of grey”  (thank you Lucas) Barry McGuire’s Eve of Destruction, Buffalo Springfield’s  For what it’s worth. I didn’t start getting into folk music until recently. Though, I always found it pleasant to listen to. The Blues came from an ex who took me to a blues bar and I just fell in love with the cords. Jazz came from my days as a waitress. And each song can probably bring me back to when I first heard it, or a memory I associate with it. That is the power of music, of great song writing.tumblr_lq9iztnsdr1qd8cvlo1_500

I know some day my son will get this, and I am happy that for now he does appreciate a variety of music. I leave you with a few of my favorite lines (well that ones that come to me while writing this) and ask…what songs shaped you?

“Why am I soft in the middle The rest of my life is so hard” – Paul Simon  – You can Call Me Al

“Tear down the house that I grew up in, I’ll never be the same again” The Avett Brothers  – Tear down the house 

“It’s what you do and not what you say” John Mellencamp  – Peaceful World

“Every little thing, is going to be alright” – Bob Marley  – Three Little Birds

“If I could tell the world just one thing, It would be that we’re all ok” – Jewel  – Hands

“Oh, take your time, don’t live too fast” Lynyrd Skynyrd – Simple Man 

“There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone” – Grateful Dead – Ripple 




  1. WriteForAbsolution · February 6, 2017

    Hmm, in terms of what “shaped” me I can’t be sure. Was it Wilson Phillips?
    “No one can change your life except for you. Don’t ever let anyone step all over you. Open your heart and your mind. Is it really fair to feel, this way inside?”
    or maybe it was Ace of Base
    “I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes, I saw the sign / Life is demanding without understanding /I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes, I saw the sign /No one’s gonna drag you up to get into the light where you belong /But where do you belong?”
    or it could easily have been Reba McEntire
    “I knew what I had to do but I made myself this solemn vow / That I’s gonna be a lady someday /Though I don’t know when or how / I couldn’t see spending the rest of my life / With my head hung down in shame you know /I might have been born just plain white trash / But Fancy was my name”
    Nowadays though I’d have to say songs that stick with me are things like “Freebird”
    “If I leave here tomorrow / Would you still remember me / For I must be travelin’ on now / There’s too many places I got to see”
    or The Lumineers “Cleopatra”
    “But I was late for this, late for that, late for the love of my life / And when I die alone, when I die alone, when I die I’ll be on time”
    or, Joseph “White Flag”
    “I’ll be an army no you’re not gonna stop me getting through / I’ll sing a marching song and stomp through the halls louder than you / I could surrender but I’d just be pretending / I’d rather be dead than live a lie”
    or Paramore “Franklin”
    “When we get home, I know we won’t be home at all / This place we live, it is not where we belong / And I miss who we were and the town we could call our own / Going back to get away after everything has changed”

    But mostly it’s Kansas “Carry on my wayward son, there’ll be peace when you are done, lay your weary head to rest, don’t you cry no more.”

    Music is all encompassing and perfect.

    • mindy913 · February 9, 2017

      Really – going to go with Wilson Philips – you’re sticking with that? Just kidding it is amazing message!
      I love how music can just…say what you have been thinking or make you feel what you have been feeling even though you didn’t know you were feeling it.

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