The Soundtrack of My Life

Listening to music is how I revisit memories, deal with grief and regret, and create a safe place to feel whatever kinds of emotions I need to feel. I was born in 1967, so I was just getting old enough to understand the melancholy music of the 1970’s. Looking back now, seriously, what in the world were people thinking back then? I call a lot of those songs “songs to slit your wrists to.” The singers all sounded truly heartbroken when they sang. The instrumentals pulled at your heartstrings, and if the singer and instrumentals didn’t do the trick to get under your skin, the lyrics almost always would.

There’s been nothing much like it since, and many of our classic musicians who have no place in today’s music scene helped create it.

I got distracted tonight. I was using the new Amazon Music Unlimited, and finding one song reminds me of another. Then I Googled “saddest songs of the 70’s” and read those articles for reminders. The stories some of these songs tell are ones that couldn’t exist in today’s music because hearts and hurts and tears live in these guitar strings.

I don’t even know if I could pick out one special one that has meaning above others to share with you all, but I will try. I can’t leave out Harry Nilsson’s “Without You.” Even though those of you reading probably know Mariah Carey’s version better, this is the one you should be listening to. And it’s not even originally his. When I was little, I’d sing along to the chorus, and my dad would fuss at me because he thought I didn’t know what I was singing about.

Speaking of him, there’s a Mac Davis song called “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast?” I can remember when I was little, I could never keep up with him and my mom because I had short little legs and the spina bifida made me walk with a limp.

I remember Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” because I never knew what it was about, but I loved his piano playing.

My very first song I claimed as mine was “Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks, and I was quite horrified to find the French song he based it on as an adult. I had a story all ready for that song, and Jacques Brel’s story was NOT it.

I loved guitar strummers like James Taylor and Jim Croce. I think I’ll leave you with my favorite Jim Croce song “I Got a Name.”

“I Got A Name”

Like the pine trees lining the winding road
I got a name, I got a name
Like the singing bird and the croaking toad
I got a name, I got a name
And I carry it with me like my daddy did
But I’m living the dream that he kept hid

Moving me down the highway
Rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by

Like the north wind whistling down the sky
I’ve got a song, I’ve got a song
Like the whippoorwill and the baby’s cry
I’ve got a song, I’ve got a song
And I carry it with me and I sing it loud
If it gets me nowhere, I go there proud

Moving me down the highway
Rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by

And I’m gonna go there free

Like the fool I am and I’ll always be
I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream
They can change their minds but they can’t change me
I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream
Well, I know I can share it if you want me to
If you’re going my way, I’ll go with you

Moving me down the highway
Rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by
Moving me down the highway
Rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by

 

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About lana1967

I'm a Southern girl at heart who wants to build a community of people who believe they can change the world with words like "love" and "freedom" when they become more than words, but actions in our work and our daily lives.
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