Friday, October 5, 2007

Music of Life

I was about ten years old before I cared a whit about music. I didn't own any tapes (those little cassettes with funky brown ribbons in them that were notorious for being eaten by the tape machine), nor eight tracks (gigantic cassettes which no one under thirty has ever seen) and I didn't own a record (a throw back to the first talking machines with their ridges and grooves in black vinyl). The only music I knew about was the stuff that came over the radio, nothing I took notice of then, and hymns, the mainstay of any good Southern Baptist church.

Then one day my dad bought a new pick-up. And by "new" I mean one of those old beat up kinds that he could fix up, make run, and sell when he found a new project. Under the front seat of this super cool find was a cassette. Dad brought the funky off-white, slightly smudged article into the house and asked, "You want this?"

I shrugged, but took it into my room. I didn't have any cassettes before this, but I did have a cassette player--I like to be prepared. I set up the cassette player on my windowsill and discovered the magic of The Eagles and Hotel California.

My interest in music grew quickly after that, but never attained the great depths of appreciation and association some people have. I liked to sing--or was it scream?--songs from Pink Floyd's The Wall just as much as I loved to belt out a chorus of People to People and Pass It On (radical contemporary songs found in the 80's Baptist Hymnal.) I had no idea who sang my favorite song, Running with the Shadows of the Night. I didn't know the difference between Sylvia and Amy Grant.

I have friends who can sing choruses, and even entire verses from songs, not to mention naming the artist and quite possibly what album the song is from. For example, I hated the New Kids on the Block, but one day, after weeks of LOVING a particular song I discovered to my chagrin that it was the quintessential NKOTB song. (Yeah, ok it was Tonight, I'm over it.)

My taste in music is eclectic to say the least. I still have some of those fabulous "long playing albulums" (if that phrase is foreign to you, you haven't watched Grease 2 enough) a bizarre collection of cassettes and a chaotic mix of CDs. (I started buying CDs before I bought a CD player, because I like to be prepared!)

Buried somewhere on my computer is a collection of mp3s. There is only one iPod in our family so far, but I still enjoy a bit of music from time to time. In fact, this week I discovered a fabulous group called Rescue. They are an a cappella group with a heart for ministry. The best part of the group? The vocal percussionist, reminiscent of 80s beatbox, but so much more! Check them out at

In the years since I received that first Eagles tape, I have learned the value of music. The format of music evolved. The genres of music evolved. My taste in music evolved. One thing stays the same, music touches my life. Certain songs elicit memories. Memories of people who are no longer a part of my life. Memories of dreams once chased. Memories of good moments, crazy moments, and moments best forgotten. But music brings all these things together and orchestrates the novel which is my life.

No comments: