Music

March 14, 2007

Thinking about singing to my son has me thinking of music that played throughout my childhood.
My family loves music, we play musical instruments, we sing, we rarely gather without music playing in the background. I used to sing professionally for weddings and funerals, my mother plays the guitar and the accordion, my father plays the guitar and the piano, my cousin Darin has an album out and my cousin Hannah’s voice is awe inspiring. (as a side note, there was a short while when the music wasn’t played as often as it was, just after my mother’s father died, both my sister and I struggled with depression and anxiety, her moreso than myself and music seemed to exacerbate her anxiety attacks immensly. To this day, she’s very interested in why that was, because now she loves music and if asked about that period will talk about it to a certain extent)
While I was growing up there were several songs that all meant something special to me, time and time again these songs played in house. And they each meant something specific: Sunday mornings, time for bed, evenings when my father was home making dinner and drinking a glass of wine…
Sunday mornings were the most upbeat, most diverse tunes: Graceland by Paul Simon, Djobi, Djoba by the Gipsy Kings, anything by Gloria Estefan. I’ve spoken about Sunday mornings here before, and to this day they are some of my best memories of growing up. The soundtrack to those memories will always inform the color and feel of them. It is always summer in the Sunday mornings of my mind.
Other songs that played throughout my childhood are a bit more unusual. My parents, hippies that they are, taught us great songs from their college days: “If I had a Hammer”, “Fortunate Son”, and “Hey Joe” are all songs that bring back memories of sitting around the dinner table with my parents learning about Kent State, bra burning, and living in Tucson. My mother used to play “Sloop John B” on the guitar for us, and it amused us to no end. I have since discovered that most kids’ parents weren’t as politcally charged as mine, and that my childhood was a little bit different from average. Not that I’d trade it, I like having wierd stories to recount to my friends.
When my family moved to the Robson house I was about 7 years old. At first I shared a room with my sister. My father used to sit outside our bedroom and sing to us to put us to sleep, a lullabye that I have since sung to many children I’ve nannied: “Over in the Meadow”, a counting song that still moves me to tears to hear him sing it. To hear anyone sing it really. I plan on teaching it to Luke so he can carry on the tradition. This song has taken on new meaning in the last year as it is one of the songs I hummed to my Nana as she lay dying. I would stroke her back and sing quietly to her as she shallowly breathed in and out. I used to wish I could have come up with something more profound, but I have since realized how calming lullabies can be…
I hope that my son’s memories are as filled with music as mine are. I know that I’m doing my best to expose him to music now, singing and dancing as I clean the kitchen, as I drive my car, just listening to music with his dad.  Luke says he loves to hear me sing and I know that he sings at the drop of a hat (and he can carry a tune bless him!)
And now I’m curious, what kind of music makes up your memories? A specific song? A band?

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3 Responses to “Music”

  1. ipod music said

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  3. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Inviolateness!!!

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