Don’t Stop the Music!
Admit it! At least once, when you heard a favorite song, you either started dancing wildly in the privacy of your home, or you turned into a rock star in the driver’s seat of your car, and belted out the words at the top of your lungs.
Music is powerful. It can instantly transport us to a place in time that is long past and filled with secret memories. It has a way of awakening our soul, and it gives our body an extra infusion of energy. It is the colorful, shiny ribbon that decorates our memory.
As a young girl, I dreamed about being a member of the famous dance troupe, the Rockettes, in New York City. I made my own tap shoes by nailing Orange Crush bottle caps to the soles of my tiny red Keds. I danced away for hours on the rough concrete floor of our barn to the blaring music from an antique Victrola. To this day, whenever I hear an old show tune, I mentally kick up my heels and envision myself on the wide stage of Radio City Music Hall in a sparkling, sequined outfit.
Any Motown hit immediately takes me back to my Saturday night high school dances in the balloon and crepe paper-decorated gymnasium. “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” by the Four Tops yanked me every time, in my colorful mini-skirt and clunky shoes, out to the wooden gym floor, even when I did not have a dance partner! Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” has a a curious way of slowing down my current hectic life, and escorts my head back into my hazy, carefree college days at Washington College. It’s as if my heart never grew old along with my body.
Every period of my life can be put to music. Those tunes wake-up the dormant emotions and unlock the rich feelings that I previously enjoyed. Instantly, the bygone years are erased, as if I stepped into a time machine.
But the most poignant song that I ever experienced was the one I heard after my husband’s death. When I listened to Eric Clapton’s soulful “Tears in Heaven”, I was sure that he was singing directly to me to ease my intense pain. I understood that the artist was also mourning a loss, that of his young son and that he was publicly expressing his sorrow. But when I first heard his song, I felt like he was reaching out to me alone, as he strummed his guitar and softly sang the soothing words. I let my own tears flow freely when I heard it during those difficult early years, and I still do today. The warm streams on my face were comforting to me in an odd way. But then, tears are the tiny rivers that ebb out of our souls, releasing our true feelings. Don’t dam them up in shame and hold them back. They need to come out.
I sincerely hope that like me, your head is also filled with memorable tunes and lyrics that provide the musical background for your mind’s pictures. Let your heart explode with happiness and feel your skin erupt with goose bumps when you hear a favorite song that you used to share with a special person. And don’t forget to allow yourself to unleash your tears when the music reminds you of a loved one that is no longer next to you to share the moment.
Let the music play on!
Turn it up!
Make more memories!
Keep listening and enjoy its magical power. We all need a soundtrack to our lives.
“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” (Plato)
Write and tell me about your special musical moments. Tell me how YOU keep your memories alive! I look forward to your stories… and don’t stop the music!