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I love music – any kind of music! I hear myself singing the lyrics of this statement memorialized in song by the great O’Jays. Look it up and listen to it because you can’t quote musical lyrics in a book or blog or anything else unless you have permission. I learned that while writing my book, INSERT GIGGLE GIGGLE, Laughing Your Way through Raising Kids and Running a Business. And since I am a rule follower, which I will explain a little more in a future Chog (insert giggle giggle), I won’t take the chance of quoting lyrics even though it seems like such a dumb rule. Why can you quote books and movies, but not songs – I don’t get it?

But seriously, music is an extremely powerful medium. It conjures up so many emotions and memories that make us happy as well as make us sad. Early in the COVID19 pandemic, I was taking a run. As you all know EVERYTHING was shut down. It was really hard to grasp at the time and looking back on it now, it’s even harder to grasp what we allowed to be done to us. Many times, while in the throes of something awful, we most often cannot see it for the tidal wave that it actually is – like an actual ocean wave, we are just trying to endure it and breathe on the other side. While on my run, the song "The Way We Were", sung by Barbra Streisand came up on my playlist and I had to sit down and have a good cry. The song, which is describing a love relationship no longer being the same as it once was, eerily mirrored the world not being as it once was and I was afraid that it would never go back to the “way we were” before. The emotion overwhelmed me in a physical manifestation.

I "have to" run to music. Funny enough, when I am on a run, there are several songs that make me run faster! If I am on the treadmill, instead of outside running, I even turn up the speed – it’s that much of an influx of energy! The songs are: "Sugar" by Maroon 5, "Benny and the Jets" by Elton John, "Flames of Paradise" by Jennifer Rush and Elton John, "Two Hearts" by Phil Collins, and "Game of Love" by Michelle Branch and Santana. When Elton John goes to that piano solo in Benny and the Jets and when Carlos Santana does the guitar solo in Game of Love, I cannot physically run as fast as my adrenaline is pumping (insert giggle giggle!).

And....I will give an individual shout out to the theme song of the movie, "The Magnificent Seven". This was my high school band’s theme song and our band had state-wide cred. When they played this song, the crowd went wild! I am 63 years old and I can still feel in my bones the thrill of the Friday night lights of our high school football games and the players running through our home-made sign to this song! Coincidentally or maybe not if you believe in the fates, when my niece played in her high school band, this was also their theme song. Whenever we went to watch her games and her band played this song, wow, what a rush for me. I was 16 again. I will also never forget when William became friends with a kid in elementary school and we became close friends with his parents, one day when talking about our local high school days, the dad of this boy told me that he remembered how great my high school’s band was – what?! – who remembers someone else’s high school band (insert giggle giggle!). But that is how good they were and that is how powerful music is. I wasn’t in the band, I was a cheerleader, but I was so proud in this moment.

And isn’t it funny that kids of today love the songs of my era. While they enjoy the songs of their era as well, and I do too, we all can acknowledge that there is no comparison to the songs of the 70s, 80s, and even 90s. The iconic bands, the voices un-technologized, the instrumentals that was such a focus of these bands, is a lost art and talent for most bands in this generation of music. Of course, there are a few exceptions, but not many. Lyrics are vulgar, music is manufactured, and no choreography of the band members that was so wonderful back in the day….The O’Jays, The Temptations, Gladys Night and the Pips, KC and the Sunshine Band, Earth Wind and Fire, the Jackson 5, The Osmond Brothers, and so many others that had wonderful music AND great dance moves – just a joy to behold.

Do you like the sound of the Doobie Brothers before Michael McDonald, or after? I like the before. Do you stand up and belt out "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond at sports events (for some reason)? At my preschool we had various “sports days” throughout the year and the teachers and students could “sport” their favorite team’s t-shirt, jersey, or other sports regalia. This was always a looked-forward-to event. The admin staff compiled a playlist that we would have blaring as the kids walked through the doors – usually through a goal post that one of my teachers made! Once we had a dad say, as he was making his cup of coffee in our lobby, “You gotta love a preschool that is blaring AC/DC at 8:00 in the morning!” as Thunderstruck would tee up on the playlist (insert giggle giggle)! These “stadium hits” put everyone in the best mood for the day!

On my playlist I have every genre of music imaginable. From Usher and Jay-Z to the aforementioned Barbra Streisand (insert giggle giggle)…..from country tunes to operatic songs, from Broadway show tunes to Lady Gaga and Alanis Morissette…you name it, I’ve got it covered. I have an Irish dance song that reminds me of all the memories of traveling all over the world with Hayden’s Irish dancing competitions and I have Cole Swindell’s, "Chillin’ It", which was William’s “walk up” song during his college baseball days. I sat one day and purchased songs from the ITunes store that I heard on a special on Georgia Public Television that was selling music CDs (as a bonus) for pledging money to the station. They only played snippets of songs and showed vignettes of the music videos, but it was so entertaining to me to remember these songs that otherwise I wouldn’t have thought of to add to my collection.

Those of us of a certain age can remember the absolute thrill, the absolute mesmerizing of MTV when it launched in the 80s. To actually get to see so many of your favorite singers and bands playing their music, one after the other, all day/night, was a teenager/young adult’s fantasy! So much of the pop culture allure of today was spawned by MTV which prompted the seductiveness of getting a glimpse into the lives of pop icons. One day I was in our sitting room reading, and I kept hearing, again, just snippets of fabulous songs, and wondered what in the world Steve was watching. So, I got up to go see and he was watching a documentary about session musicians back in the day. I didn't even know that type of thing existed! It is fascinating the things that you just don’t know are occurring behind the scenes of things you are involved in with everyday life! Look it up for yourself (especially if you are around my age) and enjoy. It’s called, The Wrecking Crew.

One day I started watching all the different video clips of the songs performed with various artists and Daryl Hall in the “Live from Daryl’s House” series. Two hours later, I was still watching. What’s that saying, “Time you can never get back”….well, I don’t want this time back – it was well spent! For some reason, my computer linked me to a singer that I had never heard of, Dannielle DeAndrea. She is FABULOUS! If you have a chance, look her up….her version of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back”, and Gnarls Barkley’s, “Crazy” is awesome! And one more shout-out to my high school days, is her rendition of “Build Me Up Buttercup”. Coming back to the school on the bus from our football games, the cheerleaders would start singing this song as we turned onto Kelley Chapel Road.

Memories – they’re the BEST!

So, music. The story of our life can be told through the backdrop of our musical experiences. I wish musical lyrics could be quoted - I needed them so many times in my book (insert giggle giggle). They are so profound and always hit the nail on the head (so to say) of what people are thinking. The God given talent of musicians awes me. Watch another documentary on Electric Light Orchestra and the genius of Jeff Lynne. Don Henley and Glenn Frey, Billy Joel, Tom Petty, John Denver, Burt Bacharach, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, and so many more are talented beyond words. As well I am also in awe of people who can so readily speak about music – people’s names, when a song was made, and just all sorts of music trivia!

Can you sing? I can...(insert a HUGE giggle giggle)!…..just ask my husband, my kids, and oh yeah, my younger brother who had to sit in the car while I drove him to school listening to me sing (as did my kids…and oh yeah, their friends too) insert another huge giggle giggle!

Next Up.....What Do You Think About the Privacy of Celebrities?

Always remember to sing a song every day and, of course, insert a giggle giggle - probably at yourself singing if you are like me! Kay 😊

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