Tuesday, July 19, 2011

This is a long drive...part 2

Its funny when you start something you actually enjoy doing...you drive your self to do it. I cant follow through with much. My life is at times a series of to do lists. Thirty days for me is twenty eight too long. So when I started this pursuit  project, I honestly wondered if I would be able to continue. I have failed many diets, budgets, agendas, and plans of action. I have two degrees I have no idea what to do with. What ever I am on the pursuit of, I am now twenty nine days closer to the answer. June 20 was my first post..and last week I actually was able to show more than two people what I was up to. Yesterday, I started a list and today I came very close to going to bed with out finishing. But there was actually something that kept it going, something more than the need to loose weight or get out of debt. I said I wanted to ride this out one more day and throw out five more songs. So even if one person reads this or even if I am the only person (well besides Shanna :) to read it..here are the last five songs that defined my drive home last night. Looking at them, I realize I bring it down with five different kind of ballads. But thats what I like in the car, to sing along (or just hum to the tune)

6. Texas Flood - Stevie Ray Vaughn
One year it was Layla's birthday. I am not going to pretend I know the year for sure, but I am pretty sure it was 2008. We had a party for her and that night, the wind really kicked up. I was working for my dad's tree business at the time and I knew by the sound of the winds howling and shaking that downed limbs and damage was inevitable. The girls were getting ready for bed when the power went out.  They were really scared..it was completely dark. We had one working flashlight at the time (and it was one of those key chain sized LED ones). I had my laptop, (at the time I was still working on my masters degree). I was going to do homework that night....as it was sunday and everything was due. But the girls looked so scared, and sad. I thought about letting them sleep in my bed..but I knew all four of us didn't fit in a queen bed anymore. So I gave them my laptop to watch movies until they fell asleep. I knew that a funny disney movie would make them forget about the wind.

After I got them settled, (and Josh was snoring along with the breeze). I couldn't sleep. I admit, the wind scared me a bit. I knew I couldn't protect my children fully from mother nature, and at any time a giant limb could fall through their window and...well thats what its like to be a mother. So I put on my ipod.

"Texas Flood" was the first song that came on. The beautiful and sad strum of Stevie Ray's guitar combined with the urgency of his voice was so fitting with the wind howling in the background. This song is such an wonderful example of how effective listening to the blues can be. There is always a situation, or a time in my life where hearing this song can relax my my mind. I was listening to Texas Flood and its soulful blues, thinking about how weather is a metaphor for love and life...and our longing to be somewhere where there is not that worry of how unpredictable mother nature can be. "Well back home there are no floods, or no tornadoes, and sun shines every day"

7. Jar of Hearts- Chistina Perri

Even I love a little top 40. I really wanted to hate what I though was another teenage version of I don't know what love is but I will sing about it anyway. This song, and its sad piano, kind of changed that feeling. It is about teenage love and how hurtful it can feel. Its about that one heart break you may never shake no matter how hard you try. Its about moving on but never really moving on. I love this song because it captures that nineteen year old break up...the one you really feel. It takes that emotion and gives it the middle finger. "You're going to catch a cold, from the ice inside your soul, don't come back for me, don't come back at all" It is teenage heartache and anguish all bottled up in one beautiful ballad. And this girl can wail. There is nothing more liberating then turning this up as high as it will go and singing along..singing to heartache or maybe the person who never noticed you at all. It is like vocally keying their car. Even if there is no current heart ache, or there hasn't been heart break in over a decade...life can give you that over all feeling of hopelessness and rejection. I would suggest taking that emotion and going back to that one heartache. You know which one..no matter how much you bury it, you can take yourself back to that minute when it happened. I like to sing it loud..it really feels great. 

8. Nobody's Darling - Lucero

Lucero is country to me...and not the top 40 pop country..the good guitar ballad country. Ben Nichols voice is both daunting and invigorating. The song Nobody's Darling (also the title track to the cd). makes me feel like I am out at a big bonfire in the country..one of this were everyone is kicking back. I guess really I just want to party with these guys. And I love this song..its like just knowing someone is watching a girl (not me in this story- there is not enough whisky in the world to call what I do dancing) dance and she doesn't know it..or how beautiful he thinks she is. To me this is a both a tribute to music and to the fact that Lucero doesn't know how amazing they are. They play just to play and watch that girl dance..and really enjoy the song. "We aint no body's darlings, we never stood a chance, we aint no body's darlings..so I'll settle for watching her dance.

9. White Water Hymnal- Fleet Foxes

I don't even think there are actual words to describe how magical this song is. Much like the fact that I really don't even understand what the heck they are talking about in this song. I am a lyrics freak. I will listen to a song to memorize and repeat and write lyrics all over the place. I have songs written out all over my journal. (and I know the words to every song ever played on the radio from 1980-1999) But this song, I have no clue what they are talking about, nor do I care. This has to be one of the most original songs I have ever heard. The high and melodic voices that make up this song are instruments and the words are sung to tweak the instrument. I know these guys are from the states, but it feels very irish folky. So my feeling when I hear this song is like the soundtrack for my reaction to seeing the green beauty that is Ireland for the first time ever. Maybe one day, I will get there..and this song will be playing in my head. 

10. White Blank Page- Mumford & Sons
My new obsession. I know, I am like the last person on the planet to hear of Mumford and Sons. This song is just heartbreaking and sad...and I love it. You want to say it.."tell me now it was my fault, for loving you with my whole heart" The words and the tone is so vulnerable that it makes the banjo and the guitar like a tiny harp...singing a sad sad song. This is also a song that works best in the car. You can't dance to it (even slow dance would be weird). Its a tune out the outside world and quit feeling bad since someone cut you off kind of song. And when you think it cant get any sadder, the violin just cries..tears streaming everywhere. So really, try to be sad that you cant go 80 mph when this is going on. I really want to see Mumford & Sons play this song..so I am saving a memory for that.

Music for me is life. It is what calms and challenges me. My list isn't my top ten favorite songs, or even songs I think everyone should love as much as I do. This list is what I was feeling at the time..and what got me home with out a major fit of road rage. So if you see me, singing passionately into an empty bottle of Dr. Pepper, don't feel bad for me or think I am nuts. I am just enjoying myself. 


  1. I did a much briefer list of ten songs on my blog...my comments are much, much shorter, but my list merely included 10 songs that have some deeper meaning for me. Music is a great place to go when you need something...I enjoyed reading this.

  2. Hey! I read your blog and I think Jack does. Keep that in mind if ever you feel the need to "talk" about the in-laws. We are very sensitive and would probably cry.


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