Monday, February 9, 2009


I had two arresting musical moments over the weekend.

I was in the grocery store on Sunday and heard the Cowboy Junkies singing Anniversary Song and I started singing without really knowing it. I didn't stop until I wheeled around a corner and startled some guy in the frozen foods. Now our store has a very eclectic playlist and it's not unusual to hear Kate Bush or The Pixies or XTC during a milk run, but I have never just spontaneous started to sing before. Hum a little maybe, but this was full fledged singing. It surprised me - it's something I would have done without thinking twenty years ago. It felt good.

Then last night I was watching television and over the final few scenes of the show I was watching the were playing a song I used to know in the background. The immediate and sort of visceral recognition stunned me. It was a song I had sung a thousand times in countless kitchen and showers and driving along way too many winter roads. In that little moment of recognition, that song called forth a part of me I'd forgotten. I got goose bumps. It was U2's
Running to Stand Still

I don't know why my musical tuner is cranked up so high these days but I kind of like it. I think I'd forgotten how important a song can be – how easily that one perfect song can change you life.


  1. I have to stop in my tracks whenever I hear "Free Bird"...immediately I smell coconut suntan oil and pineapple snowcones. And I'm wearing a tube top and cut off shorts.

  2. Music-memories...thanks, L. AND, Mrs. G--for the Cowboy Junkies bring back the North and South (they're Canadian band,but I first learned of them when a Detroit friend sent album up from the South, where she was, to me in Maine after THE heartbreak) and, of course, FreeBird recalls for me the days of singing it in that rock band of post-high school days....and this week, I played Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights in my literature class (and students recall their mothers and fathers....) Time....TIME!
    le pays

  3. Music is magic--it enhances moods, changes moods, and can bring you back to a particular moment in such a magnificently vivid way. (When I hear R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" I'm 21 and back in my little silver Chevy Sprint, Mark sitting next me,and a drunken, annoying TA named Jason is in the back seat. It's after midnight and we're on our way to an all night diner for breakfast.) I've forgotten that too--since Nathan's birth I've been listening to HIS music, rather than my own. This is a beautiful entry--it's making me remember...

  4. I just keep forgetting how important music is to me. I'm always surprised by its power.

    Thanks for sharing your songs with me.