Mozart, Bach, any classical or flamenco guitar, all make me smile; but there are three songs that have special meaning for me.
When we were a young married couple with a small child, Cat Stevens was popular. We bought all of his albums (actual vinyl!) and played them incessantly. I identified with one song in particular, Sitting. The lyrics were amazing: “Oh I’m on my way, I know I am, somewhere not so far from here,” “Sitting alone all by myself, everyone is here with me,” and “Life is like a maze of doors that all open from the side your on. Keep on pushing as hard as you can and you’re going to wind up on the side your on.”
At that time of my life, I suffered from an unwarranted optimism. As I looked around at my life, I just knew that things would be for good of all of us. I had little reason to support that presumption, but I was certain of its truth. Not all of the lyrics of this song were beautifully polished. At one point he wrote “or something” to finish a line. Obviously, he just ran out of words! But even that, the youthful, unfinished, unpolished words, reflected my thoughts.
The second song that is particularly meaningful to me is Blowin in the Wind. (Yes, I know, I didn’t leave out the g in blowing. It’s printed that way on the album.) It has been recorded many times, a sad anti-war song. It also reflected the times, the turmoil over the Vietnam War. We had friends with conflicting views on the war. Friends served and friends protested. The song is really calling for a thoughtful discussion on war and national policy. I found no conflict between these two songs. They were both reflective of the times. As a species, we have the remarkable ability to hold two conflicting beliefs at the same time!
The third very meaningful song for me is In My Life recorded by the Beatles. When my husband died, my sister and I put together a slide show of family pictures from my husband’s life. This was a bittersweet task, but it helped me to celebrate his life. In thinking about music to accompany the DVD, I thought about my husband’s favorite music. In My Life was one song he played frequently. so I used that one on the DVD. We showed the DVD at the memorial for my husband and I gave copies to family members.
It will be a very long time before I can listen to that song without tears.