Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Soundtrack of My Life

Originally written and posted -Sunday, April 06, 2008 

 I took the time to create a list of 10 songs and share the significance they have had in my life. 
So here goes (In no particular order, except 1)

1.) "Magic" by Ben Folds Five
When my mother was dieing of cancer my sisters and I took turns watching her 24/7. Since I worked midnights at the time, I would watch her overnight on my days off. One night about a week before she die, I fell asleep and missed giving her the hourly "self dose" of Morphine. I awoke to the sound of her crying in pain. I quickly push the button, and began to sing to her every song I could think of. When she fell back to sleep, I went back to the chair where I was sitting and the words to Magic popped into my head. Every word seemed to fit the emotions I would go through, when she pasted away. As I began to cry, I realized I was giving up my attachment to her living forever, accepting the fact that the end was near, and hoping death would bring her the rest and peace she deserved and wanted. This is why it is the most important song of my life.

2.) "Box Of Rain" by The Grateful Dead
You can go ahead and say this song is about dropping acid, but I have always heard it in this way; Life is a choice to be created the way you see fit. That even your identity is something you choose, take the parts that work well for you, and use them to their fullest potential. The things that don't work, get rid of them. Go to work at breaking that part of you up, until it's no longer there. "Believe it if you need it or leave it if you dare".

3.) "Punk Rock Girl" by The Dead Milkmen
This song never fails to bring me back to the summer I was 18 (the summer of my life). A time when, all that mattered was right now, and how much fun can we have. "Tomorrow" only existed if Naked Raygun was playing a show at The Riviera. When I hear this song any troubles of the moment disappear.

4.) "Wonder Beer" by Naked Raygun
This song seems to capture perfectly a time in my life of total indulgence, and wondering and hoping, that someday responsibility would have a place in my life.

5.) "Somebody's Baby" by Jackson Browne
It was the summer I was 10 years old. We were on our family vacation to Canada. As we drove down the "strip" of Niagara Falls in our Winnebago this song was playing on the radio. We saw wax museums, carnival rides, arcades, and every other thing a kid would want to be enjoying. My mind was filled with wonder, and this song just felt like it had the same sense of wonder. It was years before I discovered how right I was. Also it is on the soundtrack to one of the greatest movies all time "Fast Times At Ridgemont High"

6.) "Rock The Casbah" by The Clash
This was the song that was playing when my little brother shot my little sister.

7.) "Crocodile Rock" by Elton John
When I was very young, my father's family lived on the south side of Chicago. We living way out in the "sticks" would sometimes (after a family gathering) stop and have a meal at Papa Joe's Pizza. It was a family own "pizza parlor" on 123rd street. One time a customer played this song on the jukebox, well my sister Carrie started bopping her head and was swaying along to the music. With in a minute the whole family joined in the fun. Since then, every time we came in, the own (Papa Joe, I guess) would play this song. It was a tradition our family was honored to have, and it was such fun to be a family that enjoyed being together.

8.) "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" by The Smiths
In moments of disappointment in life, this song seems to be an old friend. Something to remind me, that everyone hurts, gets rejected, and is scared things won't ever work out. I listen to it so I don't feel so alone.

9.) "Closer To The Heart" by Rush
I couldn't leave Rush off the list. They are one of my favorite bands. My love of Rush is the only thing I feel, I have in common with my older brother. I love him, but it seems that Rush is the one thing on which, we can see eye to eye. 'Closer To The Heart' is not my favorite song, but it does capture the essence of the band (both lyrically as well as the power and precision of their music), and I guess I see this song as a metaphor about what is missing in my relationship to my brother.

10.) "Nostalgia" by My Big Beautiful
Till recently, this song was just a memory (no pun intended).  Having only heard the song three times, it has been one of my favorites for over ten years. It makes me believe that the phenomena's of wonder and wisdom can exist together, with out being juxtaposed. That idea inspires me.

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