Writing 101: Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you? Today’s twist: You’ll commit to a writing practice. The frequency and the amount of time you choose to spend today — and moving forward — are up to you, but we recommend a minimum of fifteen uninterrupted minutes per day.
These are probably not the 3 most important songs in my life, but they do have a story behind them, and they are what crept into my head with only 20 minutes to write.
Well let’s start from the beginning…when I was little, 9 or 10 maybe, I always listened to the totally awesome 92.9 Z93 on the radio. They played the popular music. Debbie Gibson and New Kids on the Block. My mom listened to Z93, and riding in the front seat, sans seat belt, with her made me feel so cool. Riding in the back of my father’s black Buick, was another story. He liked the oldies stations. I didn’t mind the oldy-oldies station that played great music by Dion and Buddy Holly, it was the classic rock station with it’s never-ending lull of Boston and Jethro Tull that drove me nuts. I’d complain from the back, but my father simply said, “You wanna listen to your music, do it in your car.” Ugh…parents. Then one day I heard a song I quit liked. And a weeks later, I heard it again and still liked it. I thought this was something of importance so I let my dad know, “Dad, I don’t like any of your songs, but I do like that one just a little bit.” I’m pretty sure Dad probably didn’t care (back then, it wasn’t mandatory for dad’s to pretend they cared about every single tiny insignificant thing their kids said.), but it would become significant to me because it began my love for Aerosmith. The song with Dream On, and it’s still one of my favorites. Funny enough, I prefer the classic rock station over the popular music stations now. I’d much rather hear my children singing “Hey hey mama said the way you move, gonna make you sweat, gonna make you grove.” over hearing them sing, “Talk Dirty to Me.” any day of the week!
Later on in life, I was the first person to ever see Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. At least it felt that way because when I asked all my friends if they’d watched MTV that morning they said yes, and when I asked if they’d seen the video for Smells Like Teen Spirit they had no idea what I was talking about. Luckily they didn’t have to wait long because Nirvana blew up like nobodies business. The only annoying part is when they started asking me if I’d ever seen Smells Like Teen Spirit and I’d have to get all puffy and be like, “Uh, yeah. I saw them, like, a long time ago.” Nirvana wasn’t for everyone, but for me they were everything. And when Kurt Cobain killed himself, I was terribly sad. I went to school that day and there were these girls, perfectly polished girls with perfect smiles and hair, they were crying. Their tears only pissed me off and I wanted to yell, “Had Kurt Cobain gone to this school you bitches would have ridiculed him or ignored him. You would have snickered at his poetry and made fun of his dirty stripped shirts. And don’t say you wouldn’t because that’s just what you do to the could-be Kurt’s now!” But I didn’t. And I’m glad I didn’t. Cause I now realize they were just teenagers under all the perfectionism.
Years after Nirvana’s In Utero, I had some babies. And though they are all completely different in nearly every way, I sang the same lullaby to them. It started with Tommy in the NICU. I don’t know why the song came out, but when I held him for the first time, I softly sang, “Listen. Do dah do. Do you want to know a secret? Do dah do. Do you promise not to tell? Whoa whooooa. Closer. Do dah do. Let me whisper in your ear. Do dah do. Say the words you long to heeeeear. I’m in love with you. Woooooo.” I can’t even tell you how many 4am feedings ended with The Beatles Do You Want to Know a Secret. Or how many times I held my little chickens (that’s what I call them) and hummed it as they cried. I imagine one day I’ll be a fragile little old lady going slightly out of her mind. Every now and then I’ll start humming this song, and my great-grand kids will roll their eyes and grump, “Moma is at it again.” That makes me laugh…the little shits.
I think everyday should have some song dedicated to it. In my house, today’s song is dedicated to Laurie, who needs to CLEAN HER ROOM. Here you go girl! Get busy!
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