Wednesday, March 14, 2007

All the Way

So, my dear friend Rennratt loaned me the new Indigo Girls CD yesterday at a music swap and shopping meet at our local Target store.

I am here to report that she has fine taste in music.

There are many many solid tunes on this CD,and even though the Girls have one or two songs I just KNOW I'd habitually skip (the realllly dark, morose, moany songs, of which it seems like they invariably have a couple of each CD they do), most are fun or interesting or tuneful enough to listen to over and over.

My Favorite is "All the Way," in which a love affair is likened to a car crash. It takes some kind of artistry to pull that metaphor off, and it's done brilliantly.

It's been a very long time since I listened to any Indigo Girls. They first came on my personal radar when I heard "Galileo" back in the day. LOVE that song, and so bought the CD, because that's how I roll, yo. I must have listened to that CD a hundred times in the months that followed, singing along and trying to figure out the words. It's largely the words that get me....somehow they, as lyricists, put their emotions and stories right out there in a way that hits me square in the heart or funnybone, almost every time.

There's a song called "Love will come to you" on the "Rites of Passage" CD that struck me right in the gut, but not on my behalf. It's a song about love, and how people search for it, and how even though it might hurt, there's always hope for the future. At the time I heard it first, my Mom was very very lonely after the death of my father. I could see her grief, it was a ghost around her, a weight in the room, a desperate longing for what used to be. She missed him terribly, and saw no hope for the future. These lyrics - "
I say love will come to you hoping just because i spoke the words that they're true as if I've offered up a crystal ball to look through where there's now one there will be two" brought me to tears, because it was my wish for her to be able to hope, to be able to see beyond the pall of her own sadness toward the future.

Eventually, she did. Time did as it does and healed her to the point that she could step out from around the curtain of anger and grief to see what was on the other side, and found love again. Naturally, she still misses my Dad, but decided to go on with the rest of her life, honoring what they had while striking out on a new path with someone else. Still, when I hear this song, or sing it in my head, I feel that pull, the pang, the upwelling of extraordinary emotion, and relive a it of my past. I doubt that time will change that, not one little bit.

When the Things were little, we were gifted with a CD of Kenny Loggins' children's songs, most of which were, um, rather maudlin. After one or two go-rounds of "All the pretty little ponies" and "The house at pooh corner," I chucked that tape and never looked back. It's a plain-faced FACT that one should not CRY when one is nursing one's child on a sunny autumn afternoon, despairing of the loss of their precious moments when that child is only a few weeks old. (Aside - I maybe had a touch of the post-partum depression, particularly after Thing 1, but DAYUM that tape didn't help.) Now, when I think of those songs, I get hit with a sense of confusion and frustration that is a mere hint of what I was feeling then. Damn that Kenny, anyhow.

On the flip side of all the weepy, there are other songs that carry a connotation of happier times.

"Magic Carpet Ride" will ALWAYS make me want to get up on someone's shoulders and bang on the ceiling while clutching a stadium cup of warm-ish keg beer, because that was the house tune of the frat I hung out at for a cupla years in college. Every time that came on a mosh pit of sweating horny frat boys would hoist the nearest girl up on his shoulders and the house would ROCK.

"Wrapped around your finger" by the Police will ALWAYS be linked with a late-night lyrics dissection session in the living room of P-house, with music majors debating on the nature of Sting and his affiliation with the classics that led him to cite Scylla and Charybdis, and what that could POSSIBLY mean in the context of the song. One vocal major had all the answers, but in HER context of a state of extreme inebriation, was ineffectual in her explanation. We finally found her point, after far too long a period of intense thought and sobering up. Good times.

Lastly (I can hear the cheering now!) I will ALWAYS love "Don't worry, be happy." I do not care that it's been done a million times and people are sick to death of it and were from the second time they heard it, it makes me happy. I first heard this as a second-hand song from a guy I had the ultimate hots for in grad school. He was my part-time snog partner and an actor, and came back from acting camp one summer with this song in his head. He sung it in his very bad voice, then played the CD, and I was hooked. I remember him hopping around his apartment, arms flapping, hair wild, lip-synching with total joy and abandon. Actors will do that from time to time, so I understand. Whenever I hear that song now (yes, we have the CD), I transport back to that place of youth and freedom, that small hot living room on the second floor, that person and their utter pleasure at being who they were, and I can't help but smile.

Second-lastly, I have to add the "Let's Crash the Party" (by guess which band? All right, it's OK Go) makes me deliriously happy. Every daggone time.


Which leads me to this question: Are there some songs that really hit you right where it hurts, or where it tickles so much you can't stop laughing, or that make you wanna get up and shake that tailfeather? What are they, and why?

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