Songs In The Key Of Life

I’m one of those people that have a song for every occasion. Just hearing a few bars of a song can bring me right back. Ask my kids, they will tell you I magically know the words to all the songs (to their deep embarrassment). My favorite song as a kid was “I Think I Love You,” by David Cassidy. If I hear it now I picture my Partridges lunch box swinging back and forth as I walk to school. “Born in Xixax,” by Nina Hagen, will always bring me back to Prom. I hear “(Do The) Instant Mash,” by Joe Jackson, and I’m in the Virgin Islands again losing it. Tones on Tail’s “Twist” makes me want to dance like I did in underground clubs all through college.

These are all happy memories. There are the bittersweet ones, too, like Flock of Seagulls’ “Wishing.” Luckily I almost never hear it, because I will tear up immediately. (I think of my first love in high school, who passed away.) I hear “Bedsitter,” by Soft Cell, and I think of all the miserable nights I spent wishing I wasn’t so full of teenage sadness (with my dad screaming, “Turn that shit down!”). Even the sad songs are nice to hear sometimes because I can conjure up those people and places if only for three minutes… But the one song I hate to hear — and it was truly one of my all-time favorites — is “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” by Israel Kamakawiwo?ole. It was “our song,” and we even played it as our wedding march. I thought in the divorce I would lose whole albums, whole genres even. But it’s just one little song, and ain’t that a shame.

If music be the food of love, play on. — William Shakespeare

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