Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tagged again

The lovely and talented Jodi of Looking Beyond The Cracked Window tagged me.

So here are the rules. 1. Each person I tagged - if they want to play along - has to write about 5-10 songs that had an impact on them in their life. 2. They should link back to me as well as Holly . 3. Then, if so inclined, tag five more people.

1. I'm going to start by going wa-a-a-ay back. Love is Blue by the Paul Mauriat Orchestra came out when I was a kid. I'd been studying piano for about a year. I already knew I had absolutely no talent, but I also knew that I loved to play, and this song kept me motivated to practice. I memorized it for the piano when I should have been learning Claire de Lune.

2. This one is even older than the first, but I came to love it when I was a pre-teen. It's Glen Miller's String of Pearls. My parents were in their teens and early twenties in the forties, and swing was their music of choice. This was possibly their favorite song, and it worked my way into my heart and opened my ears and mind to music other than what came pouring out of the AM radio. I may have grown up on rock and roll, but I'm glad that's not the only musical genre that ignites my passion.

3. The next song both broadened my tastes and helped me down the road to self-acceptance. What song could hold that power? Well, Foggy Mountain Breakdown by Flatt & Scruggs. Let's be honest. These men are virtuosos in their talent, but I grew up terribly embarrassed by TV shows like The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction and Hee Haw. I was a TV baby if there ever was one, and Tennesseans were presented as totally out of it rubes, bumpkins, ignorant hayseeds. Now that what was seen on TV had little or nothing to do with my suburban Memphis life meant nothing when I was a kid. From what I could see, as far as the world was concerned, Tennesseans were ignorant. I completely rejected country music. I worked on eliminating the southern accent I now enjoy so much. I nearly succeeded at it and still occasionally hear, "You're not from around here, are you?" Coming to love this song helped me claim my roots, and I'm proud of them. It also helped me lessen the power that media held over me. I'd say that was a pretty powerful song.

4. I have to include the entire album for the next one. The Beatle's Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was so mind expanding that I never felt the need to try acid. Honestly, this album helped me begin to make some of the mental, visual, aural and emotional connections that are why I became a poet. It taught me to look at the world in a new way.

5. I'd be a little dishonest if I didn't include the first record I bought. It was Three Dog Night's Pieces of April on a 45. I think I was ten then. I collected 45s for my first few years as a music collector before moving onto albums.

6. The first album I bought also includes a song that has always felt deeply spiritual to me. Water, love, sensuality, and spirituality all harmonize here in a way that isn't immediately apparent, but this song resonates deeply in my soul. It's Love Reign O'er Me from The Who's Quadrophenia. I always felt that Quadrophenia was a superior rock opera to Tommy. I love the complexity of the images, the themes, and the album artwork. There was something about the cover that just fixated me with the mirrors of the scooter reflecting back the four faces of the band members when only one rider was there. I think I was beginning to recognize my own multi-faceted nature here. And the lyrics, oh, the lyrics.

Only love
Can make it rain
The way the beach is kissed by the sea
Only love
Can make it rain
Like the sweat of lovers
Laying in the fields.
Love, reign o'er me
Love, reign o'er me,
Rain on me, rain on me
On the dry and dusty road
The nights we spend apart alone
I need to get back home to cool cool rain
I can't sleep and I lay and I think
The night is hot and black as ink
Oh God, I need a drink of cool cool rain
Only love
Can bring the rain
That makes you yearn to the sky
Only love
Can bring the rain
That falls like tears from on high
Love reign o'er me
Rain on me
Over me, over me
Love reign o'er me
On me
Love

My car is coated with dust and pollen now. I didn't sleep last night. I sat up listening to thunder rumble, waiting for rain that never came, and I'm feeling really loved this morning. All these things make this song particularly appropriate for today.

7. Desperado. It was the song of my teen years and my circle of friends. There's an Emmy award winner in the bunch. Another has a Broadway career. Another is a comparatively powerful professional liberal political activist. There's a preacher or two, and then us ordinary ones. This song identified the loner in all of us, and in each other we recognized that these few could breach those fences we worked so hard to keep standing.

8. Friends by Bette Midler. I love both the sweet sad and rejoicing versions of this song. In it, I acknowledge my connections to people with gratitude.

9. Pavarotti's Nessum Dorma because it makes my spirit tremble. And...

10. Louis Armstrong's La Vie En Rose because it just makes me feel good every time I hear it.

I'll tag whoever wants to play.

,

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