Writing 101: The tunes

Gaelic Storm at the Englert Theater

Gaelic Storm at the Englert Theater

I can’t even begin to count the number of songs in which I can find meaning, or the number of songs that I love, that hold inspiration for me, that have shaped the person I’ve become.  The first three that popped into my head, though, are “A Way Back Into Love” and “Dance With Me Tonight” from the Music and Lyrics soundtrack, and “Walk Through My Door” from Gaelic Storm’s album, Tree.

I listened to a lot of Gaelic Storm during my teen years, and their first three albums in particular can send me back to fun times with great friends in seconds.  While I love all their music, “Walk Through My Door” always reminds me of a certain person.  The song itself even inspired a short story, one that I’m told wasn’t half bad.

But, as inevitably happens, I graduated high school and got married (to someone else).  And when my marriage ended, I listened to this song again and found it painfully true:

 …I can’t go forward, I can’t rewind

You’re on every channel on my mind…

…Slide the lock and close my eyes

Hide behind this thin disguise

Turn to kiss myself goodnight

Turn out the light

The don’t disturb sign from my door

Is hanging on my heart once more

I set the clock to half past ten

And my head to never again…

Of course eventually, I decided that “never again” was much too long a time to be alone, and I hesitantly began considering dating again, which is where “Dance With Me Tonight” comes in.  Music and Lyrics came out the year I got divorced and was, I think, the first movie I ever saw alone.  I loved everything about it: I loved the characters, I loved the story, I loved hearing Hugh Grant sing – he’s remarkably good.  The soundtrack is one of the best I’ve heard, and the songs remain favorites.  But as I sat in that theater, listening to him croon away to crowds of nearly-middle-aged women longing to recapture the glories of their youth, one line jumped out at me:

 “What’s the point of life if risk is just a board game?”

I realized that if I never risked my happiness, I’d likely never find it again and, since I was sure that my happiness involved sharing my life with someone other than my son, I decided that the risk of getting out there and meeting new people was worth whatever consequences might arise.  And yet…

I’d only been divorced a few months.  I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with my ex-husband because, even though I’d filed for divorce, it wasn’t what I wanted at the time.  I needed time to grieve, time to heal, time to learn who I was and what that would mean for any future relationships I might one day be part of.

But I was also lonely, so I decided to start going back to church.  I joined a book club.  Neither of these things were remotely helpful on the romance front, though, as most of the people I came to know were much older than me.  Eventually, though, I risked the strange new world of online dating, and it was a risk that paid off big.

“A Way Back Into Love” was a song that gave me hope when it seemed like the risk I’d taken wouldn’t pan out.  It’s a song about love lost and love found again, and I used to belt it out at the top of my lungs as I drove to work.  It just makes me feel good, especially the second verse when the music soars; it always reminded me of the scene in The Parent Trap (1998) where Hallie is looking at London through the car window.  The song that plays during that scene, “Here Comes the Sun,” is also fantastic.

Anyway, music is a huge part of my life.  Certain songs are guaranteed to remind me of different periods in my life, both good and bad, and I always thought it was probably like that for everybody, but perhaps I’m wrong.  Are there certain songs you associate with different parts of your life?  What are they?

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

16 thoughts on “Writing 101: The tunes

  1. Roger says:

    I always like listening to Michael Franks, someone who, strangely, nobody in England but me seems to have heard of. it reminds me of a summer driving speed boats in the south of France. no matter what the weather, or where i am the sound of his voice always transports me back to the heat, the smell of garlic and long afternoons lazing about in a cabana because at about 50 degrees it was too hot to anything but sip beer and sleep.

    Like

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