The Power of Music

I don’t know about you but whenever I need a boost to my mood or a jolt of energy, I turn to music.  No matter what, I’m never let down.  Whenever I need to clean, before I reach for the vacuum, I make sure my iPod is turned on and ready to go. Like so many, I was saddened to hear about the death of Whitney Houston.  She had such an amazing voice…so unmistakable.  In the wake of this tragedy, there is a positive: we will always have her music. 

For me, when I hear certain songs, I’m immediately taken back to a certain place, with a childhood crush, in our suburban on a family trip…or in my own car singing without a care in the world of who can see me.  As a tribute to Whitney, and to all artists out there, I have listed some of my favorite songs and the memory I have of them:

  1. Everything I Do, I Do It For You, Bryan Adams: what I informally dubbed “our song” as it was the song my childhood crush and I danced to in junior high what feels like a lifetime ago…
  2. Roll On, Alabama: played religiously every time we drove from San Antonio to Chicago (or practically every road trip we took as a family…my Dad was a saint for being patient with us as we would barely pull out of the driveway when me or my sister would ask, “Dad, can you put this tape in?”  Yes…I said tape…that small thing you held in your hand…had two holes in it and you could manually rewind.  Good times.
  3. Could I Have This Dance, Anne Murray: my Mom introduced me to her music-great voice and I just love the words in the song…hopeless romantic, yes, afraid so.
  4. You Raise Me Up, Josh Groban: Inspirational….Tear-Jerking…great voice…enough said.
  5. Hold On, Wilson Phillips: birthday parties at the skating rink….more recently though, scene from Bridesmaids….love, love that movie!
  6. I Won’t Let Go, Rascal Flatts: made me cry while playing at my nephew’s 8th grade graduation
  7. The Cowboy Rides Away, George Strait: always plays this last for his encore…seen him in concert few times….never gets old…and boy, does he age well!
  8. Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue, Toby Keith: gives me goose bumps every time I hear it…makes me proud to be an American!
  9. If That’s What It Takes, Celine Dion: my sister surprised me with trip to Vegas a few years ago and we saw Celine in concert…she sang this in French…absolutely beautiful…even if I couldn’t understand all of it.
  10.  The Dance, Garth Brooks: great song about enjoying the little things in life
  11. Save the Last Dance For Me, Michael Buble: no memory other than every time I hear this, I can’t help but turn up the song and sing along…and oh that voice!  I know it was in some movie I’ve seen but blank on which one.
  12. The Town I Loved So Well, Phil Coulter: Irish singer whom my parents love…this songs makes my family think of a town we all love-Lake Geneva, Wisconsin where we used to vacation twice a year.
  13. Old Time Rock ‘n Roll, Bob Sieger: wedding receptions come to mind…such a fun song for dancing
  14. You’ve Got a Friend, Carole King: such a classic…and makes me grateful for my friends
  15. Happy Xmas (War is Over), Celine Dion: I start playing this shortly after Thanksgiving-great words but really, it’s Celine…what’s not to love!
  16. Believe, Josh Groban: from the movie The Polar Express….reminds me of Christmas…I watch this movie every year too.
  17. I Gotta Feeling, Black Eyed Peas: another perk to working at OU, got to see this concert for free since I volunteered to work the concert….they performed before another of  my favorites, U2 hit the stage….fun, fun night and memory!
  18. Hello World, Lady Antebellum:  great song with very moving video…each time I watch, can’t help but stop what I’m doing…looking forward to seeing them live with a girlfriend in April.
  19. For Good, Kristen Chenoweth: great song…she sung it live on the tribute to Oprah

And last, but not least…

    20.  Greatest Love of All, Whitney Houston: no specific memory but great song that makes me reflect on being proud of the person I’ve become. 

These are just a few of my favorite songs.  I love that when people hear songs, they have their own unique memory.  Maybe a song makes them cry, laugh, shake their head and think I can’t believe I did that….whatever thoughts run through your head, they’re all thanks to music.  Simple, yet powerful.

Memories

I was e-mailing back and forth with a long-time family friend yesterday.  What began as a response to a Facebook posting of mine turned into some reminiscing for both of us.  The topic of her mother, the late Patsy Rockwood, came up and that brought us both to tears.  She reiterated how much her mom thought of me and that she would be proud of what I’ve done with my life.  I made the mistake of reading her message during some downtime of yesterday’s football game.  As I began reading, I felt my eyes get water, so I quickly exited out of the message.  Knowing what to expect, I opened it back up later.  I smiled at what she wrote and memories of her Mom started flashing through my mind.  I loved her mother like my own-she just had this sweet way about her and we formed a bond.  When I was little, my Mom would take me to church with her.  On the way back from communion, I would spot “Pappa” as I called her, and would sit with her for the rest of mass.  She would stretch out her arm and engulf me in a hug.  Though her name was Patsy, I was too little to use her first name.  So she was, and will always be, Pappa to me.  We lost her too soon to cancer years ago but she will always be with me.

While doing errands today, I was listening to some music via my iPod.  The song “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton came on and for some reason, I started thinking about Pappa again.  It didn’t take long before the tears started flowing.  I laughed, saying to myself “hmm, maybe I won’t go to the store just yet.”  So I just kept driving.  I finally pulled over and let the tears come.  After composing myself, I looked toward the sky and said, “Oh Pappa, I hope you know how much I loved you….just show me that you know that.”  On my way back to the store, I’m driving down a side street.  I look up briefly to see a street sign on the right and smile: Rockwood Dr.  I turned around and pulled over by the entrance.  I grabbed my phone and took a picture of the sign.  As corny as it sounds, I couldn’t help but look up to sky and grin.