Music is such a powerful thing – hearing an upbeat song can instantly lift our mood, a lullaby can help soothe a child to sleep and a few lines of a song heard playing on a radio can bring back vivid memories. There are so many songs that are significant to me, that instantly bring back particular moments in my life, reminding me of certain people or places. I can never hear Chopin’s Nocturne in E Flat without thinking of my dad; a few bars of Spandau Ballet’s “True” and I’m seventeen again, falling in love for the first time; and Jennifer Rush’s version of “The Power Of Love” will be forever associated with student karaoke nights and the rather dodgy video that went with that particular song!
Back when I had a little more time to listen to music, I used to enjoy making compilation CDs to listen to in the car. Most of the songs on these are musical theatre songs – some from well known musicals, others from quite obscure ones. Each of these CDs tells a story, the choice of songs reflecting the things that were filling my mind at the time. The soppy love songs from when hubby and I first got together, the upbeat songs that bring back memories of summer holidays, right through to the last CD I put together during my pregnancy with Jessica with songs reflecting the hope, fear and longing for a miracle. A musical journey charting the ups and downs of life from my late teens into my early thirties.
I found one of my mix-tapes the other day when changing CDs in the car, one that I made several years ago. Songs including “There’s A Fine, Fine Line” from Avenue Q, “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl, “Without You” from My Fair Lady. I didn’t need to look at the date to guess when I might have created this one. The message that came through from the songs was “I don’t need a man to make me happy, so there!” reminding me of that challenging time when hubby’s apparent fear of commitment had left me wondering whether we really had a future together. I remembered all the times that I had sung those lyrics with gusto, singing them to an imaginary M. It was a good way of getting the frustration out of my system!
These days, singing is still a good way of releasing anger – belting out a few lines of a song when I really feel like shouting, or setting angry words to a gentle tune as a way of calming myself down. I will often sing around the house, putting different words to whatever tune I am singing, creating a musical commentary on what I am doing. It is funny now to hear Jessica making up her own words to songs and doing exactly the same thing!
Hearing my girls singing away to themselves gives me so much joy and I never tire of hearing them – not even when they are singing “Let It Go” for the umpteenth time! I hope that they will always love music and singing as much as they do now. I wonder what songs will form the soundtrack to their childhood and what memories will be evoked as a result?