I picked up the latest Jodi Picoult novel, Sing You Home, at the library last week. I usually like her novels. They aren’t exactly books that you often think back on, but they are usually a good read for the moment. Sing You Home focuses on the life of a music therapist, but it isn’t the story line that I blog about today, but a segment of the book that I read last night which really got me thinking.
The music therapist was reflecting on how the music we choose to listen to is a clear reflection of who really are. By looking at the “mix tape” of a person’s life we can learn more about that person. “The music we listen to may not define who we are. But it’s a damn good start.”
Well of course I instantly put the book down and spent the next hour (of which I should have been sleeping) making my own personal mix tape based on favorite songs and songs that strike specific memories.
1. Oh Holy Night: Johnny Mathis
2. Dixieland Delight: Alabama
3. Free Falling: Tom Petty
4. Children’s Story: Slick Rick
5. Oh, What a Night: Four Seasons
6. Three Little Birds: Bob Marley
7. Strong Enough: Sheryl Crow
8. Wide Open Spaces: Dixie Chicks
9. Fins: Jimmy Buffett
10. She Talks to Angels: Black Crowes
11. You Never Even Call Me By My Name: David Allen Coe
12. Black: Pearl Jam
13. By My Side: Ben Harper
14. Angels Among Us: Alabama
Assuming the person reading this doesn’t know me, what would you think of me upon looking at this list? She must be confused? Suffering from multiple personality disorder? Bipolar maybe? This girl has terrible taste?
Once I had the playlist created, I went back in to see why I chose the songs that I did, and determine if an outsider looking in would learn more about who I was by listening to my chosen mix. Take a look and see if I fit your idea. You might be surprised, I was.
1. After a few holiday cocktails, my Dad would play the Johnny Mathis Christmas album over and over and over again every Christmas Eve. It reminds me of happy nights by the fire, opening the one present we were allowed to open on Christmas Eve and preparing for a sleepless night in anticipation of what Santa might bring.
2. Riding in Camaro’s, drinking beer and singing at the top of our lungs. Memories of small town living.
3. Every time I hear this particular song I think of a big fight my mom and I had in her car. I was a teenager, soon to be leaving home for college. When the chorus came on I sang it as loud as I could while she was driving. Free Falling to me met freedom from my parents and at the time I wanted that more than anything.
4. Have I had a few drinks? I must have, because I’m about to start rapping, and I think I’m really good at it.
5. Dancing at the night club with my girlfriends. Not a care in the world.
6. When I was a freshman in college one of our professors asked us to bring in a song that defined us. At the time this was the song I chose.
7. One of those “get me through a break-up” songs for me.
8. Time to leave North Carolina and head to Colorado.
9. All Jimmy Buffett songs remind me of happy times. Warm times. Friends. The ocean. Boat drinks. I can’t think of one negative emotion that can be tied to a Jimmy Buffett song and I love it! Yes, I am a dork.
10. I’ve always loved this song and the lyrics. I’m not sure if it reminds me of myself or if it makes me feel better about myself.
11. I think I’ve been drinking again. Yes, I most certainly have. And for some reason I have taken the microphone at the local bar karaoke night and am making a complete fool of myself.
12. I lump this in the same category as #9.
13. The first dance song at my wedding. Exactly how I felt about Travis and still do.
14. I heard this song recently and it reminded me of what we went through with Trey’s gastroschisis surgery. The nurses in the NICU, the surgeon, my friends and family. I’m so very blessed and so very thankful!
OMG – do I really have two Alabama songs on my playlist of life! YIKES!!!