Music as markers along the long road

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At least once a year, I’ll hear a song that I need to hear again…and again…and again. I’ve learned to ferret these songs out and just go with the endless loop of listening. The songs – varied in style and story – teach me, remind of something, or give “lift.” The latest must-hear song is “No Hard Feelings” by the Avett Brothers. I’ve listened to this song so many times, I’m sure my downstairs neighbors are on the verge of mutiny.

I’ve wondered if the pull towards “No Hard Feelings” is related to the election shenanigans and subsequent fall from civility.

Perhaps we have not been civil; perhaps we have only veiled our true thoughts and motives about the people to our left, right, and around the table. This song and these thoughts have me thinking about authenticity, community, re-weaving our American fabric, and how we live.

A few more songs which followed me around like Lost Dogs’, Breathe Deep. It smacked me upside my judgmental head and kept at it until I  got real about my own smallness.

Nick Drake’s, Cello Song, taught me of beauty and sadness. What wizardry one man with a 1960s reel-to-reel recorder can accomplish with his an acoustic guitar. He had incredible vision and talent.

David Crowder’s, How He Loves, felt like an anthem at a time. I listen now…again.

While back in Bavaria, I listened to Mylon LeFevre’s (before things got really weird there), Again and Again, reminded of Statesboro where I first pursued my undergraduate degree. I can still distinctly “see” an old wooden fence along a forgotten highway with the summer sun rising above. My breath catches listening to it.

Roam and the B-52s, skied with me in my 20s and encouraged me forward in my earlier 40s. I discovered Adventures listening to this and The Living Years of Mike and the Mechanics.

My artiste friend, Suzy, introduced me to Jonathan Byrd and Verdigris in a sweet-tea southern town graced by a diner called Trueloves.

Willie Wonka’s, Pure Imagination, inspires ad infinitum.

Sarah, of my favorite Sisters of Sound, pointed me towards Ben Harper & the Blind Boys of Alabama. Their song, Take My Hand, was a lifeline during an extremely demanding season of work, creativity, kids going to college, and perseverance.

Eddie Vedder’s, The Long Road, calmed my anxious heart between several Hank the Cowdog audiobooks on the long road and return to Manhappiness.

A fella at an after party introduced me to Jeff Buckley’s, Hallelujah, and a sweet summer of adventure and off-road cycling.

Do you have songs that serve as markers along your way? Music which follows you from place and time?

Have you ever wondered why a song or movie or meme sticks to us? I try to pay attention to the intersection of the words, music, and life at-hand. Of course, it’s all conjecture and wondering.

I’d love to hear what music follows you around. Please! Add your songs (or movies or memes) to the comments. I will listen and walk with you among these markers and milestones in our good short lives. Remember: this is about what moves you, not what you hope to have proselytize.

Derring do and love, loss, hope, repeat.


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