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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

track 1

Assignment from Georgia: "Come up with a playlist that works as a soundtrack for an important time in your life and elaborate on the whats and the whys."--You choose the time or times, the songs, come up with a little in the way of why the songs are connected to those times, and simply share.

Dick Clark has said, "Music is the soundtrack of our lives."

Well duh, Dick.

Today is March 1st, 2006, and I'm going to begin to put together my own compilation. It will take awhile, so I'll have to post only one song at time. Maybe two, depending on the commentary. As Georgia suggested, the whats and the whys.

And so, let's get it on...I mean, let's get it started...I mean...

1. Dancing Nancies (Dave Matthews Band)

This is a no-brainer. Anyone who knows me knows that this would have to be the first song on my list. It's my anthem.

This song has been my favorite since I was about 17 years old or so. I actually first heard it at a place called Hotel Jamestown where I had gone to listen to a friend's band practice. I went out in the hallway for a minute when someone had put in the UTTAD cd and this song started. I was a little distracted because Steve Gustafson and Dennis Drew were just leaving the building and they stopped to talk with me a minute (they know my dad's family), but I just wanted to listen to the song. It haunted me, and a few days later I bought the tape (yes, the tape). That tape eventually broke and I have since also worn out 2 or 3 cds from playing it so much. And, as a side note, few songs (if any) more accurately showcase the talent of these musicians, individually and collectively, more than this song does.

I have listened to this song countless times. I have referred to it being as sacred as a hymn to me. While most songs on my list will have specific references with time, place, etc., this song fits into many, many facets of my life. I have listened to it when I was elated, and when I was desperatley depressed. This song fits in to a memory of sitting in my parked car, by myself, in a parking lot at an elementary school in Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania, just because I needed somewhere to go so I could be alone and blast the song. What's my favorite song? This is my immediate answer.

Could I have been
A parking lot attendant?
Could I have been
A millionaire in Bel Air?
Could I have been
Lost somewhere in Paris?
Could I have been
Your little brother?

Those are the lyrics on the UTTAD album, but they change with nearly every live performance.

Could I have been anyone other than me?
Could I have been oh, anyone other than me?
Could I have been anyone other than me ?
Could I have been anyone?

Do you ever ask yourself this question? I am constantly asking myself this question, and it can be highly frustrating.

He stands, touch his hair, his shoes untied,
Tongue gaping stare.
Could I have been a magnet for money?
Could I have been anyone other than me?

Tongue gaping stare. I love that description.

Twenty-three, I’m so tired of life.
Such a shame to throw it all away.
The images grow darker, still,
Could I have been anyone other then me?

When this song became my instant favorite, there's no way I could have known what that verse would mean to me later in my life. When I was 23. When my son died. When I was tired of life, but it would have been such a shame to throw it all away...but the images grew darker with each day and I couldn't escape the fact that I was, well, me.
Also, this verse reminds me of something else. Jeremy. This was his favorite song, too, and it was sung at his funeral, the words changed to "Twenty-one and so tired...".
But then..

Then I
Look up at the sky
My mouth is open wide, lick and taste

What’s the use in worrying?
What’s the use in hurrying?
Turn, turn we almost become dizzy...

What a relief. I imagine myself in a little girl state of mind spinning in circles, outside, looking up, and that, somehow, makes me feel better. I feel blessed beyond capacity for all that is around me. It will be okay.

I am who I am who I am,
Well, who am I?
Requesting some enlightenment:
Could I have been anyone other than me?

Sing and dance
I’ll play for you tonight
The thrill of it all.
Dark clouds may hang on me sometimes
But I’ll work it out.

Yes, playing for people - it's thrilling for me. And there's something I've had to remind myself, in those very words: dark clouds may hang on me sometimes but I'll work it out. I usually do.

And then I
Look up at the sky.
My mouth is open wide.
Lick and taste, what's the use in worrying?
What's the use in hurrying?
Turn, turn, we almost become dizzy...

Falling out of a world of lies...

Yes, yes I did.

Could I have been a dancing nancy?
Dancing nancy...
Could I have been anyone other than me?

A dancing nancie (or nancy) is a slang term for a transvestite prostitute in parts of France, Belgium, and Spain.

Sing and dance
La la la hey la la la hey la la la
Sing and dance
La la la hey la la la hey la la la
Sing and dance
I'll play for you tonight
The thrill of it all
Dark clouds may hang on me sometimes,
But I'll work it out

And then I
I look up at the sky
My mouth is open wide
Lick and taste, what's the use in worrying?
What's the use in hurrying?
Turn, turn we almost become dizzy...

To get the full effect, please never stop listening when the lyrics end. The instrumental at the end is one of the best parts of the song.


**stay tuned for the next track, coming soon...


QueenScarlett said...

This is a great idea... I like the idea of just meditating on what songs would fit our lives.

Nice. ;-)

Cubby said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
~j. said...

Let me know what you think of it.

Anonymous said...

Oh shoot, I was logged in as Cubby. Darn it. :-)

That last comment was me, Bec. I have been updating his site. Now I know why so many people have looked at his profile.....

dalene said...

OK, how to say this? This seems far too personal to leave in a comment box, but I am compelled to try. I am so sorry. I read your blog and the links and although I'm incapable of even imagining your pain I need to tell you I am sorry for your losses.

Yet I can relate to the way certain songs evoke emotions and memories that are etched into our souls.

Tonight I was driving home in the dark and alone and I had the radio cranked up to two of my most recent favorites: Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" song and Deathcab's "Where Soul Meets Body." And I am totally belting them and tears are running down my cheeks. And aside from feeling like a wimp, I start to wonder, "Why"?

Sure there are phrases in the lyrics that resonate with me, but it's more than that. Maybe it's this: It's easier to avoid dealing with our stuff and our pain by keeping too busy or by indulging in avoidance behavior or by worrying about someone else's pain. But then just the right song cuts through all the walls and brings you face to face with how you really feel.

Scary, but beautiful. And definitely cathartic. Moreso than reading a good book or watching a great movie or play. The simple act of singing along makes you active instead of just passive and engages you in your own life.

What do you think? (sorry for the long and rambling part. I'm in the insomniac phase of my life and I get this way).

Geo said...

I wish it wasn't so late and I wasn't so tired--I'd like to run off at the mouth (keyboard0 for a while by way of response. This is a great post. My heart breaks for tired, stunned, aching Jenny. Oh, does it. I got a lot more than I bargained for with this little challenge, and I am eager to keep follwoing your soundtrack as you compile it. Now I think I'll slowly work on my own challenge. This is good. Thanks for sharing this.

~j. said...

Bek, Cubby, all of you :) - Did you listen to it?

Compulsive - thank your for your sympathy. And kind words. I like what you had to say...I believe that there's something almost primal about music that affects us on a level that we don't even have to consciously be on. That's how I explain sitting in a church meeting and not really being "into" the talks but then being struck to tears by a line or two in a hymn. The combination of the right phrasing of words and the right music that stirs emotions is more powerful than I can adequately describe. I love that Deathcab song, by the way. It is a great release song for me and could easily bring me to tears.

I actually did a fireside/lesson/whatever at a youth conference about music, its power, etc., and I LOVED studying it all. I especially love the eternal prospects of music - it's heavenly! Music is a huge part of the eternities, as well it should be. Unfortunately, you know what that means...the worst is out there, too, almost as powerful, certainly as destructive as other music is good.

(I hope that all made sense.)

Geo - you're sweet. I didn't mean for this post to sound like my life is a dark, dank, depressing hole. I should have written more about how many times this song has saved me, my attitude, my emotions. Just reading the lyrics might make it seem like a punky old hard metal ballad, or something, but it's really not at all. Sometimes I really feel posessive of this song and I feel like there aren't enough words to explain the place the song has in my life. (Did THAT make any sense?)

I am loving this challenge. Thank you, and I want to read some of yours.

Anonymous said...

I dont have a blog or anything i was just searching through trying to determine whether its for me or not. Then I found you. A certain sentance stood out in your march 1st, 2006 blog. You had been listening to Dancing Nancies in the school parking lot. That parking lot is right across the street from my house. I was just wondering what brought you to good old SGC. Not very many people can tell ya " oh yea, I know where that is!!" Just curious!!
Thanks. sd

~j. said...

Hey, Shay - thanks for commenting! I hope you start a blog and let me know where I read about the happenings in Sugar Grove. :) As far as how I ended up there...I grew up in Busti, and I always went to the Sugar Grove Kwik Fill to get gas in my car - so much cheaper in PA. Just a place to know how it is. Keep in touch!