Music has always been a great enjoyment of mine. As a child, I loved learning new songs at school or at Sunday School and singing their simple, rhyming words. As I became a teenager, music served many purposes. I remember listening to particular songs that reminded me of certain boys and labeling them as "our song" but never telling them. I remember driving around in the car with friends and cruising the streets, with Salt n Pepa songs or Buffalo Stance blaring from the speakers. I remember other times driving around while blaring the latest rock songs from all my favorite bands and shaking (alright banging) my head and big hair in tune with the beat. I remember when I felt angry and went to my room to play my Guns n Roses cassette, very loudly. And I never thought my parents paid much attention until many years later when my parents and I were sitting together at a Worcester Ice Cats game, and "Welcome to the Jungle" was played, and my dad turned to me and said, "This song sounds familiar" with a smile. There were other times sitting in front of my boom box with my fingers on the record and play buttons waiting to record my favorite song when it played on the radio so that I could learn all the lyrics and sing it and play it whenever I wanted. Those were the times when I only liked one song that particular band or singer sang and didn't want to buy the whole cassette. This became easier with the invention of cassingles, which I LOVED, because it served the purpose of just purchasing the one song and not the whole album. Ahh, yes, music, it was my friend and my accompaniment for all my teenage moods.
Then came the joy of concerts, and I've been to many. I still have the guitar pick thrown to me from the AC/DC concert and the controversy over Tommy Lee's choice of underwear as he descended from the ceiling at the Motley Crue concert at the Worcester Centrum. I have good and crazy memories of each and every concert and love to reminisce about them with my concert counterpart Andrea. And fortunately for us, some of our favorite bands still tour so we still get to go to concerts together. I took my brother and my son to their first concert, and we had a good time which was no surprise since it was my favorite band, Bon Jovi. It was a little different than going to concerts with Andrea, but fun nonetheless, from the tshirts I bought from the "tshirt bootlegger" in Burger King to the songs we were singing at the top of our lungs along with the rest of the crowd, while walking out of the Boston Garden.
But now I have children, and my love of music has been passed on to them, for better or worse remains to be seen. My siblings laugh when I teach their children songs. But I think songs can help you remember things and make learning more fun. I still recall the order of the planets by using the phrase "My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas" for the first initials of the planets. When reciting the alphabet, I still find myself singing the letters. When my children were learning their colors, I would buy Scribbler popsicles with their multiple colors, and as I removed the paper, would sing "Colors, colors what are your colors? Colors, colors tell me your colors." And then they would look at their popsicle and identify the colors. I created a bedtime lullaby song for each of my children when they were young, and if they had a bad dream or were having a rough day, I would lay with them and sing it while stroking their hair until they fell asleep. When I got married, my parents took my 7 yr old son home, and then my Mom called me at the reception, on the function hall's phone, to ask me to teach her the song because Jake was asking for it. There are times I still sing the bedtime songs to my children, to calm them down, help them sleep or simply because they request it. And today, as I was cleaning the bathroom and wishing everyone peed sitting down, my 11 yr old Nathan reminded me that it wasn't his fault because he remembered the song I taught him. That song was "If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie." So I guess songs stick with everyone in some way or another :)
And then there is my new-found love for karaoke where I have gone from the girl in the car using the end of the seatbelt in the back seat as a microphone or the girl with the hairbrush microphone to the girl on the stage with the real microphone and sometimes even lights and fog...still belting out my favorite tunes, for my own enjoyment and that of my friends, and hopefully not the unenjoyment of the other patrons. And just a sidenote, if you are afraid to do karaoke, afraid you'll be off tune, that's when you dance or have movements or sing just a little quieter until you're ready to belt out the chorus that you know oh so well and have rehearsed in your living room with youtube. Wait, you don't do that? Me either.
And now, as I prepare to go bond with my treadmill, I will set up the Ipod while "Headstrong" and "Eye of the Tiger" and all my other "fight songs" prompt me to keep going. It just stinks when I get to the mile marker and can no longer sing along, ya know?