Music is food for the soul

I am a true believer in this saying. Music is and always has been a huge part of my life. It makes me laugh, it makes me cry, it makes me remember and it makes me want to forget. A certain song can bring me back to a specific moment in my life. I feel that I have a certain passion for music. I was quite old when I learned that not everyone feels this way about music. An old friend of mine once told me that she didn’t really care that much about music..if it was there it was there if not no big deal. I can’t imagine feeling that way about music.  Music is such a major part of my life that I can’t imagine being without it.

As I said music can bring me back to a certain moment in my life. Maxwell’s Fortuate will forever remind me of an ex-boyfriend. Oddly enough though, in contradiction to the lyrics of the song, it makes me feel lonely. My ex and I were in a long distance relationship and I can remember hearing this song sitting in a hotel room while he slept and just feeling so removed, so isolated. Listening to the lyrics of the song, you would assume that it would make remind me of the love we once shared but it in fact does the opposite. It reminds me of just how alone I felt at that time of my life and in that relationship in general.

Somos Novios will always be a part of Mr. C and I. It was our wedding song and always makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I managed to find a good man who is a real man’s man yet is romantic enough to feel the passion in a song like Somos Novios.

I have a very dear friend of mine, who was a roommate in University who will often text me out of the blue with a line from one of the songs we constantly had on in our dorm room. Her and I were like musical soul mates. She was the first and last person I ever felt like I truly connected with on a musical level. We loved everything from Whitney Houston to Buju Banton to Rage Against the Machine. 

I love that I can assign songs, bands or even genres of music to a particular era of my lifetime.

Anything grunge reminds me of highschool. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Hole all of that reminds me of then. It was that time of my life when I felt like I didn’t really know where I belonged. I was trying to fit in but just felt so different from everyone else. I guess everyone feels like that in highschool. That was the appeal of grunge music. It was music for misfits by misfits. It was nice to see others who were different…I felt like I wasn’t so odd after all. It reminded me that it was ok to be different and in fact at that time being different was the in thing to be. The odder the better.  I look back on that girl and I don’t know who she is. I did things that I am not proud of.  I said things I’m not proud of. Really though, I think everyone goes through that in highschool, don’t they?  I hope somehow to teach my children that highschool is 4 years of your ENTIRE life. It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. At the time it feels like it’s everything but here I am almost 15 years later and really no one from highschool is a major part of my life. I have re-connected with some people via facebook and have gotten to know one or two again as adults and that has been wonderful but other than that…the people that I was so consumed with in those days aren’t a part of my life now. I wish somehow I could have gotten that into my head then and it would have saved me a lot of stress. The music of my highschool years was filled with angst just as I was however when I hear it now it makes me smile. I reminds me of the innocence of my youth. When I stressed about boys and friends and being popular when I should have just sat back and enjoyed the lack of responsibility. It brings me good memories of parties and friends and summer vacations. It brings me back to the days when I tried to get away with things I shouldn’t have been doing sometimes successfully, other times not.  For all the doubts and distress I experienced in highschool the music brings me nothing but happy memories.

After the uneasiness of highschool came the confidence of my early twenties. Biggie, Tupac, Blackstreet, Montell Jordan, TLC, Mariah Carey…all of that wonderful music brings me right back to a time when I felt like I was on top of the world. Hitting the clubs multiple times a week. I was old enough to have a little fun yet young enough to not have serious responsibilities holding me down. Play I did. Hearing that music now literally makes me feel as though I’m walking through the doors of Metropolis, Vanier Pub night or Calypso hut brimming with confidence. A sharp change from the insecurities I had felt just a few short years before. I was young, beautiful and free. Probably some of the best times of my life were had in my early twenties. When people told me to enjoy that time because it would be gone before you knew it I didnt’ believe them. It felt like it would be that way forever…but they were right. Those years flew by but I tried my best to enjoy every last second of it. There are things I would have done differently if I knew then what I know now but I don’t regret any of my choices. They have led me to where I am now…and I’m happy where I am now.

This all leads me to now. I am trying to pass on my love of music to my kids. We try to play everything for our kids. While my musical repertoire now includes more Raffi than Biggie, I try to expose my kids to all types of music…obviously with some parental screening…there are some things they just don’t need to hear yet.

On top of playing music I sing to my kids. We have “our songs” just like I do with everyone else that has meant anything to me. They aren’t all lullabies and kids songs either. When Mr. T. was in the hospital for some odd reason I started singing Wonderwall by Oasis to him..not quite sure why or how that happened but I can remember sitting in the NICU, holding him, trying not to get tangled up in all his wires and tubes…with the beeps of the machines in the background I would quietly sing “And all the roads we have to walk along are winding
And all the lights that lead us there are blinding ,There are many things that I would like to say to you but I don’t know how. Because maybe
You’re gonna be the one who saves me And after all…You’re my wonderwall” Not all the lyrics necessarily fit but I sang the ones that I felt in my heart. That has become our song. I still sing it to him. I also sang “Zion” by Lauryn Hill but I changed Zion to Mr. T’s name.Many a nights you would find me rocking him to sleep singing “How beautiful is nothing more than to wait inside his door, I’ve never been in love like this before…Now the joy of my world is in Mr. T”

We continue to add to our list of songs…Mr. T. has started to enjoy the movie Cars and the song Life is a Highway is in it. We tend to get up and dance to it both singing along. Often in the car I listen to 90’s on 9 on satellite radio and that song will come on and Mr. T will exclaim “mummy it’s our favourite part” and I’ll hear him behind me singing “I want to drive it all night long”…it makes me smile.

Ms. J and I have our own songs too. Different from Mr. T’s. Amazing Grace is one of our top songs. I sing that to her when I’m putting her to sleep. If she’s not feeling well or feeling restless that always seems to calm her. She’ll be wriggling away in my arms trying to escape and move about and as soon as she hears “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound…” she immediately seems to relax. Her breathing slows as she rests in my arms and strokes me with her little hand. Again, not sure how this one started but it’s ours. With Ms. J I actually do sing a lullaby. She gets to hear Rock a bye baby as part of her sleep routine but I change baby to her name. It’s almost as if now she nows those two songs as her cue to go to sleep.

I’m often curious as to if others sing to their children regularly and what they sing. Is it lullabies or pop or just something from their own childhood. Do you sing to your kids and if so what do you sing?

I’m passionate about music and want to pass that on. My children do listen to children’s music on top of everything else. Mr. T has discovered a love of Raffi (which used to be a favourite of mine as a child) and the Wiggles. I have to say that I have come across my all time favourite children’s album. Ziggy Marley Family Time. really should check it out. The kids love it and I find it beautiful. After a while other children’s music can start to get to you…I got to a point where if I heard anything by the Wiggles again I may have jumped out a window! But this one doesn’t do that for me. The music is beautiful and the lyrics have messages to them. From “I love you too” to “Walk Tall” the lyrics of the songs have a very positive message. Really if you like music and want to find a great children’s album check it out. Love love love it!

I truly hope that my children learn to appreciate music the way I do. I hope that I can foster a love for all different types of music because you can truly find love, peace and beauty in all sorts of music. There is always a place for classical, jazz, country, reggae, salsa, R&B, pop and even a little reggaeton. I feel as though music flows through my blood. There is constantly a song flowing through my mind and my life has its own soundtrack. I really hope that I can pass this on to my children because music truly can bring you up when you are down and  bring you peace when you need some. Music truly can be food for your soul.

Now this has got me thinking…what songs would be in the soundtrack of my life? Perhaps my next post should be just that!