Day 25 – What is a Song or Poem that Speaks to You and Why?

note: this is part of #bloganuary where each day in the month of January, there is a prompt that we can write on.

Oh man, a good one for sure. Even though I enjoyed the “poem prompt” from earlier in the month. I am not a poem guy. So for this it will be a song or songs, that speak to me.

Earlier in the month, I was back and forth with my friend, Janet, on this subject, as well. Growing up, I had a transistor radio next to my bed. At some point, I also had a tape recorder. Before the ease of downloading, you had to make your own tapes. I would sit for hours next to the recorder and listen for my favorite song, hit record, and listen intently so that I shut it off as soon as the song was over. You were always mad when the DJ talked over the beginning or end of the song. HAHA.

I have always listened to country and folksy music. When I was very young, I listened to a lot of John Denver and I owned several albums too. Recently, I downloaded some of his songs and I was amazed that I still knew all the words. When I was old enough to work in the barn across the street, I would help with manure clean up. It was usually a Sunday and I would volunteer to skip church to help out. Sorry, Mom. See, I was not really permitted to listen to rock stations. My dad hated anything that was not big band or Lawrence Welk and Mom did her best to shield me from the “evil” rock and roll music. Even though she loved the man that changed rock and roll for ever, Elvis Presley, and his scandalous hip thrusts. HAHA

Back to the farmer. He always played our local rock and roll station while we were cleaning up manure. It was awesome and I discovered my love of this genre of music. Pink Floyd, Foreigner, Van Halen, Judas Priest. Hair bands, heavy metal, it was all amazing to me. At the same time, I still loved Country music. Not the twangy, (queue the accent), “I came home from work and found that I am out of beer, my wife took my dog and ran off with the preacher” kind. I loved the era of Garth Brooks.

I knew who the Jackson Five were for most of my life, but really loved listening to Michael Jackson. His music and his dance moves will forever be a part of music culture. This, in turn, led me to listening to more pop music, but I draw the line at boy bands. They will make my ears bleed. Yucky.

In high school, I was encouraged by my mom to join choir and then they all encouraged me to join theater. Musicals mostly, probably because I had the lowest voice in school. If you have ever listened to the Oak Ridge Boys, I used to be able to sing along with the low stuff. Now, I loved being a part of theater and choir, but I just cannot listen to show tunes outside of the actual show. I do not listen to opera, but I was part of a barber shop quartet; they needed a bass. I love me a day of listening to Pentatonix, I like some hip hop; I really enjoy the artist collaborations of the different genres that is popular now. I love DJ mix and club-house music too.

I truly love listening to music and my taste is so eclectic. I search out new artists and styles and try to embrace the evolution of music. Currently, my playlist will go from Darius Rucker, to Cypress Hill, to Prince; Hardy and Lainey Wilson, to Sofi Tucker. Throw in some Pretty Reckless, Halestorm, Five Finger Death Punch, and Cleveland’s own MGK for good measure. I also grew up in the 80s, the era of one hit wonders like Donnie Iris, Tommy Tutone, and Thomas Dolby, all currently on my playlist, along with a song from a group that calls themselves Dinosaur Pile up.

I told you, I am all over the place.

Music brings me to tears and brings a smile to my face. I can feel the music. If I hear a song that directly relates to how I feel about my wife and kids, tears stream down my face. In fact, as I was practicing my father of the bride speech for our oldest, I was on my way to meet the guys, play golf, and pregame a bit. As I am practicing my speech in my vehicle, there is music in the background and I begin to cry. Not just tears rolling down my face. Oh no, this was was full blown, shaky lip crying. What the hell! No way nearly 300 hundred guests want to watch me blubbering while giving my speech. I decided to get the crying out of the way then and there, making way for an excellent speech. Whew!

So, what song is it already?!

One song in particular stirs up strong emotions. My first car was a little Honda that the previous owner added some performance pieces to. I loved that car. One evening on my way home from work, it was wet and I was approaching an intersection that I had passed through hundreds of times. Now, I was not yet 18. As I approached the intersection, the light turns yellow and I am doing the speed limit. But, yellow does not mean caution, it means reach for the shifter, grab a lower gear, and punch it. That is exactly what I did, however it was not the outcome I had hoped for. At about 60 miles an hour, I broadsided another car in cross traffic. I had underestimated the time it would take for me to clear the intersection safely. I can remember the feeling of my car spinning out of control as I pressed every pedal and kept downshifting. My car came to rest on the other side of the intersection and neither of us required medical care, which is incredible considering it was the 80s.

Great story bro, how does this relate to the question of the day?

Fair enough. At the very time I was driving, at the very moment of impact, I was blasting one of my tapes and the song I was rocking out to……… wait for it,

I can’t drive 55 by Sammy Hagar.

How is that for coincidence? In fact, one of the only things still working after the crash, as I gained back perspective of what had happened, was the radio and it was still playing that damned song. Each time I pass that intersection, I hear the song. Each time I hear the song, I am right back to that intersection. It takes me back to the pain in my entire body. The burns and bruises from the seat belts. That song will forever hold a special place in my memory banks.

Looking forward to reading all of yours.

Be happy, healthy, and safe.


3 thoughts on “Day 25 – What is a Song or Poem that Speaks to You and Why?

  1. OMG Tommy, I was so excited to be mentioned in your blog!!! Doing a happy bum wiggle to that, you’ve made my day. I loved hearing about your “music history” and all the songs you like. You definitely do have an eclectic taste – you like so many different genres and that speaks to your open, curious and accepting character. That’s really awesome!

    I remember recording favourite songs of the radio with my fingers on record and stop – trying to stop recording before the DJ started talking. I laughed out loud reading that you did the same. I think a lot of us did. I remember making ‘mix tapes’ for my friends and how special it was to get one made for me with all the songs neatly written on the front, sometimes funny little cartoons and a message on the inlay. For all the amazing technological advances and being able to carry thousands of songs in an MP3 player – I still think a personally made mix tape beats all of that.

    So weird and yet magical in a way that you were listening to a song about driving (specifically not knowing how in the title???) and then got into a crash. I think that is a very boy thing – thinking that orange on the stop lights means “floor it” rather than “slow down, buddy”. Lol. You are such a maniac in the car and I dig that about you. I think you have an inner teenager that just wants to “go fast” and “to hell with rules, man”. I like that too. Poor Dawn. Does she grip the sides of her seat when you drive or is she all “Go for it, woooooo!” I wonder?

    I had a massive quad-biking crash in 2009 and had a pretty serious brain injury there. I don’t know why, but the radio seemed to only play the same 3 songs throughout my incredibly long recovery and whenever I hear one of those 3 songs again, I’m instantly transported to hurting all over, feeling dizzy and not knowing what life would hold. I so get you that certain songs can make you “ugly cry” (lip quivering, snot running down your face and you’re past the point of caring)…I get that with those 3 songs.

    I hope you listen to ALL the songs you love today and hope you drive safely, young man. You mean a lot to so many so please be careful out there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sure that my amazing a beautiful co-pilot will chime in here too. She has gotten better as she was the hand on the dash board kind of girl. Look, I did not ever intentionally do anything that I thought was making people nervous. However, I have recognized that just because I know that it is all good, does not mean that I should just be all “deal with it”. I recognize that my fun is not theirs and I have done my best to be more aware and take my time. In the past year I have gone back to leaving more leeway for travel and staying pretty close to the speed limit. However, there are times that Dawn will be annoyed because I did not “go for it”. She will often be surprised. I am doing my best to pick and choose my times to have a bit of fun but for the most part, I am well on my way to winding down that part of me life. She and my friends mean the world to me. Although, it is winter time here and that means snow, With my mom in the truck too, in front of our kids house, I did several donuts in their cul-de-sac. I could hear my mom laughing in the back as Dawn was all smiles. Just a man child and his truck. I am not surprised by your reaction to the three songs but it is truly amazing the power of the brain to take over and control the body. Hugs to you

      Liked by 1 person

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