Life Changes….. the Beats of Our Lives
The power of music to inspire us hit my soul on 9/11/2001 as we watched the twin towers implode with thousands of souls inside, yet thousands of souls who should have been there that day had somehow not made it and were saved. The country pulled together as we picked up the pieces, cleaned up the mess. The radio stations were all playing patriotic music to lift our spirits. In addition, with Lee Greenwood’s song “God Bless the USA” leading the way, many additional songs were written about that day such as “Where Were You” by Alan Jackson and “Halfway to Heaven” by Hank Fellows and many more as in this starter list “Top 10 songs for 9/11” .
Individually, I remember being impacted by the music of the Beatles*, Elvis, The Beach Boys, and many others in my teen years of the 1960’s. During graduation from High School, we sang “When You Walk Through a Storm, Hold Your Head Up High” that 45 years later brought tears to the eyes of 50 senior ladies during their 45th Reunion. We also sang “Climb Every Mountain” from The Sound of Music. Those nuns knew what they were doing by having us learn those particular songs that got all of us through the challenges of life! And we all remembered the words to those songs 45 years later. Talk about impacting young minds!
During college in the 1970’s it was Simon and Garfunkel, The Carpenters, Neil Diamond, and the rise of the Jackson 5 with Michael. One song that particularly resonates with my history was “On Top of the World” by the Carpenters. This song came out when I was in the middle of my honeymoon in Disney World (Florida) eating Thanksgiving dinner at the Top of the World restaurant. It hit the top of the charts a couple of years later.
In addition, my first wedding in 1973 was filled with songs that resonated. As I walked into the church on my dad’s arm, The “Wedding Song” by Peter, Paul, & Mary was playing. There was a wonderful hymn that the folk group played as I dedicated my bouquet to Mother Mary, that I wish I could remember or dig up again. It was in the folk mass hymnal. As we left the church as husband and wife, “We’ve Only Just Begun” by the Carpenters was playing. The songs made for a very memorable experience for a marriage that lasted 36 years.
This year has been one of big changes for me, but the best part is how country music has defined the year as it has unfolded. The year started with Mom in hospice and passing away in April. Every time I’d walk out of the nursing home after being with her, Scotty McCreery’s new song “Five More Minutes” would be playing. I had the pleasure of attending his concert this fall at a Community College near me.
Also, this year, dating as a single senior became a focus. Online dating at this age is very tricky, but several country songs seem to resonate throughout the summer. One of my favorites was Body Like a Backroad by Sam Hunt as I anticipated meeting someone to get me through the last quarter-century of my life. When I actually did meet someone who touched my heart, two songs seem to describe the “relationship” or lack thereof… “Hotel Key” by Old Dominion, “Hide the Wine” by Carly Pearce. And while I felt this young (senior) soul was a “Keeper”, the Hotel Key song told more of the true story for us. Although who knows what the future will bring…
Can’t wait to see what the rest of the year will bring musically….