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Music & Memories

18 Nov

Every song has a memory; every song has the ability to make or break your heart. – Andy Warhol

I love music. Yes, I am a Gleek. Yes, I see a Broadway show whenever the opportunity presents itself (which was twice during one particularly rainy New York City weekend). Yes, when a song strikes a chord (pun intended), I have a tendency to listen to it again and again – why mess with a good thing? And no, I cannot carry a tune in a bucket – or a barrel, for that matter.

No matter my mood, country music is always my first choice for background noise.  I was lucky enough to take a class on the history of country music during my senior year in college (one perk of going to school in Nashville) and got a behind-the-scenes look into this genre.  Most notably, country music is unique to America; it is the only music that we can claim as our own.  Started by the working men and women in the early 1900s, these songs are relatable and real, telling the stories of the people who sung them.  While country music has evolved tremendously, it still captures happiness and heartache, connecting its listeners through these common feelings.

It is this type of music that serves as the soundtrack for my own experiences. The first song that I listened to on innumerable repeat was “She’s In Love with the Boy,” by Trisha Yearwood. As a girl who has always been boy crazy, I wanted to fall in love with a Tommy who drives a beat-up Chevy truck (and I also wanted to be named Katie).

A big mile-marker in my little girl world was my first dance with a boy. I’ll forever think of this moment and this boy every time I hear “Strawberry Wine,” by Deana Carter.  We were at a middle school Christmas dance (very romantic, I know), and I was wearing a long-sleeved, knee-length red crushed velvet dress.  As tragic as this fashion choice seems, it was selected with incredible excitement for this very event (an early example of occasion shopping).

More recently, when recovering from a broken heart, one song meant more to me than anything else: “Red Light,” by David Nail.  This song mirrors my own break-up nearly exactly, serving as proof-positive that someone else experienced – and survived – the same sadness and grief. Now, when I hear this song, I am reminded of the strength that I gained from that relationship – and I know that I am where I am now because of its ending.

Now, let’s shift gears a bit.  Since it’s (almost) December, I have a confession to make: I’ve been listening to Christmas music since the start of November (a certain boyfriend of mine is cringing right now). Thanksgiving happens to be my favorite holiday, so by no means am I skipping over this time of year. I just prefer to make the most of my holiday playlist (aptly titled Christmas Carols), listening to it non-stop until the New Year begins.  And sometimes in July too.

one of my first CDs - Trisha Yearwood

the newest addition to my holiday playlist - Glee: The Christmas Album

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