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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Old Farts

Waiting for the kielbasa and sauerkraut to get good, with some blackeyed peas on the side, our personal New Year traditional feast, I am poking around in my extensive iTunes library, earphones on my head. I am always astonished at the consistency of my personal taste (although it would probably make no objective sense to anyone else.) Like my friends, the music I like has some kind of common thread.  Some of it goes right to the lower dantian...some of it up higher.  A melodic riff, a chord progression, a sentiment. And generally, music that captivated me early on, still does.  Dylan. Miles Davis. Beethoven.

When I listen to old songs they take me back to old times, old friends, and I wonder what happened to them,  people who were truly vital parts of my life.  Where is Carol, with whom I listened to Heart in 1973?  I can trace a vivid moment to the release of every Dylan album ever, (every song really). There is a certain Rolling Stones song, Brand New Car, that when I listen to it, I am sitting with my late father in a Pizza Hut in Orlando. I played it on the jukebox. He was a car guy; I don't know if the kinky erotic overtones were lost on him.  (Best not to think about that.)  And Sonata Pathetique has weirdly erotic connections with my piano lessons. (Best not to think about that.)

Like smells do, a lyric, a melody, a chord progression, can take you back to such a precise moment, you revisit the universe as it was at a moment in the past.  A touch, a breeze, a word, a look, a heartbeat. The Wizard is very preoccupied with certain chord structures and progressions....inverted sevenths?  I don't like to analyze music quite like that, but I suppose it's the same thing.  I suppose it is the same as when my father would get all weepy when Glenn Miller played Stardust; I get emotional over Gordon Lightfoot doing Cobwebs and Dust (which I really want people to listen to at my funeral, should I ever have one).  Another generation will get gaga over Lady Gaga. Maybe.

For an inexplicable reason, the past few months I have been not very musically inspired, listening to a lot of silence or narratives, but not music.  But today, I am enjoying these very personal emotional sensory inputs which have really defined my life.

I wonder how many times I will ever again listen to a particular song that has deep meaning to me.

Like this one:

1 comment:

sybil law said...

I love hearing even old, cheesy songs because of the memories they bring.
Can't go wrong with Dylan!