Three songs that are important to me:
John Denver’s “Take me Home, Country Roads”.
Road trips to Gramma’s. Or the Lake. Or anywhere really. My family liked to sing in the car. We all did. We weren’t bad either! All of us kids have made singing a part of our lives, from church to school to puttin’ it out their during Karaoke at the bowling alley or VFW. John Denver’s songs were always great to sing to…some sweet harmony…easy range…simple lyrics. Feel good music. Reminds me of home and all the adventures we used to go on.
Madonna’s “Burnin’ Up”.
1985. Madison, WI. Moving from the dorm into a sublet apartment on the third floor of an old three-story house on E. Johnson. There are yards of fabric pinned to the ceiling. Three of us girls moved in for the summer. Jimmy was the only permanent resident left over from the academic year. He’s gay and he wears O rings up and down one arm. He loves Madonna. And so do I. All of our roommate angst disappears when we put on Madonna. We dance like crazy. This is my favorite Madonna. Lucky Star. Borderline. Holiday. But Burning Up is the song that encapsulates this summer. My boyfriend, now husband, is not a Madonna fan, so I can blast her when I’m with Jimmy. And there’s no threat. I felt free. Sexy. Excited.
Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”.
I was never a Pink Floyd fan in high school. When I got to Madison and lived at Sellery Hall Dormitory, I met Dan Carlson. Pink Floyd was probably only second to Led Zeppelin in his music collection. When we first started dating, we would spend a lot of time staring into each other’s eyes, listening to The Wall. When I think of this now, it makes me smile. This song makes me physically relax. It reminds me, too, of the summer after freshman year, when we had to part ways…him off to the Twin Cities and me back to Racine. That was the hardest summer of my life. I still have the boom box my Dad bought me after he picked me up from the dorm. The cassette player doesn’t work anymore, but it does include the port to plug in my iPhone. Now whenever I want to listen to The Wall, I can find it on my iPhone or Dan’s iPad. When I listen to it, I still feel quiet, peaceful, numb.