Hello all. While I’m enjoying the summer sun of England (and I’m not being sarcastic, it has actually been sunny here!) I have another guest post to share with you. This one comes from my good friend and writing buddy, Amber Seah. She’s one of the most intrinsically literary people I know and she’s here to tell us about her life, from growing up in the USA to living in Australia.
Have you noticed that, whether for therapy or profit, memoirs are all the rage?
With such a title as “My Life In Music-A Memoir” you might expect this post to entertain you with the memories of a seasoned musician, or at least an accessory to musical production, but there you error. The only thing I can play is the radio and the only musical I was ever in involved singing along to the rousing chorus of Newsies. This fact is much to my Creativity’s lament. She is certain she could be a concert cellist, if only my fingers agreed.
However I would like to put the case that each of us has a life in music.
Music is like fragrance – it can trigger long dormant memories with startling clarity. I was driving one day when “Walking On the Ceiling” by Lionel Ritchie came on. Suddenly I was a six year old hurrying my little brother to the front window of our Wyoming home. Faces pressed against the icy glass we watched the bachelor next door come out, rugged up head to toe against the whirling snow, to turn the meat on the BBQ. These same neighbours knew my Mom’s weakness for Lionel Ritchie and would on occasion crank-up one of his records for her benefit.
My Creativity got to musing about this connection between music and memory. It worked her up into a regular flurry of brain storming but I have tied her down to just one avenue.
Can you tell the story of your life with a song for each chapter?
I believe you can.
Here is a sample from my CD of life.
1. Songbird—Kenny G
A few notes of this and all I see is the green glow of dashboard lights as we make our interminable way home from Ogden after an unending day of shopping; tired, achy and nauseous the saxophone becomes like a bad dream.
2. Lollipop—The Chordettes and Everyday—Buddy Holly
This is the soundtrack to my first California Summer. I’m riding in the back of our pick-up with the boys, singing songs and cracking jokes, from Sugarpine Campground to the Eagle Lake trail head; or trying to covertly listen to it in our tent. It didn’t work.
3. You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling—Righteous Brothers
I’m cruising around Lake Tahoe, the boys, me and Aunty singing at the top of our lungs in her fancy new car, reaching to stick our hands out the sunroof on the high notes.
4. On Top Of the World—The Carpenters
My best friend and I are doing dishes at her house, singing while the dishwater goes cold. Her house is the only place I’m still free to be a kid. We are on top of the world when together.
I’m cutting class to go cruising with a friend after her classmate committed suicide, a tough time calling for tough music.
6. Yes Sir, That’s My Baby—Lee Morse
My Grandmother, dressed in her leather jacket and leopard print trimmed hat, demonstrating the Charleston while hanging onto her cherry red walker.
7. New World Symphony—Dvorak
This song gave me a feeling of hope during my Grandmother’s long illness. When the whole world seemed a dark swirling mass of suffering I would lay, eyes closed on the bed and imagine a new world dawning.
8. This Kiss—Faith Hill
This song is the exhilarating feeling of turning 20, finishing college, moving out of home and falling in love for the first time.
9. All I Ask of You—The Phantom of the Opera
This might be cliché but I grew up on Phantom and it is the only song my husband has ever sung karaoke to, so it reminds me of him, our courtship and those honeymoon days.
10. Give Me A Home Among the Gumtrees—John Williamson
Driving home through the beautiful Swan Valley of Western Australia. I love this song and I love my little home even without the gumtrees, plum trees and rocking chair. Instead I look out at banksia and grevillea and my straggly dwarf apples. This is the happy present of my life.
Yep, that is about the sum of my life in 10 songs.
How about you?
What songs are on your CD of life? What songs define the stages or relationships in your life?
Why not start with a song, write about the memories it triggers and see where it takes you?
Amber Seah has always loved the wonder of the written word – be it prose, poetry or song. She lives with her husband, daughter, dog and extensive alphabetized library of favourite books.