Sunday Reflections: The Songs that Saved TLT
For me, the obvious answers are being with my family and being in the library. The less obvious answer is when I slap on a pair of headphones and just walk. I started doing this some time around middle school, which is in fact when most kids start to get really into music. At the time my headphones were connected to a Walkman that played a cassette mixtape and now its a smart phone with a playlist, but the idea is still the same. I feel most like myself when I’m able to listen to my favorite songs and just walk in the sunlight a few times a week.
When I lived in Ohio I would always start to feel a deepening sadness as the winter months dragged on and I found myself trapped inside the four walls of my home while snow and sleet and ice pounded the pavement I longed to feel beneath my feet. Each spring I would feel this all most spiritual like awakening as I would once again lace up my shoes and head outside to the the beat of the music. A few moments outside with music blaring in my ears and I start to feel more at peace.
Music makes me happy. It makes me feel in tune with myself. It makes me feel alive and centered. And like books, the words can speak to my soul in real and intimate ways.
I rocked The Tween to sleep while listening to Hem. Listening to Half Acre by Hem still reminds me to this day of the beauty and fear that came from holding this tiny new person in my arms and realizing what a tremendous amount of responsibility it is. I danced to Let it Be by the Beatles with Thing 2 on my hip, trying desperately to get her to stop crying for even a few moments as we tried to learn about the food issues that would plague her early years. I created a special play list for a memorial service for the baby I lost (which I can not listen to anymore, it just drips with my grief and longing). And Thing 2 had so many early life issues that a simple song wasn’t needed to rock her to sleep but an entire playlist (which I also can no longer listen to because it reminds me of the desperation of her medical issues and the postpartum depression issues that came up after her birth.)
Today my playlist consists mostly of Florence and the Machine, Mumford and Sons, Alabama Shakes and, of course, Foo Fighters.
This week we are celebrating music and talking about the songs that saved us, our teenage anthems and more. The posts are inspired in part by our participation in the THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE blog tour. It’s a book I love, so I jumped at the chance to participate. On Tuesday author Leila Sales will be sharing a song that saved her life. Today, TLTers will be sharing the songs that saved us.
I share one song as part of the blog tour and I will link back to it when it goes live, so I’m not going to mention it here. Instead, I want to talk about a second song that saved me.
Ordinary World by Duran Duran
It’s no secret that I am a Duran Duran fan. Ordinary World is a melancholy song that came out in the early nineties, at the time that The Mr. and I were dating. I have lots of memories of this song coming on the radio while the two of us were sitting or driving somewhere in our car (and sometimes making out). There was a time around our 4 year anniversary that it looked like our marriage wouldn’t make it. We were young, stupid, and really bad at everything including managing money and communicating. But every time this song comes on again it reminds me of those early days when we were together and I remember not to throw it all away. This year we will have been married 20 years (in May) and when this song comes on I’m still taken back to those moments. I feel like this song didn’t just save me, but it continues to save me again and again and again by just reminding me of who I was and to escape this ordinary world. It also reminds me that I listen to the most melancholy music. Seriously, I am a melancholy soul.
No one’s ever lost forever
They are caught inside your heart
If you garden them and water them
They make you what you are
I also just really like the tune. It’s almost jaunty. I listened to it so much; it was even my morning alarm music for several months.
How about you, what songs move you or saved you? Share with us in the comments. And join us all week as we talk about music, and how books and music can come together.
More Music at TLT:
Bring the Power of Music into Your Library (by Mary Amato)
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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