Time Traveling to Music

I was driving home from the grocery store this afternoon and a song came on the radio that got me all choked up.  In less than a minute, I found myself back in 1980, a young mother looking at my daughter in her crib and crying with the knowledge that all too soon, she would be grown up and heading off on her own.  That got me to thinking about how thoroughly music has permeated my life, intertwining through significant milestones down through the years.

It’s 1957 and I’m huddled around the record player with my brother, listening to Mary Martin sing “I’ve Gotta Crow” from the Broadway musical Peter Pan.  I knew the lyrics of every song she sang in that musical and I would entertain myself for hours flitting about the house, pretending to be Peter.

It’s 1963 and I’m clutching my fan magazine with the latest picture of the Beatles as “I Want to Hold Your Hand” plays on my portable record player.  My first mad crush was on George Harrison.

“Love Child” by Diana Ross and the Supremes is playing at a theatre party at Central Michigan University in 1968.  I’m sitting next to the football team’s punt return specialist who seems to be interested in me.  This so unnerves me that I end up dropping a theatre class that we’re both in because I don’t know how to respond to his attention – being as shy as I am.  I still can’t hear “Love Child” without being back at that party stealing glances at him.

It’s 1970 and 3 Dog Night is singing “Mama Told Me Not to Go” at another theatre party.  A theatre major who has already graduated is in town and has stopped by the party.  He asks me to dance and as we’re on the dance floor, he looks at me in amazement and says, “Is this the same shy, quiet girl I first met 2 years ago?”

Another theatre party and another song, “Try to Remember from the musical “The Fantasticks” has me singing along in harmony and making moon eyes at a fellow theatre major that I have a crush on who ends up taking me to my first formal dance.  This same fellow goes on to become a professor in the theatre department at our college years later.

1973 finds me at Ft. Benjamin Harrison attending Broadcasting School for the Army.  I fall in love with a sailor who introduces me to the music of Steely Dan.  We spend a lot of time listening to “Reelin’ in the Years.”

It’s 1976 and I’m riding in a car somewhere in North Carolina with a young man that I thought I would end up marrying.  The Doobie Brothers are singing “Black Water” and I’m singing along, trying to block out the growing realization that our relationship is on its last leg.  Nothing like a good song to distract a girl.

It’s 1978 and the Commander and I are driving around the Greek countryside listening to James Taylor sing “How Sweet it Is” which becomes “our” song as we are dating and which is STILL our song after over 30 years of marriage.

It’s 1980 and our daughter has just been born.  On the way home from the hospital, the Commander turns on the radio and hears Stevie Wonder singing “Isn’t She Lovely.”  He tells me about this the next day at the hospital and we refer to it as “Laura’s song” from that day on.

Which leads me full circle to today.  It’s 2011 and Darius Rucker is singing “It Won’t Be Long.”  I’m sniffling and thinking of my granddaughter, Mika and how quickly she’ll grow up.  I’m thinking that I should email my son and tell him to go up on the Internet and find the song so he can listen to it and get some warning of how these things work….how quickly time will pass.  And I’m thinking of my daughter lying in her crib thirty years ago.

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Hot Flashed Funk

  • Oh, I love that song! It is one of my faves. I’m going to go find it and share it on YouTube for my boys to listen to….3 of them have little girls.

    Thanks for the musical look into your life!

    Music is so powerful. One of our favorite things to do is sit and listen to recordings of ‘old’ songs – they always bring back such vivid memories.

    Your comment about “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” put me immediately at my home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – singing that song with my friend. Then I hear in my brain “When I saw you Standing There”.

    Isn’t God so good that He gave us such a powerful tool to transport us to different times….to soothe our hurts…..to bring us closer to Him?

    It’s one of my favorite things – ever.


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