Monday, October 9, 2006

"If I cannot fly, let me sing." ~ Stephen Sondheim, "Sweeney Todd"

I definitely cannot fly and I love to sing though I definitely can't do that either! Because of my shortcomings when it comes to any musical talent whatsoever I usually try to do said singing in a fairly secluded place where I am quite certain that I'm not going to make anyone around me suffer. That usually translates to mean "in the car when I'm alone" but there are times when I will break out into song when Amanda is with me simply because she's my daughter and I believe I have some sort of parental right that gives me the leeway to make her suffer every so often. "Payback" and all that good stuff!

Such was the case this evening when we driving back from a visit to my mother's house in Canterbury and the latest Evanescence song Call Me When You're Sober came on the radio. The song begins with lead singer Amy Lee belting out the opening lyrics in a range that is definitely out of my league but I love to try to sing anyway! Imagine the surprise on Amanda's face when out of nowhere I started singing:

"Don't cry to me.
If you loved me
You would be here with me,
You want me,
Come find me.
Make up your mind!"

Ah, the joys of a captive audience! But I've got to give my daughter credit. After the initial shock wore off, she joined right in and sang the rest of the song with me. We had a good laugh when the song ended and I think my daughter was rather impressed that I knew all of the words. Of course, this was probably nowhere near as impressive as when I was able to rap along with Eminem on Without Me and Cleaning Out My Closet. Amanda was so impressed with that feat that she just had to tell Nicole who was also duly impressed as Nicole is totally nuts about Eminem (to which I have to ask ... why???) and her Dad probably couldn't string two words together, never mind two songs!

When I was growing up my parents listened to their music when we were in the car and that was that. There was no negotiating over radio stations, no suggestions that they turn the dial to whatever the local pop or rock station was. Nope, either we listened to what they were listening to or too bad. Because I chose the first option, I grew up with an appreciation of country music which I still have. To this day I can't hear old Johnny Cash or Jim Reeves songs without remembrances of my childhood flooding back and I can sing along with most of those, too. I own a rather extensive collection of country CDs that share the rack along with classic rock, pop, heavy metal, Broadway soundtracks, bluegrass, and Lord knows what else. To say that I have a very eclectic taste in music would probably be an understatement!

Because I love all sorts of music, I have always been willing to listen to what my kids were listening to. With Mike that was Metallica and Green Day, Jamie is into AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, and Amanda leans towards H.I.M. and Linkin Park. That doesn't mean I like all of it (I'm sorry, Amanda, but I'm still having trouble with the Avenged Sevenfold stuff!) but I like listening to what the lyrics have to say.

I tend to quote song lyrics a lot in my life because there are just so many good things that are said via music - things that I wish I had the talent to put to music because I've felt those very things myself from time to time. People are not afraid to express themselves in song and I think that's been the case ever since the first caveman took a stick and rock and found that he could pound out a beat.

As Victor Hugo once said, "
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." And sometimes I just find it downright impossible to be silent when a good song comes on the radio! Much to Amanda's dismay I'm sure!


  1. Anonymous6:17 PM EDT

    You forgot to mention that you aslo DANCED to sexyback! (dancing as in the restrained movement you can manage while driving)

  2. I never knew you had such eclectic tastes in music. Guess that makes you a very well-rounded individual. Course, I can't see you rapping with Eminem - just 'cuz I think - well never mind what I think...! Oh, and by the way, I know what you mean about having to listen to what your parents listened to in the car. To this day, certain songs, albeit on the "oldies" station, put me right back into the blue vinyl passenger seat of my mom's early '70's white station wagon with the wood paneling. Ah...what memories music can provoke! Thanks for this blog, Linda!! :-)

  3. Anonymous8:15 AM EDT

    Hey Linda, I too am a frustrated pop/rock/jazz star! My mother used to make me sing in church and one Sunday a lady came up to me and said, the only reason you get to sing is you're the preacher's daughter. I was so mortified I didn't sing for years. (It didn't matter that I was later told that the woman was mad that her son was not being allowed to do a piano solo as the special music for the 4th week in a row.) Now I do occasionally get asked to sing at a wedding but I've never been able to shake that woman's comment. Maybe I should take after you and just belt it out in the car!


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