Music is playing inside my head
Over and over and over again
My friend, there’s no end to the music
Ah, summer is over
But the music keeps playing
And won’t let the cold get me down
-Carole King, Music
This morning, as I spent time flitting about and trying to tidy,
I left my daughter to have some quiet play time in her room. I had the music playing, in the background for us,
and I kept busy picking up socks and wiping down counter tops
she kept busy playing in her dollhouse and paging through her books.
And there was a serene rhythm to our morning.
But, it was not silent. I soon realized that my daughter was singing along to music that sounded from my little cell phone speakers.
She knew all of the songs.
She knew the words to “Bell Bottom Blues”
and to “(The Angels Want to Wear My) Red Shoes”
and to “Comeback Kid”.
And, of course, she knew every word to “Oh Yoko”.
And, I shouldn’t have been surprised. She puts her song requests in with me every day. She asks for songs by name (or the names she’s invented for them). She asks for reggae songs, and alternative rock songs and performances by college a cappella groups.
Music is a part of her. Real, good, honest, grown-up music. My kid knows music. And she loves it.
When I was 11, I decided to take a Musical Theatre Class at the Walnut Street Theatre. This meant waking up at a painful hour for a Saturday, trekking downtown and spending hours in a dance studio, high above the street.
And as tired and as grumpy and as annoyed as I would feel at having to make the early trip,
as soon as my teacher entered the room, it was magic.
His name was Ricardo. He was so tall and talented.
He taught us songs
and dance steps
and style.
He taught me about music.
We sang Showtunes, yes, but we also sang  “Music” by Carole King and “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” By Simon and Garfunkel.
Ricardo died when I was in High School, long after I had graduated from his Saturday morning class.
But, every time I feel tired, and hear music start to sway through my head in slumber,
I’ve got no deeds to do, no promises to keep.
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
let the morning time drop all it’s petals on me.
Life, I love you. All is groovy.
I think of my teacher. Tall and talented. And I Love music, just a little bit more.
My childhood has a  Soundtrack.
My memories play as scenes before me,
and I can feel them, so vividly,
and I can hear the music that lead us and guided us and shaped our days.
Driving down stretches of windy, mountain roads in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, with Elvis Costello’s “Mighty Like a Rose” blasting from the speakers of our rental car.
In the carpool line of my very first Day Camp, listening to For Our Children and never wanting to leave the car. Or my mom.
Dancing on the living room couches with my parents to The Pretenders
Hearing “Sweethearts Together” for the first time, with my dad, and knowing that it would be my Wedding Song.
Outdoor concerts, from Crosby, Stills Nash and Young to orchestra at Tanglewood;
Family sing-alongs;
Hours and hours and hours spent around the speakers,
nurturing and
growing love;
my music memories serve as the lamp posts that light the story of my childhood.
Music is a part of my daughter. She breathes the melodies, just as I do.
There is little in this life that brings me more joy.
I hope that she always finds the light in music, just as I have.
I hope that music will always keep her warm.
This post is dedicated to my friend, GM: For always believing in me. And in music.

  • Joe and Lynn Manko
    March 13, 2012

    Belle is lucky to have such a talented mommy

  • kat
    March 14, 2012

    I love it!!! M loves to sing all the time – her songs though (not a lot of modern rock…Laurie Berkner, Oy Baby, her music class songs). I don’t know where it comes from…unless it’s all the Jack Johnson I had her listen to in-utero! :)
    (I esp love it when she sings songs she’s picked up at school – uh, Hatikvah?!?!?! :) )

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