February 2, 2010

music & lyrics (not the movie, though. that movie was terrible.)

Many moons ago, I found myself in a karaoke bar (shocking, I know) in San Antonio. On this night, we were granted the immense pleasure of hearing a grown woman in a skin-tight black dress sing Monica's "Angel of Mine" with a fierce intensity unlike I have ever seen. My dear sweet friend, Kristin Ann Foster, said this: "Remember when this song was popular, in middle school, and you'd sit in your room in the dark listening to it on repeat and think to yourself 'THIS IS WHAT LOVE IS!!!!'??" Needless to say - we all knew what she was talking about. Crystal clear. Just like the Pepsi. (I can't stop. This post is going to be positively riddled with 90's references. You'll be fine.)

When I was in middle school, I lived and breathed music & lyrics. But then, you know, there was no Google with which to find lyrics. One had to go through a very rigorous process to find out what the actual words were to the songs which gave so much meaning to one's otherwise drab adolescent life. This meant probably waiting for said song to come on the radio (maybe even phoning in a request, I don't even know) and then frantically scrambling to find a pink glitter pen and your diary.

If I was lucky, though, I could get a ride to the mall and buy the CD single at Sam Goody. I distinctly remember when I obtained the single of the not-nearly-popular-enough song "Never Ever" by All Saints. I LOVED that song. Loved it. (Actually, lets be honest - I still do. Whenever it comes on my tiny red iPod, I immediately revert back to age 12. I feel a thrill of teen anguish coupled with an exceptionally impassioned love for Jonathan Taylor Thomas. The latter I have no excuse for.) I distinctly remember sitting on the deck in the backyard with my Discman, listening to this song on repeat. As I listened, I furiously wrote the lyrics in my journal - pausing every few lines to catch up - so as to memorize them. To this day, I can flawlessly sing the intro to that song. Lets just say its something I'm pretty proud of.

Quite literally the only reason I wrote all of that was to preface the fact that I am still a pretty big fan of music & I am eternally grateful to the internetz for providing me with the lyrics to define my life's meaning at my beck and call. Can I also say right here that I am SO thankful that the internet was not the way it is now when I was 12? So. very. grateful. But I digress.

There is just something so lovely about good music, and for me as a lover of words, something even more lovely about good lyrics. The newest craze in the community of my friends is the band Mumford & Sons. It's one of those magical albums where every single song is good. This hasn't happened to me since I discovered Maroon 5's Songs About Jane when I was in college. I was beginning to think I would never feel that way again - then, just when I wasn't looking, along came Sigh No More. So delightful. And oh, the lyrics - be still my heart!

I will leave you with my (current) favorite lyric - from the song Roll Away Your Stone - and also a firm suggestion that you listen to some of this music ASAP. (You can even Google the lyrics, if you want. No one will judge you.)

it seems that all my bridges have been burned
but you say, "That's exactly how this grace thing works."
it's not the long walk home that will change this heart -
but the welcome I receive with every start

I just love that.

Music & lyrics, my friends. Really bringing things full circle.


Alli said...

You are hilarious. The JTT reference was my fav.

Kristin said...

Here's something weird that I used to do when I was younger: When I'd get a tape (or CD, once I was lucky enough to get a CD player) and the liner notes *didn't* have the lyrics included, I'd steal one of my dad's legal pads and listen to the song OVER and OVER until all I'd written down all the lyrics. I know, it's weird, right? Thank God for Google, now. The Lyric Wiki (http://www.lyricwiki.org) is my favorite thing ever.

Big hearts for you! And yes, Angel of Mine is SO what love is. Now pardon me while I go cry alone in the dark.

sarahannnoel said...

Um, I had a larger than life JTT poster. So there.

Unknown said...

definitely practiced all the words to "wannabe" lyrics at the lunch table for the majority of 6th grade. loving the blast from the past.

Emily said...

I agree, so glad we didn't grow up with the Internet - how much more complicated it must be to be a teen these days! I'm absolutely terrified of what it will be like in 15+ years when my own (not yet conceived) children are teens! ACK!

I distinctly remember laying on my parents couch with my Discman and listening to the Titanic song on repeat (that was love to me).

Great post! xoxo

jlwiley said...

Megs - Okay, I am feeling quite accomplished; because I finally figured out how to write you a message! It took me forever to remember how I could post a comment to you! I loved catching up on all your recent blogs; laughing, relating, and enjoying each one. Thanks for your gift of writing. I am inspired and so moved by music too! It is such a gift ~ I remember listening to the radio and of course, the record player and replaying a song over and over again...does that date this old gal or what? :) I just bought tickets to Carole King and James Taylor to relive the dream! I can't WAIT!! One of the first concerts I ever went to was JT. Of course your sweet Mom had to remind me we saw Carole King together at IU. The blessings of best friends. Have a beautiful day, Megan. Love and miss you! Jana

jlwiley said...

P.S. Your beautiful....

Elaine said...

I waited for songs to come on the B106.3 (local cool kid radio station) countdown at night and then taped them so I could listen to them repeatedly. Then I would secretly listen to Dr. Drew's sex show on the radio and turn it off if I thought I heard my parents' footsteps. It was very educational.

I loved that Janet Jackson song, "Again" and, oh man, did I have a thing for JTT. I feel ya.