Friday, March 16, 2007

By their sounds, ye shall know them…

A hundred years from now, when the archaeologists are digging up our scraps and trying to put together what kinds of people we were, one of the things they’re no doubt going to find is a lot of little rectangular machines with headphones attached—the "primitive" musical machines we call iPods. They’ll have a chuckle over those, no doubt. But more to the point, if the things are still able to play in some way, they’ll have some direct access to the tastes of at least some of us. If you think about that long enough, that’ll either give you reason to hope, or make you cringe. :-) So what’s on your iPod? And what does that say about you? You may not think of your favorite songs that way, but I always have, I confess. Music has always been more than mere entertainment to me, even more than an occupation or something I got my degree in. Music affects our internal chemistries, if we let it; at the very least, the right song can snap you out of the blues, or let you have a good cry, or make you laugh so hard you forget any troubles you may have been worrying about…for a few moments at least. It can be way more than just being something pleasant to listen to, a diversion, or background noise you like to work to. Added to this element the fact that what you collect, what you download, what you keep, ends up being what people are left with when you’re gone. Someone’s going to know, someday, that a sixteen-inch piece of multicolored crocheted yarn meant something to me—but without an explanation, or a sound effect, or a note, they’re not going to know that I saved it because that was the first crochet my daughter ever did, which she made into a necklace and gave to Mom. (Although now they can know, if my blog survives me in the ether!) But without detailed explanations in your will (!), is anyone going to know why you kept the songs you did? What they meant? Maybe it’s worth writing a little journal and keeping it with your iPod…just for the sake of giving the archaeologists something interesting to put on the Discovery Channel. :-) Or, maybe not. Maybe it’s just fun. Which is, in itself, another way to define who we are. So what’s on your iPod? Not the complete list, but a highlight or two? What’s the most unusual piece of music or sound you’ve captured and kept? Probably mine would be the Suite: William Byrd, as recorded by Frederick Fennell and the Cleveland Wind Ensemble. Not necessarily because people wouldn’t download that…but how many people have it on their iPods because one of those pieces was part of their wedding music? What’s a song you figure very few other people have on theirs? Mine would have to be Leave That Baby Alone by Saturday’s Children. I’d be willing to bet that less than a fraction of a percent of the people who come across this even know who Saturday’s Children were, much less love that purely-fun song as much as I do. Ditto for Rainmaker by the Cryan’ Shames…and yes, there’s a story or two connected with that one as well. What’s the song that gets you going better than anything else? That will perk you up when you’re down? For me, there are so many of them on there it’s hard to pick. But I’d have to say one of my true treasures is Phoenix by Dan Fogelberg. Someday, when you’ve got a couple of hours, I’ll sit down with you all over coffee and tell you why. So…you get the idea. Share, share, share. Come on. And if you don’t have an iPod yet and want one—tell me what you’ll put on it when you do! Or what songs you have installed on Windows Media Player. Or Real Player. Or what you’ve burned to CD. If music be the food of love, what do you love…and why? Tell, tell! Singing and dancing her way into the hearts of…a few, Janny


Donna Alice said...

Okay, I don't have an ipod, nor a burning desire to even own one. I'm quite content with my CD, tape player and my secret stash of old 33Lps....yeah, I have those!
There are so many songs I love for different reasons. But reading your post a funny story came to mind that I plan to someday put on my own blog.
I'm very selective about music. While I may like ONE song of a group, I get picky about their other stuff and end of saying I don't like a group--rather than admit they have one or two songs worth listening to. If that made any sense? LOL!
A case in point is the country group, Alabama. A couple of their songs have become the boys' favorite 'on the way to school' tunes. One of their favorites is "I'm in a Hurry and Don't know why." One afternoon, Miah fell asleep on the way home with the CD on repeat. It played that song 54 times! Why didn't I stop and turn off the dirty darned CD player? Well, I was in a hurry and don't know why.....LOL!

Janny said...

...and that's one of the few Alabama songs I absolutely HATE.
So way before it hit 54 times, I would have been homicidal toward a CD player, which is an interesting mindset in and of itself.



Deb said...

Fogelberg? Of COURSE, Fogelberg! His stuff has spoken right to my guts ever since "Part of the Plan." Most of his music is on the Mom Pod (so called to differentiate it from the Bean Pod on the pooter), and I've played most of these tunes to death, so they're almost too familiar.

One song on his newest album I don't like, but I can't say that about any of the others.

What else is on the Mom Pod? The soundtrack to "Pride & Prejudice." Rascal Flatts. Five for Fighting. The Beatles. The Cambridge Singers' "Hail, Gladdening Light" disc. Twyla Paris and Steven Curtis Chapman.

Eclectic? You betcha. I've got a sneaking suspicion all the best Pods have selections that cross genres, and proud of it.