I wrote this for a music anthology. Didn’t pass muster. Hmmm. Silly muster editors.
By Susan Sundwall
In the evenings, after supper, my spouse and I go our separate ways. I go upstairs to my screen and he goes from whatever aggravating news show we had on during supper to Hee Haw reruns. It’s a happy arrangement, one replicated throughout the country, I’ll wager.
When the nostalgia bug bites, it usually signals for music and frequently I’ll listen to a few tunes before I wander over to Netflix. This night I craved something with a snappy Latin beat and there was one zipping around in my brain that I couldn’t remember the title of or the group that sings it. So I settled for some oldies. Oh, boy, here I go, skipping backwards.
Lenny Welch – Since I Fell for You. This throws me back to my lovelorn teen years when I imagined I was destined to love . . . oh, who? Tommy, Mark, Roger, Clarence. It wasn’t the guy, but the image of the guy that mattered. You know how romantic teenage girls are. Anyway, Lenny croons out this song with heartfelt emotion in a crystal clear voice with enough of a catch in it to wrench the heart of every sixteen year old Juliet in the land. It leaves me sighing and that long ago, size ten, acne ridden girl in me is in love with love again.
Harry Nilsson – Remember. I first heard this song in my favorite of all time romantic comedy, You’ve Got Mail. It’s playing while Meg Ryan is decorating her little book store for Christmas and imagining her long gone mother. There’s even a filmy scene in the background where her little girl self dances with her mom. You can’t think too hard about the lyrics while this one is playing. You’ll come up weeping. Harry gets it so right about what remembering is and the tears hover on the precipice and will ruin your mascara if you let your mind go there. It’s that powerful.
Timi Yuro – Hurt. Man, could that woman belt out a song or what? For sheer drama in a relationship go find this one and listen to it. It’s one of those oldies where the singer stops in the middle and speaks a few lines to the egregious offender. You wonder after he heard this song how he could stay away from her for long, the big dope. One imagines he comes speeding back with roses and a ring, but that’s the romantic teen in me speaking again. I also wonder how many current pop stars have taken a page from Timi’s song book and imitate her powerful delivery.
Roger Miller – King of the Road. Huh, that guy was a piece of work. And didn’t this song bring out the hobo longing in me? Sort of? The truth is I have a pathological fear of getting lost. Childhood incident not worth talking about. However, when I think of this song, I think of something else, too. What if I could just take off and not care where I laid my head that night? Not lost, just free. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Maybe it would actually be awesome. Roger and I could even meet up for coffee say - somewhere in Bangor, Maine. Yeah. That’s how this song makes me feel, like I could really overcome a great fear.
And that’s what a good piece of music does. Makes you feel. There were many others I listened to and then the nostalgia wave passed like last night’s burrito and I went on over to finish up the final episode of my current view on Netflix. But skipping backwards is a worthy exercise and if you can keep from feeling like some kind of Stone Age cartoon character for doing so, I have to tell you, it’s good for the soul. Yes, it is.
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