“Music is the Soundtrack of Your Life”
Dick Clark’s quote, “Music is the soundtrack of your life,” rings true if you take a step back and think about it. There are times when a song comes on the radio and it takes your mind back to a certain place in time in your life. These songs could bring a smile to your face or tears to your eyes. If you think of your life as a movie, a song could symbolize a scene in your life. The soundtrack of my life tells the good times and the bad, the stresses, the pains, the joys and the healing times in my life.
“The Sesame Street Theme Song”
During the time of Sesame Street, Electric Company and The Muppet Show, music was the way I learned everything. With extremely young parents who still had to finish school and work part-time jobs, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother in the mornings, watching our old black and white TV and learning from the PBS shows as they sang songs that would end up sticking in my head forever.
“If this world were mine” by Luther Vandross and Cheryl Lynn
When I was about 4, my dad and I use to sing this song together all of the time. It was around the time my mom was pregnant with my brother. This song takes me back to that time, a time when I felt like I was daddy’s little girl, a time when there was nothing my daddy could do wrong. It brings me back to when my mother was in the hospital after giving birth to my little brother and my dad took me to a field full of water buffalo. At the time, it seemed as if we sat forever watching those water buffalo, but I’m sure it was only a few minutes.
“Time of My Life” David Cook (Dirty Dancing)
My adolescent years I spent as an Army Brat in Germany. Those days I remember as being this carefree kid who loved being outside playing sports, traveling Germany on school trips and making friends. My brother and I spent a lot of time with our mom. My dad wasn’t home a lot. During the time we were in Germany, there was only one America channel to watch, so we watched a lot of movies over and over again. My mother and I watched Dirty Dancing so many times I can still recite the movie word for word. We would dance to “Time of Our Life” at the end of the movie, pretending to be Johnny and Baby. This song always brings a smile to my face, as I dance it with my own daughter today.
“Papa Don’t Preach” by Madonna
When I hit my teenage years, life started changing a lot. That “Daddy’s Little Girl” bond had faded. My dad had spent a lot of time outside of the house, some because of the military, a lot because of his love for partying and women. The more he pushed to tell me what to do, them more rebellious I became towards him. He was strict on me, giving me a very short rope. His idea of parenting was to put me on long punishments that had no end. Rather than discuss things with my parents, I just went and did things and prayed they didn’t find out. Boys were my love, and boys were my dad’s hate.
“Bonny and Clyde” by Tupac
Once I was 18 and graduated High School, I went through a short phase a wanting to be “hard”, listening to gangster rap music with tons of profanity, wearing big, baggy clothes, and hanging with the want-to-be bad boys. I wasn’t by any means “hard”, as I didn’t do drugs or anything like that or didn’t disobey my parents or stay out all night. I just wanted to feel more grown up. Listening to music 2Pac made me feel was living outside of my comfortable, suburban life. “Bonny and Clyde” not only connected me to my boyfriends at the time, letting them know that I was there for them, but also disconnected me from my family, who, from my teenage point of view, just didn’t understand anything about being young.
“Going to the Chapel” by Dixie Cups
Nineteen came around and I was ready to get out of my parents’ house. I’d met a Soldier; a really nice guy. Not exactly everything I’d hoped for as he was too quiet and it was like pulling teeth to get a good conversation out of him. However, he was a good guy with a steady career. He soon informed me that he had orders to report to Germany in a few short months. I thought, why not! And away we went!
“Thanks for My Child” by Cheryl Pepsi Riley
My kids are the light of my life. “Thanks for My Child” by Cheryl Pepsi Riley is song that came out when I was a child. My mom use to play this song on our record player and sing it to my brother and me. It was comforting to me and still is when I hear it because of the love my mom had for me. It is one of the few songs I know that shows the appreciation a mother have for her children. When I had children of my own, the meaning of this song became something different, as I gained a deeper appreciation for the meaning.
“No More Drama” by Mary J. Blige
After years of a hard marriage, filled with pain and tears, “No More Drama” kept me reaching for that point where I wouldn’t allow the drama in my life to take over. While I was going through so much, it was hard for me to see a time when the drama would be gone and I could find a certain level of happiness. When I listen to this song now, it takes me back to that time of stress and hurt, but gives me such an appreciation for being able to make it through it. The song symbolizes to me that even through hard times, there will come a time when the cloud will lift.
“Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys
A new song, but one that represents me and the way I feel about myself today, Alicia Keys puts so much power behind the words in this song that it makes me feel as if I’m on top of the word. In the last year, I’ve learned a lot about myself and have concentrated on making myself happy, bettering myself and doing things that make me happy. I have put my energy into helping others, showing others how to find joy in the life they are handed. Doing this has made me feel great about who I am. I haven’t always felt great about myself, but somewhere along the my long journey, I feel like at this point I am becoming the person I want to be, I am showing the word who I am. I am on fire!
“I Need You Now” by Smokie Norful
The one song that can get me through hard times is “I Need You Now” by Smokie Norful. Such a touching gospel song that I sing when times just seem too hard to handle. Gospel is a genre of spiritual music that is “characterized by giving the singer free reign to add enough notes to allow a fuller emotional expression.” (Janaro, 2012, p. 175) When my heart if heavy and everything seems to be crashing down around me, the words I sing to the Lord reminds me that God has my back all the time, “not another second or another minute, not an hour or another day, but Lord, I need you right away.” My faith may become shaken at times but this song gives me the strength I need to overcome my tough moments with the help of God.
The soundtrack of life takes a listener through the good and bad, the trials and tribulations, the joys and accomplishments and the strengths and weaknesses of life. A song can take a person back to a certain time in life and bring out emotions from eras thought to be buried in time.
Janaro, R. P., & Altshuler, T. C. (2012). The art of being human: The humanities as a technique for living (Kaplan University 3rd custom ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.