Before it was on our iPods, music served as a crucial tool in our evolution. A precursor to language, music was a pivotal tool for group building and bonding. Now, that we have thousands of songs in our pocket, we think of music only as entertainment, but it is so much more than that. Our relationship with music begins early in our lifetime as anything but entertainment, our parents introduce us to music when we’re infants…from a rythmic style of talking to comfort us, we quickly learn a singsong cadence, a repetition, or a warm modulated tone seems to be comforting.
Ethan Hein, On Quora writes about why music is so important to us…
Music is also a crucial tool for social bonding among adults, for making a tribe feel like a tribe. We use music to modulate our own emotions and those of others. There are ecstatic chants and dances for spiritual purposes, or for just relaxing and relieving stress. There are work songs to make tedious tasks more bearable. There are marches and fight songs to prepare for battle, and there are lullabyes to soothe each other to sleep. There are love songs for courtship and battle raps to playfully establish social dominance. In preliterate societies, music was a crucial mnemonic device, and it’s still extremely useful for that purpose. And modern language continues to have substantial amounts of musical content. Some languages, like Chinese, literally use pitch to convey grammatical meaning. Even “non-tonal” languages like English use pitch, rhythm and timbre to add emotional and social coloring to the bare facts conveyed by the words.
We enjoy music for the same reason we enjoy eating, sex, and running and jumping. Treating music as a frivolity is like treating exercise that way; it leads to unhealthy and unhappy humans.
Lee and I can’t look back at our own journey thus far without associating all the fabulous music that has made our life this far so memorable. So that’s what September’s all about…The music that has made the landmarks of our life so memorable. Join us every day as we look, and listen to the music of our life.
I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger… This is Lee and I through the years. It hasn’t always been pretty, but it’s always been fun! 30 Years goes by fast…
These are some of the songs that we’ve shared along the way. Oh, the stories we could tell! And we will!
“Ooh La La” – The Faces click here to listen 16 Ooh La La
My Husband and I were up in Michigan visiting with my son and his family. We were sitting outside enjoying a great Michigan Summer’s day, the kids were playing in the backyard and we were enjoying sitting at the patio table with music on his iPad. Ooh La La came on and not more than 2 notes into the song, my son says Mom, I always think of you when I hear this song….and that’s even before your blog!…..I sat there and listened a while….It gets to the chorus…”I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger….I looked at my son and said oh my god, that’s the by line of our blog! I have to text Lee! and that’s how we came up with the idea of the picture montage…if you haven’t seen it yet – check it out!
“Hey Baby” – KoKo Taylor click here to listen 03 Hey Baby
My favorite station in Grand Rapids, MI, was WYCE-FM, a station that played the music that you just didn’t hear anywhere else. They played newcomers, artists that didn’t have the HUGE arena draw (but were every bit as talented!), jazz, blues, you name it. At some point in the spring the early 90”s, I heard a FABULOUS blues singer on WYCE. It was Koko Taylor – Queen of the Blues – singing “Want Dang Doodle” followed up with “Hey Baby!” She was awesome and I was an instant fan. When Michigan State University announced their summer music festival line up, Barb, I, and my friend David headed to East Lansing to hear The Queen of the Blues – a 64 year old grandmother – belt it out. “Follow me down to my house, I’ll show you a REAL love Game.” Hope you enjoy Koko as much as we did!
“Build A Little Birdhouse in Your Soul” – They Might Be Giants click here to listen 02 Birdhouse In Your Soul
There was an alternative radio station in Grand Rapids, MI. That’s where Lee and I met and established our roots…the station played some quirky music that no other radio station played…this was before the era of streaming music on your phone and computer. This music quickly became some of our memories and songs. This radio station, WYCE, was a fixture…a symbol of finding great music. Music nobody else was playing.
“Shout” – The Isley Brothers click here to listen The Isley Brothers – Shout
Lordy, lordy…let me preface this by saying it’s amazing Barb and I lived through this one… In the late 80’s/early 90’s Barb and I became regulars at a 50’s themed bar named SHOUT. It was a converted movie theater with a huge dance floor, an enormous stage, a large elevated, 3-sided bar (which is where we sat ’cause talking to the bartenders gets you better drinks!), a fabulous sound system, and more characters than you can imagine. As regulars, we knew that as soon as we heard the opening “Weeeelllll-eeellllll…” of the song, the entire bar would freeze, the wait staff (and sometimes the two of us – cause we were regulars..and damn cute!) would climb onto the 3 sided bar or the stage at the front, and dance to SHOUT! The end of the song “Litte bit softer now….” required everybody to do The Twist until they were in a squatting position…and continue until the end of the song. Whew! Do that after a
bunch of few drinks!
“The Lonely Goatherd” – The Sound Of Music click here to listen The sounds of music The lonely goatherd con letra
This song has legs. Or perhaps a life of its own. Sure you know it from “The Sound of Music”, but we know it from one late night at our favorite watering hole. The place where we gathered because, well because “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name”! Lee and I were with our normal gang of gal pals and the topic had turned to sex….specifically what music did everybody like to have sex to. Each person at the table was taking their turn naming their favorite song to have in the background. We heard things like Classical and Classic Rock, when it finally got to be my turn, I panicked and the only song that popped into my head was “The Lonely Goatherd” from The Sound of Music. I started an in depth conversation over the exact spelling of the word “Goatherd” and what it actually was. We soon noticed a quietness in the bar that wasn’t there before…because people were actually listening in on our conversation. Months later, as we set off on our annual trip to Stratford Ontario (in a Mini Van no less) no less than a 1/2 mile out, one of our compadre’s said she had a surprise for us. She was a buttoned up CPA, so we weren’t sure what it could be….She rolled down the windows and turned up the radio and we left town with “The Lonely Goatherd” blasting away and laughing our fool heads off.
“Regretting What I Said” – The Chenille Sisters click here to listen 02 Regretting What I Said
Well…if you don’t know them, the Chenille Sisters are kind of a tongue-in-cheek, modern day version of the Adrews Sisters – all the fabulous harmony, with a twist (which should be pronounced ‘tweest”) that can be a wee bit dark and funny. Barb and I saw the Chenille Sisters sing in a church. They performed in Grand Rapids at Fountain Street Church (yep, a real church), but on a Saturday night. “Regretting What I Said” written by Linda Lavin – another funny lady – is the worlds longest apology for things said in anger to a sweetie. At the concert, I – at the start of, in the middle of, or at the end of my divorce from an abusive horses ass – looked at Barb and said, “He deserves it.” ‘Nough said.
“If I Had Million Dollars” – The Barenaked Ladies click to listen here 14 If I Had $1000000
I think it was 1995. I called Lee and and said, “The Barenaked Ladies are playing at Calvin, I think I like them…but I don’t know why.” That was reason enough for us to buy tickets to their concert…it was before anybody was giving The Barenaked Ladies playtime on the radio. Everyone except our quirky alternative radio station WYCE anyway. Ya gotta love having a friend who doesn’t question the request. I could always count on Lee always saying Yes. The concert was at Calvin, one of the local Colleges in Grand Rapids. We were clearly one of the older folks in the audience….We were both coming from work, I had my hair up in a twist and a skirt and blazer on…all the “kids” seemed to take either my pinned up hair or business attire as a sign of knowledge, so they all seemed to stop and ask me questions about where things were and what time something was going to happen which annoyed the crap out of me. Lee was the only person that could have understood the annoyance. The only song that was getting any air play was “If I had a million dollars” and it was the beginning of a long history of concerts with The Barenaked Ladies!
“Middle Aged Blues Boogie” – The Uppity Blues Women click to listen here 01 Middle Aged Blues Boogie
I never would have met my husband if I hadn’t been with Lee that one night, but I’ll save that story for another time, and since I meet my husband while palling around with Lee, he didn’t think it was unusual for it to be a threesome or foursome when we went out. The Uppity Blues Women’s Concert was no exception. Their song “Middleaged Blues Boogie” doesn’t get a lot of air play except the alternative radio stations out, but it’s a fun, fun song that represents a FUN FUN period in our life! You know what The Uppity Blue Women Say…
“well I was looking round and checking out my very best friends seems that they’d all taken up with the young young men…seems that when you reach around middle age you don’t want a final chapter, you want to write another page…
“Teach Your Children Well” – Crosby, Stills & Nash click to listen here 02 Teach Your Children
Everybody needs a partner in crime, somebody they can count on in a time of need. Lee has always been that “go to” person for me. She knows things about me that not even my husband knows…things that don’t seem important until you hear them said aloud and then you think…”Wow, this person knows me to my core!” My son was going through a tough time and decided he needed to come home….He was living in Hilton Head and it wasn’t working out so he caught the only flight he could afford which got him as far as Chicago. He called to ask me to pick him up at the Chicago Airport – The day before Thanksgiving! I called my good friend Lee and said, “You know we haven’t been to Chicago in a while…we should go”. She said “Sure”. I said, “I mean, Right Now…Joe’s on his way and I have to pick him up at the airport…do you want to go with me?….I’ll pick you up in 20 minutes!” She said, “Sure”. Ironically, on the way home my son wanted to play his cassette tape….while we waited to talk about what was going on in my son’s life and Lee navigated the busy Chicago traffic.
“The Shanty Song” – Jonathon Edwards click here to listen 06 Shanty
We can’t talk about the music of our lives unless we mention THE song that kicked off the weekend for all of us in the Greater Grand Rapids area for more than 25 years. WLAV, The classic rock radio station began playing Jonathon Edwards “The Shanty” song symbolizing the weekend is ON! Till this day, this song is a windows down radio up sing along with the radio kind of song.
Join us all month long, listen to some great music and tell us about the music that was important in your life.