Life's Soundtrack

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]

Where does the music come from?

As you walk down memory’s trail?

Each word, each phrase, the melody,

Comes clearly without fail.

Place yourself upon the path,

You’ll know right from the start . . .

The music and the memories

Are found within your heart.

~ Sarah Hastings ~

Is it just me, or does everyone hear a soundtrack of their lives in their head? I remember events based on the song that I associate with them. My husband on the other hand, can recall the songs based on the year in which it was a hit. For me, the song doesn’t have to be from the era the event took place, it’s just a song that I heard in my head either at the time of the event or at a later recalling of the event.

I am a huge Bonnie Raitt fan. I love every song I have ever heard her perform. Maybe it is her soulfulness that gets me, but I can’t hear the song “I Can’t Make You Love Make You Love Me” without thinking of picking my broken heart up off the floor back in high school. I know she was a recording artist back then, but I hadn’t yet discovered her. So when the right time came and I heard that song, I knew exactly what memory to attach it to. And now, every time it comes on, I am instantly taken back to those emotions of a first love gone wrong (or at least to the anger stage of that mourning process).
I have a handful of friends that are “lifers,” and I know that this little quirk of mine drives them crazy. I can see it in their eyes and as they shake their heads in their total inability to grasp this thing that I do, without even really thinking about it. I can see them trying to make the connection of why that song with that memory. I feel their pain, yet it seems odd to me that their lives don’t have a soundtrack. And I am not yet convinced that it is me that is weird.
When I was working in an office, or when I’m traveling down the highway in a car or sitting at my computer at home, the music is always playing. Music, calms me, makes me laugh, gives me permission to cry or helps me vent. Passers-by can evaluate my mood based on the tunes they hear.
I am convinced that had I longed for a life in the city, and if I could have possibly peeled myself away from the rural life, I could have made my millions as a music collaborator for TV or movies. I love the movie August Rush; I can associate with the kid that hears the music all around him. There is little else like walking down the country road listening to the wind in the trees around you while recalling the most precious of moments set to the soundtrack in your mind. There are few things that speak more loudly to me than the perfect song in a scene.
While there are, I am told, a plethora of reasons why my boys won’t accompany me to a public viewing of a movie or invite friends over for a private viewing in our home, the number one reason seems to be their fear that I may break out in song should the perfect music be in the right scene in a movie. (My youngest can attest that watching the movies Fly Me to the Moon and Bee Movie with me have potentially left him scarred for life.)
Yet I wonder, am I alone?

  1. nameSheri says:

    No you are not alone. Not only do I define my life with it’s own musical soundtrack, I quote song lyrics to suit every occasion and am constantly quizzing my kids (grown ups now) on who the band/performer is when a song is played in a movie, commercial, TV show or on the radio. I guess I’m like living with the old show "Name that Tune". Music has always been so important to me – I know my life would be hollow without it.


    Hey Sheri,

    How perfect, makes me feel "normal" (which is all relative, I know).  I am with you, who wants a silent movie.

  2. Aunt Jenny says:

    No! You are SO not alone. I mortify my children (apparently) with my "sound track" all the time. I have so many songs associated with so many memories….even one Christmas as a kid when my family traveled from Idaho to Calif to spend it with relatives and back to Idaho (Glen Campbell’s "Lineman" of all things) and many more. I drive my family (especially 12 year old son) crazy with it.
    I am glad to not be alone.

    It reminds me of being in the movies with my 11 year old… The Bee movie and Fly me to the moon… LOVED the sound track to both those childrens movies.. Matthew too was MORTIFIED as I broke out in song to a packed room….. of course I busted a move or two as well…..

    LOVE Glen Campbell… get your hair brush "girlfriend" we have some singing to do!

  3. carol branum says:

    hi rene,one of my all time favorites,is julie andrews singing favorite things,brown paper packages tied up in bows,lets see how does that go,when then dawn breaks,when the birds sing,these are a few of my favorite things…in the sound of music,i havent heard it for years,so,i think i will rent that movie at the libary tonight just so i can see it again,the year it came out,in the early 60s,my great aunt florence,a very cultured spanish professer at mssu in springfield mo, she decided,that,mom and i were too country,and that we needed culture,so she took me to a theater in springfield to see it,i loved it,She took mom,to ST.Louis to Yule Brenner on stage,in the on stage proformance of the The King and I,But i didnt get to go coz i got the measles,…yea,your right,lots of music talks to you….blessed be…the mo farmers daughter,carol branum


    How great to have an auntie that wanted you to experience the finer things. I have found that you can take the farmgirl out of the country, but you cant take the country out of the farmgirl 🙂

  4. Nora says:

    Yes! What a Day for a Daydream, by the Lovin Spoonful, especially. This was playing on the radio as I was en route to the hospital to deliver my first daughter. I often find myself bursting into song at the drop of a phrase, or singing along in public, much to the chagrin of my children.

    I’m a Wisconsin farmgirl at heart, raised in the minor metropolis of Madison, spent a few years dairy farming and lots of years with small flocks of poultry. Looking forward to retiring into the North Woods (God’s Country) in just a few months.

    Wow Nora, retiring in God’s Country? What could be better? Well other than having it all done to music. You are a girl after my own heart. By the way, I love that song. So happy and brings a smile. Of course I think every day is a day for a daydream, but…………….Make sure to let me know how retirment life is. I know some great activities you can plug into in the sisterhood program at the farm. Here is the link:

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