Monday, May 16, 2011

Time is wastin', time is walkin'

The Locomotion (Kylie Minogue version) 
Kylie Minogue releases her cover of the old favorite the year I'm in kindergarten. Day after day, we build small "stages" with the wooden blocks in our classroom and use the short, round, dowel-like sticks as microphones. None of us know what "locomotion" is, but the song sure is catchy.

Baby Baby (Amy Grant) 
During our summer visits, my sister and cousins and I choreograph elaborate dances in their music room, and it is very hush-hush--NO GROWNUPS ALLOWED. One afternoon, as we're rocking out to Amy Grant, I spot a tiny red light at the top of the stairs leading into the room. Our aunt is lying on her stomach in the dark, secretly videotaping our antics. We shriek and yell, and she laughs and laughs. 

Time (Hootie and the Blowfish) 
The concept of "wingman" has not yet been introduced to us, but I find myself in that role at the seventh grade dance. My friend is dancing with Brad, on whom she has a tremendous crush, and I am forced to take one for the team to dance with his friend Chris. Both of us are less than thrilled at this development and we are the definition of awkwardness, hands on hips and shoulders, arms locked at the elbows, shuffling reluctantly from foot to foot. I think to myself that this is the worst song EVER for a slow dance. When the music mercifully ends, I am furious with my friend, not only because I had to dance with Chris, but because she has nearly ruined Hootie and the Blowfish for me.

I Swear (All-4-One) 
In effort to hold our attention amidst the marches and waltzes, our sixth-grade band director programs All-4-One's current hit on our spring concert. It opens with a big trumpet solo, performed by JS, with whom I am in the midst of a tumultuous, on-again-off-again "relationship." (Though we are "going out," we rarely acknowledge each other in public and endure incessant teasing by his six-year-old-sister.) My 11-year-old heart finds it impossibly romantic, as if he is playing the song just for me. (Years later, I tell him this story, and he laughs so hard that he nearly sprays soda through his nose.)

Half Moon Rising (Yonder Mountain String Band) 
Sophomore year of college, I meet a guy who grew up an hour from my hometown--the closest of anyone I've met so far at school. Because I am, in his view, woefully ignorant of "good" bands, he makes me piles of mix CDs full of music from the sublime to the, um, less sublime. But between before-he-was-famous Jason Mraz and Kalai (and, randomly, some old-school George Michael), he slips in this anthem to the mountains where we grew up. It reminds me of home, and I listen to it over and over and over.

Livin' on a Prayer (Bon Jovi) 
The Bon Jovi concert is winding down, and G is on the edge of a righteous fit -- they have not played her song. But finally, as the unmistakable chords begin, the crowd -- and G -- figure out what's coming. Twenty-thousand people belt the chorus to Livin' on a Prayer at the tops of their lungs, and it is without question a religious experience of its own kind.

**Thanks to Alice for the post idea.


  1. As much as I enjoyed this musical trip through history, what happened to the sequel to the NY Teaser? And, there was an opera ball betwixt all of this.

    Hootie and the Blowfish?

    False advertising!