Monday, June 21, 2010
What is it about a song or a piece of music that can transport us to the moment of the memory that we've attached to it?
The other day, while hanging out the wash on the line, my neighbor David was playing a CD and I heard a song, Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners and I was transported back to 1982, in my pink pedal-pushers and bright blue top, aiming to "stay skinny" and "have fun". Barely out of high school, a pretty girl, but not the prettiest, shaky with insecurity being swooned by the music in my Datsun B210, including this song. "Come Eileen, I swear on my knees, at this moment, you mean EEEE verything!!" Not exactly words of covenant, but they were so dance-able, singable...so 80's.... Making my way to a University 45 minutes one way from my house and not even sure what I was doing there. In my safety, there was music. My car was tin on wheels...my stereo was phenomenal!!
Oh, the wash. Hanging here in South Africa, I remembered I am a happily married woman, walking in the calling of God. Children; grandchildren; red Volvo. Most of my music now is Classical, but just hearing this song was a flashback.
Just when I recovered (and the song was over) a familiar scratchy voice cried out, "I heard you on the wireless back in 52... lying awake intent a tuning in on you....if I was young it didn't stop you coming through....oooooh, oooh" Unmistakably the song "Video Killed the Radio Star" recorded just a couple of years later that "eileen" (1984) and one of the most singable, dance-able accompaniments to a Friday night. Those dark Friday nights when I pretended I was having fun and I wondered what the heck I was doing here.... Walking around aimlessly at a party, wondering what was the thrill of beer or laughter and what the heck was wrong with me that I wasn't married yet? Why did I drop out of University...I knew more than my professors...
Oh, hanging the clothes.
The transportation back to my old self was astounding...and I hadn't felt it in so many years. I made my way to the fence that separates our houses. I greeted David, a man older than myself but perpetually young at the same time. "David, you HAVE to lend me your CD so I can burn it!" I sadi to him. He laughed and said "Do you not like it?" I said "Yes, I love it...it takes me back all the way!" He laughed again. "I just understood what you meant. I thought you meant I need to burn it, like light it on fire... You want to copy it."
He lent it to me and I tried to burn it but it has copyright protection. Oh well... The songs were fun to listen to, but I'm not heartbroken I can't own them.
Tonight at dinner, our friend Garth and Lyn were sharing about music in their lives. Garth asked if we had ever listened to Art Garfunkel's "Bright Eyes". We admitted that the name didn't ring a bell, but he relayed a touching memory that transported him back years. His story was so real that he literally turned back the clock and became a young man as he told it. I could imagine that the song meant much to him.
When I got home tonight, I you-tubed "Bright Eyes" and got the most amazing surprise. It apparently was from the film "Watership Down", the animated parody, based on the novel by Richard Adams, that rocked the world in its day. I saw it when I was homeschooling my kids and was previewing it before I showed them. In the deep part of me, I was seeking God to touch us, and didn't want to show my kids anything that could accidentally get them in trouble for talking about later among home schooled kids. Steeped in legalism and fear, God broke through that day and spoke to me. He showed me Himself in a secular movie and prepared me to exit the arena of legalism and fear. It was a strange day, feeling like I was about to lose friends and perhaps my own children...but fear was now revealed and I listened to God as He spoke.
Music evokes such strong memories and reminds us that deep inside us is a well of emotion. It reminds me that I must continue to submit everything, even my ears to a God that is so great, so perfect. In all I do now I do in freedom. I listen with joy and thanksgiving that I am transformed.
I have been transformed by Him.
Posted by Janet Rodriguez at 3:37 PM