On my drive into work yesterday morning, I heard a song on the radio that triggered a memory. The song, by Bryan Adams, titled, “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman,” brought a smile to my face. The ballad is the title song from the Johnny Depp movie, “Don Juan DeMarco.” I own the DVD and it’s one of my favorites. The movie also starred Marlon Brando in one of his last roles. He did a great job with his character.
So, there I was, driving to work on a chilly, rainy, gray Rochester morning and the sound of the music transported me to a tropical island. Images from a favorite movie flashed in my mind. It was a nice distraction from the mundane drive on an ugly morning.
That’s the great thing about music. It can lift my spirits when I am blue. It can turn a happy moment to a joyful one. Sometimes it can help bring me a sense of peacefulness. Other times it may trigger a melancholy moment or two. It almost always sparks a memory.
We were so unprepared when we lost Dad. His sudden death devastated us. A few days after my dad’s funeral, we were together at my mom’s and dad’s house. I don’t remember if my brother, my sister or I suggested that we take Mom to see “Moonstruck.” We thought it might help bring us a bit of cheer during that very sad time. We decided to go.
In the midst of our sadness, we sat together as a family in the darkened theater and we laughed until it hurt. A couple of us had a tearful moment or two. We connected with the characters on many levels. Somehow it felt like my dad was there with us somewhere in the theater. When the movie ended, we were all smiles and eager to talk about the story and, more importantly, its characters.
So, when I hear Dean Martin sing, “That’s Amore,” I immediately flash to “Moonstruck,” which is probably my all-time favorite movie. I loved the movie because of its amusingly accurate reflection of the Italian-American culture. And, it’s possible that it’s my favorite movie because it takes me back to a special and tender time in our family’s history.
Any Beatles’ song will carry me back to my youth. The good old days. Good because with the passage of time we tend to forget the bad. I remember singing their songs with my girlfriends as we walked home from school together. We had so much fun wearing our Beatles’ buttons. I wore the button that said, “I love John,” because I did.
I took my granddaughter to see Justin Bieber’s movie a couple of weeks ago. The screaming hysteria of the young girls with Bieber fever made me chuckle as I recalled the same behavior from the Beatlemania of my generation. By the way, I thoroughly enjoyed young Bieber’s movie. He is adorable!
Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Kermit’s classic, “Rainbow Connection.” My son and I listened to that song hundreds of times when he was a little boy. I’ve always loved it. I’m pretty sure he still loves it too. He and I were a two-some for a few years before we blended with our new family. We lived in a small Cape Cod on the east side of the city. We forged our strong bond during those years. Being a single mother with a small child is another of those life experiences that shaped the person I am today.
I remember my dad taking us to see the movies, “Oklahoma” and “South Pacific,” at the theaters. I love the music from both of those musicals. I’ve been to New York City twice since the “Oklahoma” revival on Broadway and I missed the opportunity to see it on stage. Still, I own a CD recording of the music, and it’s loaded on my IPod so I can take it wherever I go!
This post could easily be longer. There is so much more to tell. The sound of so many songs and the playing of so many instruments. Whether it’s favorite hymns sung in church, wistful love songs, hip hop songs that make me want to move, smooth jazz that helps me chill or the non-stop listening of Christmas music from early November through the Twelfth Night, it’s always the same. It’s the sound of the music that makes a moment special.
I’m listening now!