Note: October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I’ll be back with more info about this campaign in the coming days.
I’ve been fighting a cold for the past few days so I’ve been struggling to think clearly and string together coherent sentences after taking cold meds. My head feels like it’s in a vice and my thoughts are just like little wisps of smoke sailing through the air. Hopefully, this post sounds relatively cohesive despite all of that.
Music has always been a huge part of my life as both a fan and as a performer. I started playing violin in fourth grade and a year later started playing oboe. In high school, I decided to just continue on with the more difficult oboe and I was in honors band and somehow managed to have a partial college scholarship as a music performance major, which I didn’t pursue for many stubborn reasons. I almost completely gave it up after my adopted mom passed away, so I picked it up again my senior year of undergrad. When I moved to Boston for grad school, I had to sadly sell my oboe one month for rent money. It wasn’t until several years later that I rented an instrument and started playing again casually to help as an alternative treatment for asthma. Today, I’m again without an instrument and occasionally find myself pining to play.
I’ve been finding myself listening a lot more to music lately, something that I’ve always loved to do, but I somehow got away from it. I think I may be listening to music more just because I’m in the car so much these days heading to therapist or support group appointments. I’ve found Pandora is a great way to find new artists as well as connect with songs I haven’t heard in ages. Because of that, I’ve found myself listening to some songs with a different perspective and finding new meanings as a parent. It’s weird listening to a song after a life-altering event, like the death of a child, and observing how your thoughts about those lyrics can morph into something new.
Songwriting seems like such a personal experience where you’re expressing your heart and soul in a more lyrical form of poetry set to notes and music. As I was composing this list, I noticed myself adding a lot of songs that are classified as “country”. I think in the current state of the music industry, the country genre is where most of the most heartfelt and truthful lyrics originate. They’re so often raw and full of emotion compared to some of the more standard pop fare these days which is full of fluff and vulgarity.
These are a couple of songs that I’ve recently found myself listening to but with an altered mindset:
10. “Who You’d Be Today” by Kenny Chesney
In grad school back in the mid 2000’s, me and one of my roomies were so totally smitten with Kenny Chesney. We totally thought his tractor was sexy and how most of his songs made a trip to the Caribbean sound like it was just one tropical fruit drink away. But, he definitely has recorded his fair share of meaningful songs.
“Who You’d Be Today” was written by Aimee Mayo and Bill Luther. It was released in 2005 and tells the story of someone reflecting back on a life that was taken too soon. I find myself so many times thinking about the “what ifs” in Emmett’s life. So many questions that will forever go unanswered. Would he have loved the Green Bay Packers (mommy’s team) or the New England Patriots (daddy’s team)? Would he enjoy music and movies as much as his mommy and daddy? What would he want to be when he grew up? We’ll never know those answers.
Continue reading “Music of My Heart: 10 Songs with New Meanings to Me”