I often forget how crazy the power of music can be. How just a few lines of a song can stop you dead in your tracks and unleash emotions you forgot you had. I’ve found myself laughing hysterically to a song that my friends and I choreographed dance routines for as kids. (Whoop There It Is, for example. And don’t judge, you know you’ve busted a move or two in the privacy of your room when you were 7. Or 12…)
I’ve been completely ambushed by a song I had listened to on repeat when my heart was broken, and felt my face form into a scowl without even realizing it was happening. Just a few weeks ago, my iPod landed on the song that played during my wedding processional and I surprisingly found tears streaming down my face.
Earlier this morning, I was driving to an appointment and I stumbled across a Motown station on my Sirius. (Howard Stern was on commercial, for which I have no patience.) Immediately I was brought back to driving around with an old high school boyfriend, who for some reason, loved Duwop. He drove a big old beater Buick, and I rode proudly by his side in my little Chuck Taylors and (insert any punk band name) t-shirt, and pretended like I loved it too. When we broke up a few months later (my longest relationship up to that point) I declared hatred upon any and all Motown/duwop for the rest of my life. (For the record, that didn’t last either.)
I listened to the whole song (In the Still of the Night), and found myself singing along by the end of it. I realized that even though I was now able to enjoy it, despite my declaration as a livid 17-year-old girl, some songs will just always come with memories. Yes it was a billion years ago, and it wasn’t the most important stance I’ve ever taken, but years later I still vividly remember riding in that front bench seat and feeling like I was oh-so grown up.
After the appointment, I sat back down in my car and started the engine. Then another song came on. A song that has never really carried any special meaning to me before. A song I’ve always loved, not for any reason other than the way it made me feel. A song by one of my favorite artists, and on one of my oldest albums. I’ve heard this particular song a few hundred times easily. Although this time, instead of swaying my head, faux-drumming on my steering wheel and singing my little heart out, I sat and listened. Frozen. Filled with emotion. Fighting tears, a smile, anger, d. all of the above. As I sat there, eyes fixed on nothingness, I realized this song has forever changed for me.
Eventually I smiled and sat back in my driver’s seat. I even allowed a tear or two to kiss my cheek. Then I wiped my face and changed my gaze to glance up at the perfect white cotton clouds and pool blue sky, and simply whispered, “Miss you.”
Because although our little Voo Doo Child (just one of his many nicknames) is no longer around, he will forever be a part of us and sneak into our minds when we least expect it. And this one is a welcomed invasion.