What’s the soundtrack to your life?
Have you ever thought about it? I mean, really thought about it? Take a moment and consider.
What song would be playing at your birth? Would it be the first song you ever heard? (If so, mine would have to be something by Glen Campbell; my dad was a big fan when he was young. I always assumed it was because Glen had a song called “Wichita Lineman” and my dad was from Wichita.) Or would it be something from the first album you owned? (Donny and Marie in my case; I know, I know, but I was five.) Or just something you feel celebrates your entrance into this world? (“I’m Coming Out” comes to mind…)
First day of school. Ready? Go. The music you were listening to as you waited at the bus stop? (See the Osmond sibs above.) The song your class sang in your very first music class? (It was something about Beetle Baum…or something by the Jackson Five… I’ve obviously blocked this one.)
What song did you have to learn for your first school musical? (I was anti-musical, even back then. I reserve the right to skip this one. My sister, however, had to learn a song about three witches over a cauldron. Yes, I went to her musical. No, I didn’t have a choice.)
Quick: Song that was playing as you crossed the bridge (figuratively or literally; we didn’t have such constructions at public school) from grade school to junior high? (I want to say Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Old Lang Syne,” though that may have come later. And it’s difficult to admit.)
OK, now we’re in high school…it’s getting easier. First dance? (“Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” by Night Ranger. It was a slow dance.) First kiss? (Night Ranger was still echoing in my head.) First couples skate? (Hey, it was the ‘80s. And it was something by ELO, I can’t remember what.) First song you requested on the radio? (Duran Duran, “Hungry Like the Wolf.”) First album your parents confiscated due to “improper” content? (Adam Ant, Friend or Foe…but in my own defense, I really didn’t understand most of the innuendoes anyway.)
First song you heard when you got your new stereo and discovered college radio? (Tommy Keene, “Back Again (Try).” College radio also introduced me to The Smiths, Depeche Mode, The Cure, The Housemartins, OMD, Oingo Boingo…so these would have to be soundtrack the high school years, as well.) First video you saw on MTV? (The Fixx, “Stand or Fall.” I was at a friend’s house; of course we were late to the cable party.) Video you first saw the day your friend put a stereo in your car? A-ha’s “Take on Me”—no one who’s seen this video will ever forget it, with good reason.)
Off to university? What songs take you back to that campus in an instant? (Cabaret Voltaire had a song called “Kino”; for some reason, that’s the first song that comes to mind. I haven’t heard it since then, but now I want to dig it up on the internet.)
First car accident? (General Public’s version of “I’ll Take You There”…and it wasn’t my fault.) First song you and your partner-to-be shared? (It’s a tie: Catherine Wheel’s “Crank” or PJ Harvey’s “You Said Something.”) Song that defined your wedding? (Coldplay, “Yellow”—we thought it had been written just for us. Yes, I’m more than a little bit embarrassed that the lyrics were an integral part of our wedding invitation.)
Artist the two of you love the most? Take a moment; this one’s tricky. You have your favorites and he has his, but what do you both lean toward? (We’re easy: Matthew Good or the Matthew Good Band…take your pick.)
And what about right now? What song are you overplaying these days? What song really captures your life today, this moment? (I’m not sure what this says about my state of mind, but I’ve been leaning toward the industro-electro of late. The song I’ve played the most over the last six months is Underworld’s “Always Loved a Film.” My favorite phrase? “It’s heaven.”)
That’s where I’m at right now. And, well, it’s a pretty good place. Until the next song comes along.