I had a friend at work confiscate my iPod from my desk and he was looking through the songs that make up my rather scattered playlist. What followed was a 30 minute discussion about “why the Hell is that song on there?” He said this several times over and each time I had to explain why a certain song appeared on my iPod.
I’ve always had very eclectic tastes in music. At home I could listen to whatever I wanted to on the radio. Having a sister that is older meant I often got an education in music from her as well. On family holidays, especially on the summer camping and fishing trips, the only music allowed in the car was dad’s. I grew up on a steady diet of Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, and other notable and not-so-notable stars from the 50s and 60s. Dad spared no ears either. He would play the formerly banned Chuck Berry hit My Ding-A-Ling as well! Even as a teenager I could tell it was just childish fun! Damn censors.
And this fascination to sample all sorts of music continues today. You won’t find complete albums on my iPod playlist. But you’ll find many songs from the same artist (in some cases). Music, like movies and television, is often liked dependent on my mood. Or time and circumstances. There are several songs I absolutely loved growing up but the slightest sound of them now causes me to cringe. I shall not be naming them because I do not want to be inundated with sound clips from my intelligent and devilish readers! Yes, I would expect nothing less from you all. In fact, I’d be a bit disappointed if at least one of you didn’t try it.
Which leads me to the songs that shouldn’t appear on an iPod belonging to a nearly 44 year old man. A quick glance will reveal several of them, and while the wonderful technology of today allows me to instantly skip over them should other people be listening to them with them, I wouldn’t think of skipping them if I’ve got my headphones in. No matter my mood, these songs will also put a smile on my face because of what they represent. Case in point …
I have a Donny Osmond song on my iPod. Most of readers are far too young to know who Donny Osmond is. He was a teen heartthrob in the 70s, and along with his sister Marie, they were one of the most popular duos in the decade. They had their own variety show, and they came from a large musical family. You could say the Osmonds were the white Mormon version of the Jacksons! That is how big they were. Now, the Donny Osmond song I have is from when he appeared on Broadway in the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Andrew Lloyd Weber (who brought us Phantom of the Opera and Cats for those who are interested). Anyway, let’s get back to Donny. I have no children and wasn’t the most responsible person to have as a babysitter. My older sister, who introduced me to groups like the Clash, the Sex Pistols, Billy Idol, and other leftovers from the real punk era, also introduced me to the old “you’re family, you should not need to be asked to look after your niece” rule of babysitting. So, much to my niece’s dismay, uncle Ger would indeed have to look after her. Really long story short, I was an awful babysitter and most of the time I’d have to look after her, even for only an hour or two, she would end up crying. Apparently toddlers do that. I would rock her, hold her, change her diapers and clothes if necessary. I would feed her, try and make her laugh, and even show her photos of puppies and kittens. Nothing would ever work. Until one day, while watching the music station at home and the Donny Osmond song “Any Dream will Do” from the aforementioned show started playing and I sang along, to my amazement (especially with my voice as you’ve all heard Ger Karaoke), the tears stopped, a smile formed, and eventually the eyes closed and calmness reigned.
The song is pants (crap) and being a show tune does nothing for my street cred, but it will always be on any future iPod I own because of what it represents – family.
I have dance tunes that remind me of road trips with my football team. I have current boyband songs because my youngest niece loves them and when I hear them I think of her incredible smile. And I still have songs from the 50s and 60s because I can’t think back to the good memories of growing up without those songs being in the foreground.
So, let me hear from you. Is there anything on your playlist that your friends ridicule you for but it needs to be there because of what it means to you? And if you’re willing to tell why, I’d love to hear it.