Monday, June 9, 2008

Musical Memories

Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory. ~Oscar Wilde

Last week The Pioneer Woman had a contest for the online music marketplace Zune. She wrote about how she still misses John Denver, and asked contestants to submit the name of a musical group that brought back special memories. She had a similar contest asking for a special song. Our pastor recently touched on how a piece of music can express our deepest emotions. And lately I heard talk on NPR about a particular minor key that Mozart believed to be the most tragic. I've always loved a good minor key. I love the way "Classical" music sounds and blends, as well as the feelings it may produce. I enjoy how it makes me feel. The music that brings the most difficult feelings bubbling to the surface, however, are Evan's old favorites. In the first several months after Evan's death, I wouldn't go near the Disney Channel. The first time I heard the music from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Handy Manny, I cried. I cried when I watched Sesame Street with Duncan for the first time. "If I Had A Million Dollars" by the Bare Naked Ladies was one of Evan's favorite jumping songs. It's a quirky, happy tune. But it makes me cry. Justin watched The Wiggles the other day with Duncan. He told me later, "I might be the one person in the world that gets sad when I hear 'Barbi on the Beach.'" I said, "You're not. The other person is right here."

Evan loved music. He'd bob his head to the beat. He loved nursery songs and lullabies. Grandma and I both sang "The Lord's Prayer" to Evan at bedtime. He always called it "Our Father." Of course, he loved listening to anything from Talking Heads to Ella Fitgerald, as I mentioned in this post. But the songs that he sang were the ones he learned at school. Evan would sing the Wheels on the Bus and do the arm movements. He'd beat his head to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I was very pleased at his blossoming musical education. When he sang the ABC song shortly before he died, here's how it went (unfortunately, I don't have a recording): "ABCDEFG, HIJK, MMMOP...."

According to Leigh Hunt, "Music is the medicine of the breaking heart." So, maybe there's hope for me, yet.


sherrie said...

I wish I were closer, some things I just can't write. Imagine me hugging you anyway, I am in my mind.

Anonymous said...

This was a powerful post for me. As I have mentioned before, the loss of Evan has hit me very hard; even though I didn't even know him. I have turned to music a lot to help. My favorite song: "Heaven Holds The Ones I Love" by Nita Whitaker. Try this link to see if you can listen to it. If the link doesn't work, just google the title and you should get it.

Hope you love it as much as I do.

Dorothy Gould said...


Thanks for a powerful post. I cannot agree more with you about the memories attached to music. It seems that anytime I attend Mass on one of the days connected with my sister, her wedding anniversary, her birthday, or the anniversary of her death, one of the songs played has a connection to her. After 14 years, it is comforting, but at the beginning it was overwhelming. Above all though, it is always a sign that she is still with us, and is sending us her love. May you find that comfort too, in your own time.

Anonymous said...

I could not listen to Thomas the Train or Bob the Builder music. The last time I went to the dentist he was playing Ella Fitzgerald and 'Someone to watch over me'. I sat there with tears in my eyes. Music does seem to remind me that he is still close to us. Love and hugs to you all. Moma

Sarah said...

Oh I so understand this.

My mom was my favorite musician. She taught me to sing. She taught me to play the piano. She taught me to recognize different instruments in the music we listened to. She taught me how God expressed himself through people who he gifted.

After her death, I could not sing certain songs, and some are still difficult - even almost 4 years later.

So - someone else gets it.