Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Ah, ha, ha, ha – Stayin’ Alive.

Life deserves a soundtrack.  There are so many occasions that come along in life that really cry out for a thunderous John Williams (Star Wars, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark) underscoring or Thomas Newman’s (Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty, WALL-E) haunting melodies.  Contemporary music also works for the workplace, comedic family moments or time spent with friends.  Music just makes everything that much better.


I never set out for my life to be set to a country soundtrack, but for awhile now, I’ve been in the middle of a Nashville Music Row greatest hits medley.  About ten years ago, the strains of Stand by Your Man rang out in the back of my head, as I tried desperately to duct tape together a particularly difficult patch of my marriage.  I often refer to these last ten years as the Decade of Darkness, and boy… was it.  It began with a flurry of disease, death, devastation, drugs and disability.  Enough to take the wind out of anybody’s sails but my husband, poor man, fell into a deep hole and never recovered.  Try as I might to help him climb up and out, he could not.  Would not.  Fast forward — I can no longer stand by.  I must walk away.


Now, I’m not really all that familiar with Tammy Wynette’s songs, but looking through her catalog of songs I can honestly say I’ve lived the last 20+ years through her titles in this order:


He Loves Me All the Way

We Sure Can Love Each Other

Bedtime Story

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Stand By Your Man

My Elusive Dreams

Another Lonely Song

Cry, Cry Again

Help Me Make it Through the Night

I Stayed Long Enough

There’s No Use Hangin’ On

I Don’t Wanna Play House

Run Woman Run


Til I Can Make it On My Own

Singing My Song


I could go on, but then the story of my life goes from a two hour movie into a Lifetime Television series – and I just couldn’t take it.  Neither could you.  Seriously, I’m trying to be merciful here.


The second chapter of my life is getting a re-write and I’m sort of thinking that I need a new muse to supply the music.  Tammy deserves her props for her amazing discography, but I’ve had my eye (ear?) on some other folks at the moment.  Composer Randy Newman (Ragtime, Toy Story, Three Amigos), for example, is a happy guy with a sardonic twist that I find delicious and I think he could color the audio landscape with just the right mix of sweet and sour that suits my world.  If I had to choose pop songs to fill my set, I think the creative team over at Fox Broadcasting Company, who produce “Glee”, has it about right, and the top 10 hits of Journey are some I aspire to live up to.


There is still some mileage to go before I am eligible for a theme song to encapsulate my life the way Frank Sinatra had My Way or Judy Garland had Over the Rainbow but I’m collecting titles in a box and plan to start pulling them out now and again to see if I’m living up to the lyrics.  I’m going to stay away from the more maudlin, cryin-in-your-beer jukebox songs… because every good musical director knows his score has to fit the scene and I have every intention of making my next steps worthy of strong, driving music.  And if Tony Manero doesn’t mind, I might even borrow his Staying Alive until I find a beat of my own.

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