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Monday, June 25, 2012

Reminiscing with John Denver, Jimmy Buffett, and more

Do you ever wake up with a song stuck in your head? It happens to me all the time, and strangely enough, it's always a song I haven't heard in a long time. I am one of those slightly superstitious people who thinks everything happens for a reason, and I hardly believe in coincidence. I always wonder if there is some sort of a hidden meaning behind why I have a certain song in my head when I wake up. Well, this morning I woke up with a little John Denver stuck in my head...

Almost Heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze

Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, Mountain Mama
Take me home, country roads....

You might think it's strange that I (being just 20 years old) would be so familiar with John Denver's "Country Roads," but there is a good explanation as to why I know this song so well. When I was just a little girl, Mom or Dad would always tuck me into bed. Even with five children, four older than myself, they always made sure that I was taken care of at bedtime. One of my favorite parts of my bedtime routine was listening to Mom or Dad sing me a song. I clearly remember five of my favorites that I always requested, and I can still remember every word to all five songs. Dad must have been fond of John Denver, and I guess I was too since two of my favorites were "Country Roads" and "Grandma's Feather Bed." The thought of a bed that was nine feet high and six feet wide that could hold eight kids, four hound dogs, and a piggy we stole from the shed never failed to put a smile on my face. Jimmy Buffett's  "Come Monday" was also a regular bedtime song. I even remember when my dad would go away for business trips, and I would think of that song just waiting for him to come back home. I would just think, "Come Monday, it'll be all right." 

One of my favorite songs I loved for Mom to sing to me was Joni Mitchell's "One Tin Soldier." As a young child, I never understood the lyrics of this song, but as I have grown older, this song really troubles me. Now, it even leaves me unsettled and sad! If you aren't familiar with this song, it tells a story of a "kingdom on a mountain and the valley folk below" in a situation regarding a "treasure buried deep beneath a stone" on the mountain. The valley people demand to have the treasure for their own, and the kingdom people are more than willing to share. However, the valley people are too selfish to share, and they want it only for themselves. So, they mounted their horses, drew their swords, and killed the mountain people. The valley people then stood by the treasure where they "turned the stone and looked beneath it; PEACE ON EARTH was all it said." Now that I think of it, my other favorite song that Mom used to sing to me was quite sad also! Jeez, this post is getting depressing fast! Well, I won't go into serious detail about this one, but it is "Where Have All the Flowers Gone." Basically, the song is a chain of questions and answers starting with: where have all the flowers gone? Young girls pick them, then where do the young girls go? To young men of course, who become soldiers, go to war, and so on and so forth. The song has a beautiful melody, and although sad, it is very mellow. I also remember Mom singing the hush little baby lullaby, but every time I try to remember the words, I'm pretty sure I make them up. Maybe Mom made them up to, who knows. All I know, is that mama never bought me a mockingbird! 

One day, I hope to have children of my own (hopefully not TOO many years from now). When I do, I will be singing these same songs to them, just like my mom and dad sang them to me. Do you remember being sung to as a child? What songs do you remember?

Also, do you ever wake up with a song stuck in your head?    

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