Weekly Writing Challenge: Moved by Music

Music has always had a great influence in my life.

I was the child who knew all the lyrics to songs. I used to keep song books where I had written down the lyrics to all the popular songs at the time. To this day my brother-in-law checks with me if he’s unsure of the lyrics of an old song.

I have a very eclectic taste in music. I can comfortably listen to the soft rock of the 70’s, Euro-pop and rap of the 80’s, and dance and dubstep of today. My MP3 player includes music by KISS, Air Supply, Hall & Oates, Duran Duran, Tina Turner, Shabba Ranks, Buju Banton, Adele, Skrillex, and Macklemore. I have classical music, electro-swing, French rap, and house.

The one duo/group that has affected me throughout my life has been the Carpenters. Their music has been re-recorded several times over the last 30 years. I could always find one of their songs to express the way I was feeling at any point in my life.

As a child, I sang all their songs that I knew, without meaning. By the time I started dating as I got older, the songs would have more meaning to me. Falling in love was made more buoyant with “For All We Know”:

Love look at the two of us
Strangers in many ways
We’ve got a lifetime to share, so much to say
And as we go from day to day I feel you close to me
But time, alone, will tell

I could mire the sadness of break-ups in “Goodbye to Love”:

I’ll say goodbye to love
No one ever cared if I should live or die
Time and time again the chance for love has passed me by
And all I know of love is how to live without it
I just can’t seem to find it

I’d just about given up at age 20 🙂 Then right after a long break up, I could happily revel in the lyrics of “Only Yesterday”:

Only yesterday when I was sad and I was lonely
You showed me the way to leave the past and all those tears behind me
Tomorrow may be even brighter than today
Since I threw my sadness away
Only yesterday

My most memorable Carpenters’ song marks the end of one era and the start of a new one for me and many of my friends. And it didn’t involve falling in love. At the end of Sixth Form (13th grade), the class chose for our school-leaving song, “We’ve Only Just Begun.” I still have a reaction when I hear the opening chords of this song, as if I were still 17 years old. To this day, I can visualize the whole class, the future leaders of society, crying and sniffling there at our final school assembly.

We’ve only just begun to live
White lace and promises
A kiss for luck and we’re on our way
We’ve only begun….

Sharing horizons that are new to us
Watching the signs along the way
Talking it over (52 of us)*
Working together day to day

*we had to change the lyrics there from “just the 2 of us” to “52 of us” – the class size 🙂

Carpenters have been with me for a long time. Through Rainy Days and Mondays to The Top of the World …and back.

Carpenters vid

10 replies

  1. I love almost every one of the songs on your MP3 player and most of all, have a lot of the Carpenters’ songs playing in my head. I have “Rainy Days and Mondays” weekly play in my head when Monday comes! I was saddened with Karen’s life ending, her tragic problems emotionally and her lack of feeling good self-worth. I think that you and I could dance to quite a lot of the fun songs up there, too!


    • I do that on rainy Mondays 🙂 They are definitely my all-time favorites! Just reading about Karen’s death again, though, conjured up all kinds of emotions inside. I love her voice and all of their songs. Thanks for reading!


  2. I also entered the music challenge and I’m really enjoying visiting blogs to see how other people interpreted the assignment. I’m so glad you picked The Carpenters — no one has a voice like Karen Carpenter. Thanks for reminding me how incredible she and her brother were.


    • Hi Kevin, thanks for reading my post! I spent my entire childhood glued to the radio. Karen Carpenter’s voice was to be heard almost everyday. I also read your post and I see we have the same musical tastes 🙂 Thanks, again, for stopping by.


  3. I can totally relate to this post. The Carpenters were introduced to me in my high school days by an art teacher. There was something incredibly haunting about Karen’s voice. It spoke into that adolescent angst I was going through. I really appreciate your blog. I have recently started writing again and would love your input. Kate


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s