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
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.