Sunday, June 05, 2011

day 01 - your favorite song

Contrary to popular belief, my favorite song is not The Commodores' "Brick House". I do love to break it down when that song comes on, and I have no shame about it. But that comes later in this challenge. :)

Day 1's topic is ridiculously difficult. How can I possibly pick a favorite song? My favorite songs change like the wind. Depends on my mood, my location, the time of year, who I'm with. Of course I'll have to pick something by Pink Floyd. Or no - something that has a driving beat. Or wait - a song whose lyrics I wish I'd written myself. Or... a song that defines me.

Several years ago, I was smitten with Jason Castro on American Idol. First, I loved his rendition of Jeff Beckley's "Hallelujah". Then, I was charmed by his cover of Neil Diamond's "Forever in Blue Jeans". It was then that I rediscovered "Song Sung Blue", which I vaguely remembered from childhood, but hadn't given any thought to since.

A great song doesn't have to top the charts. It doesn't necessarily feature brilliantly-composed music or drip with deeply philosophical prose. Sometimes, a great song is just a simple melody and familiar words that connect somewhere within you and make you feel.

For my whole adult life, I've battled an ugly, detestable monster called Depression. For most of my adult life, I've been good and taken the appropriate meds that keep it in check. I hate every single day that my brain's chemistry is such that I have to take those meds, because at the very core of my being, I Am Not An Unhappy, Glass-Half-Empty, Disengaged, Woe-Is-Me, Joyless Type Of Person. Sometimes, to prove it, I fall victim to the lie that tells me I would be okay without the meds. And then, several months later, when I've run out of energy and care, I give myself away by punching the cat in the face. No, I kid. But maybe I growl at the cat and wag my fist at her when she looks at me wrong. Yes. Yes, that is true. And then my gentle husband will ask, ever so cautiously, "Stace, are you still taking your meds?" And I'll lie and say yes, and immediately go and choke one down and be all pissy about it and then vow never to fall victim to The Lie again. After 20 years, you'd think I'd catch a clue.

I've always been a singer. Not for accolades - my talent is meager at best and I know it. I sing for joy. It's a funny thing, singing. In my BEST moods, I sing. (I must drive my coworkers batty because I'm one who will sing along with the radio all day long and not even realize it.) And in my BLUEST moods, I sing. (I remember one time years ago - possibly after three pregnancies and two infants in three years on zero sleep and having just finished off a half gallon of Blue Bell for breakfast - standing in the shower sobbing, and then forcing myself to sing sing sing until the sorrow left me.)

And THAT is why Song Sung Blue is my favorite. It's simple. It's familiar. It's truth.

Song sung blue. Everybody knows one.
Song sung blue, every garden grows one.
Me and you are subject to the blues now and then.
But when you take the blues and make a song, you sing them out again.

Song sung blue, weepin' like willow.
Song sung blue, sleepin' on my pillow.
Funny thing, but you can sing it with a cry in your voice
And before you know it get to feelin' good.
You've simply got no choice!

It's uncanny how Neil Diamond was able to write this song, perfect just for me, when I was a mere three years old, don't you think? ;)


Jackietex said...

I remember this song from when I was a kid, too. It was nice to read the words and understand the meaning.

Ginger Lambert said...

I so agree with the difficulty of picking a favorite song! iTunes does a terrible job of recommending songs I'd like because I like a seemingly random collection of songs for different reasons. Maybe they all have some factor in common, but software code hasn't been written yet that identifies it!

Neil Diamond reminds me of childhood too. Isn't it funny how all of our moms were such big fans?! I like Song Sung Blue, so you'll get no criticism from me. But I'm glad you didn't choose Cracklin' Rose - hate that song! :)

jtoewe2000 said...

Now you made me want to download some Neil Diamond music. Maybe I'll even see if Netflix has The Jazz Singer. Love reading your posts. I have sure missed them.