A year and a half ago, Dani was living in College Station as a freshman at Texas A&M. She'd actually been gone from home since the day after high school graduation, and by mid fall-semester, I was feeling woefully behind the times as far as music went. I'd grown accustomed to her keeping my iTunes account up-to-date with new music and introducing me to new bands while I stayed true to my classic rock radio station. When she came home for a visit in October, I said, "Give me something new to listen to. What's something I'd like?"
She turned me on to several new songs that night, but "Jump Rope" is the one that hooked me. I loved it immediatey and listened to it over and over until I could sing every word without messing up. Gee, some things never change. I remember doing that with my orange vinyl record player and my Grease soundtrack way back in the day! ("We go together like ramma lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong...")
Jump Rope is just happy. Its melody is bouncy, its rhythm is contagious, and its lyrics are a well-balanced mix of joyful optimism and no-frills honesty. Blue October isn't exactly known for bubble-gummy, bouncy pop. In fact, most of their music is pretty dark and heavy. The lead singer and songwriter struggles with mental illness, and his raw lyrics are usually born of those experiences. This particular song was written to his daughter, and I love that he isn't afraid to tell her that sometimes life hurts, but it'll get better if you just see it through.
This song makes me happy 'cause it SOUNDS happy, for one thing. I can't hear it and not sing along and tap my feet and dance in my seat. But it also makes me happy because it will always remind me of that Friday night in October, welcoming my college freshman home after too many weeks away, and the family fun of listening to a song ad nauseum with all my chicks in the nest together again.