From that sound of that music

Songs of the West Album

I found out about this project from my friend Kara, after reading her beautiful writing yesterday. The Scintilla Project gives writing prompts for about 2 weeks, and today challenges us to write about a memory triggered by a particular song.

There are so many contemporary songs that bring into focus some important events. 

  • Enya’s “Only Time” takes me back to the fall of 2011, after the Twin Towers were destroyed and when so much of life seemed uncertain.  
  • There are hymns sung in church that make me think of my grandparents, and I see the tears in my grandma’s eyes when her favorite was sung.  
  • A Carpenter’s Christmas Album brings to mind the holidays spent as a young mother with two beautiful children waiting for the day to open presents. 
  • And the Navy Hymn brings up all the memories surrounding the assassination of Present Kennedy when I was just in third grade. Yes, songs trigger memories…lots of them.

As a young girl I had some favorite records I listened to, both 45’s
and 33’s. Some were my own, some my sister’s, and quite a few belonged
to my parents.  Simon and Garfunkel, the Carpenters, The Association,
these were a few of those that I played over and over.  My parents would
often play selections by the the Norman Luboff Choir, the Sons of the Pioneers, the New Christy
Minstrels, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and numerous albums in those Reader’s
Digest boxed collections.  I have to confess that I almost wore out these albums, playing them after I got home from school a lot.

I loved being surrounded by this music.

Somehow, in recent years, a few of those albums have come into my
possession. A couple years ago we purchased a new turntable that has a
USB connection, and with the addition of some software, it is very simple to convert some of those vinyl
albums into MP3 files.  Though I have only converted a couple of albums,
I know that I can always do more of the same.  But I found that it is
just a nice to simply listen to the vinyl albums on the record player
again. 

Songs of the West Album Cover

One song on my parent’s old album really takes me back. It’s “Cool
Water”, from the album “Songs of the West” by the Norman Luboff Choir, released in 1955. This was an album often played in my childhood home,
especially in the evening when we had a fire burning in the fireplace. When I read the writing prompt for this project, it did not take long for the album cover itself and the song to come to my mind.

I can recall laying on pillows on the carpeted floor,
staring at the fire, enjoying the faint smell of the wood smoke, the pop and crackle of the
burning wood, feeling the red hot glow of the embers beneath the logs. And Dad would often hum along, in his deep bass voice, sharing in the harmonies of the music playing on the record player.

This was a secure, warm, loving place to be. Home. Where imagination could soar, where we could relax and be safe, where we knew we were loved, and where music was taught, shared, sung, and enjoyed by all of us.  I realize more and more just how fortunate I am to have this treasure.

Click this link to read more inspirational writing!

6 Comments

  1. i think being "surrounded" is a really awesome way to describe experiencing music. also, i had no idea they had things to turn records into mp3s! how cool 🙂

  2. I loved reading this post Deb, the same goes for me. Love having that connection with music and a past memory from it. Having my kids hear music from my childhood makes me happy also, they love having it mixed in with their music. Just last month I got the idea to start scrapping or art journaling a music over the years book for our family. I'm thinking of it as a family activity. Should get started on it soon since we have so many songs we enjoy.

    Thanks for the tip on the mp3s I didn't know that but like that idea.
    Have a great weekend. I am soooo enjoying this weather we've been having.

  3. Your photos are beautiful! We must be similar in age — your song memories resonate with me. I'm enjoying hopping around reading all the scintilla posts — and particularly enjoyed yours.

  4. What a delightful post! I too, was raised in a loving family with music. My mom was always singing in the kitchen! My favorite group as a young mother was the Carpenters! I still have records and an eight-track tape of theirs!! The record still plays; the tape is probably so brittle it would break immediately!! I'll be singing "cool water" in my head the rest of the day! Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *