Sunday, December 7, 2008

Music Is So Good For Your Soul!

In The Wiz , the Broadway musical version of The Wizard of Oz, Evillene, the wicked witch, sings a show stopping number, No Bad News , in which she warns that there will be hell to pay to anyone who dares to bring her any bad news.

When I wake up in the afternoon
Which it pleases me to do
Don't nobody bring me no bad news
'Cause I wake up already negative
And I've wired up my fuse
So don't nobody bring me no bad news

I've taken Evillene's admonishment to heart and decided to refuse to discuss all of the bad news that fills the headlines and to instead focus on things that entertain me. So in spite of President Bush's declaration that we are indeed in a recession, I have elected not to sing the recession blues, at least for today.

I live my life through music and I listen to a fairly eclectic mix of genres as attested to by my playlist (temporarily removed so that you may listen to the various videos that I've included in this post).

One of the reasons that I like music so much is that there are songs to fit every mood and occasion in your life. When I hear Elton John's Daniel, I'm immediately transported back to the summer of 1972 when I was caught up in the war protest and a good looking boy on whom I had a colossal crush. That was also the summer that I listened to Joni Mitchell's Blue on the album of the same title, over and over again.

When your heart is breaking and you're 17, there is no better accompaniment than Joni. Between Joni and Laura Nyro, I came to realize that there is a certain satisfaction in weeping your eyes out, convinced that your world will end if you can't have the object of your affection.

I wasn't then nor am I now continually morose, although I do have a predilection for sad songs. To paraphrase Tolstoy, happy songs are all alike, it's the sad ones that suck you in and linger in your head. Sometimes sad songs have an edge to them that catches my attention. I still love Laura Nyro's version of her song, Eli's Coming . Especially the last minute and-a-half where she slows down the rhythm and just grooves with it.

Then there is Aretha singing Think, upset at the way she's been treated but warning the low-down object of her affection that he'd better "...think, think about what you're trying to do to me." You just know that he's going to be sorry some day.

Several years back, Toni Braxton released a song, Seven Whole Days, that I declared to be the national anthem for every woman who has ever been done wrong by a man. (Sorry guys, get your own damn song!) The song centers on that peculiar disease common to men known as Phoneuseitis, characterized by an inability to pick up a telephone and make a call. Braxton's pretty fed up by her guy's failure to telephone, singing, "Seven whole days, not a word from you; seven whole nights, and I'm just about through... Can't take it no more; I've had about enough of this. I'd rather be on my own."

As I was driving to work a couple of weeks ago, I heard a new song that really caught my ear. The new song reminded me of a not so new song with the same theme. Both songs made me laugh wickedly and think bad thoughts. I really like these songs. I warn you that it may distress you if you take my pleasure in these songs too seriously and attempt to analyze my affection for them. I've decided that they are both deserving of status as my new national anthem for women who find themselves infected with Payback Syndrome also known as Justifiabilitis. I've decided to just alternate between singing them upon rising every morning. I think that it's fitting that one is an R&B tune, I Busted Out Your Windows, by Jazmine Sullivan and the other a country song, Before He Cheats, by Carrie Underwood. I told you that my tastes are eclectic.

BTW, the videos include the lyrics.

Note: I own a lot of CDs. Did you know that if you join a record club, purchase 14 CDs for $0.99 plus shipping and handling($6.99), buy the three or four additional CDs to fulfill your membership requirement, and then don't order anything for six months, the record club will throw you out? It sends you a rather cold letter stating that as you haven't made a purchase in quite some time that you are no longer a member. Another six months go by and then something miraculous happens--the record club sends you an offer for another 14 CDs for $0.99 plus shipping and handling, and the whole cycle starts again.

I've been thrown out of BMG and Columbia House (I think that its music CD division is now defunct) more times than Ralph Nader has run for president.


warrior scout said...

this is a post after my own heart. i have noticed how you have been including music into your blog more and i think it reflects a healthy side of yourself. the moments in time that can come rushing back with the influence of a song are quite amazing. our limbic memories i believe.

cw2smom said...

Oh what a lovely array of music you've shared! Love the words to that song in Wiz! Must get to see that show! Sad song...yikes, they can just to me in! Justifiabilitis...ohhh, I recognize that feeling! Great post! I am so glad I found you! Lisa

Yasmin said...

Loved this entry, as a longtime reader I know of you love for music, and when on your page I listen to your playlist. The way you explained your choices matching the different aspects of your personalitly just shine through.

Take care


Marc said...

"When your heart is breaking and you're 17, there is no better accompaniment than Joni." You said it, girl.
I used to take my cassette of Blue and play in it Rene's car after we had a fight, or it was just another day where he withdrew into his sullen, incommunicative cocoon.
I didn't feel that much pain again until I was 30.
Now I'd just bust out their damn windows and light their car on fire.

Jan said...

I enjoyed this entry and your choice of songs, many of them favourites of mine too Jan xx

Beth said...

I went for a long time without buying from BMG, but they never dropped my membership. Apparently I bought so many CD's over the years that I became some kind of official board member or something! ;)

I think men do have their own song now. I'm hearing it on the radio these days, and it's called "Sittin' at a Bar" by a band called Rehab. Part of the lyrics go, "I'm sittin' at a bar on the inside/Waitin' for my ride on the outside/She broke my heart in the trailer park/So I jacked the keys to her f**kin' car/Crashed that piece of s*** and then stepped away."

That about sums it up those kinds of feelings, doesn't it?

Hugs, Beth

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Glad you found a way to get away from what is happening with the economy. It will be relatively short lived.

Congrats on being thrown out of the music clubs so many times :o)

chefkelly25 said...

I have to agree with you music can certainly change the way we see things and bring up old memories from afar. Brandy takes me back to the long lazy summer beach days roasting in the sun sipping on Wink soda. Now if everyone can think that we are all just living in our means instead of being in a recession it should work out and be less stressful. Let the music Play! Kelly

internet casino said...

loved the music too...

The Urban Perspective said...

Hello Miss Sheria :)
I agree with your overall post that's they're probably music or a song for every mood or occasion.
I LOL at your BMG story. (I can relate LOL)
Hope all is well with you

mtrib2 said...

I used to play and listen to Rock all the time and then found the Blues and bought all the great musician/artist's I could. Now I haven't been listening to anything for year's are prefer quiet (maybe it's my sensitive eardrum perforation). I did find reading and enjoy reading your thought's on your younger and present life. You are on my buddy list and I wanted to find out about you and am happy I did. mark