SING IT, SISTERS!
Music has always been a healing balm for me. Being the word nerd that I am, as well as a writer, it shouldn’t surprise you to know I listen closely to song lyrics. They seem to jump out at me at the perfect times, forming soundtracks to the events of my life.
Words have undeniable power, but music unites us in a way that mere words cannot. Certain songs can take each of us back in time to a specific place and time, and can bring back memories for better or worse, as if we are still there.
Song titles and lyrics can tell the story of those times, both good and bad.
The coronavirus pandemic seems to have its own soundtrack. So many song titles have heightened meaning at a time like this. Whether it is a country song lamenting lost love, or a classic ballad explaining the pain of life, it seems that the pain of adversity is understood, and thereby lessened with music. In terms of pain and tough times, this time of pandemic is no different than love lost, personal struggles or, perhaps as a country song may suggest, losing one’s girlfriend, truck or freedom while in jail.
As I typically do, I turned to my sisters for their input for my weekly post. Each of us has insight that the others don’t have, and this week was no different.
As I am, Mom was a “Fanilow.” Suzanne recalled that two of Mom’s favorite Barry Manilow songs were “Looks Like We Made It,” and “I Made It Through the Rain.” I didn’t recall this, but Suzanne reports that Mom never forgot “I Made It Through the Rain” playing when the Iran hostages got off the plane in the United States in 1981 after 444 days in captivity.
In time, the entire world will make it through the rain that coronavirus is raining down upon us. Then, Fanilow or not, we can all sing “I made it through the rain.”
There’s nobody on the road, nobody on the beach. Empty lakes, empty streets. It’s a bit strange when you’re out and about these days, and none of us had better be out and about for anything but essential travel. That’s the new normal, and we all need to accept it as reality for a while. I’ve been out for a few days of work lately, and besides the grocery store, that’s it. There are times I feel all revved up and no place to go, but between books, puzzles, writing, more walking and watching season three of Ozark, I’ve found alternate outlets for that energy that normally would have given me someplace to go.
Nobody told me there’d be days like these, strange days indeed. Most peculiar, Mama. Whoa.
I have been calling upon my small army of friends lately, too. I really thought I was doing okay, but the surreal nature of this strange new world finally caught up with me after one of my friends confided she was struggling with the reality of it all. I let myself go there, too.
Oh, I can’t take no more…so I sit down and I cry too.
And then I felt better. I simply needed to let it out, and go on. If you feel the need, don’t hesitate to let it out. You will probably feel better after, too. We’re all scared and confused humans, and we all need the human touch. It’s just that we can’t touch this; we shouldn’t be reaching out to touch anyone right now.
Better not do any lovin’ touchin’ squeezin’ with anyone besides your main squeeze right now. Just a little of that human touch is all it takes to endanger someone else’s health.
There is a time you may embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing. This would be the time to refrain.
Back to the sisters. They both offered their playlists, and here is Suzanne’s:
*Don’t Stand So Close To Me
*Dancin’ With Myself
*I Will Survive
*What A Fool Believes
*How Will I Know?
*Stop! In the Name of Love
*Alone Again (Naturally)
And Gail’s list:
*Livin’ on a Prayer
*It’s a Heartache
*In The Air Tonight
*I’m a Believer
*God Only Knows
*It’s the End of the World (as we know it, and I feel fine.)
Coincidentally, both of them offered another title—the same title—that was simply too inappropriate to print. Imagine that.
“Don’t worry mother, it’ll be alright. Don’t worry sister, say your prayers and sleep tight. This phenomenally talented singer and songwriter goes on to offer profound lyrics that touched me even before this international crisis: “Lend your voices only to sounds of freedom. No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from. Fill your lives with love and bravery.
It is a strange, but brave new world we are forging our way through. I’m not even rationing paper towels anymore. I had a good supply laid in before all this started, and now I am using them liberally, and throwing them away. You probably wouldn’t even recognize me anymore. If you recall from Waste Not, Want Not (January 14, 2018), paper towels are like gold in my house. Not anymore.
Many other things will change. Most of us long to get back to our “normal” lives, but perhaps we would all be well-advised to consider that some elements of our “normal” lives are not worth going back to. If it wasn’t working before, and now you’re going through the shake-up that everyone else is going through too, maybe it would be a good time for all of us to consider leaving some dead weight behind.
This one’s for you, Suzanne: When it’s time to change, you’ve got to rearrange, who you are and what you’re gonna be. Sha na na na na na na na na, Sha na na na na.
I’m pretty sure it’s not the end of the world, but it is the end of the world as we once knew it. I’m even more sure that we will all make it through the rain.