We Can't Live Without Our Music

It is fair to say that music is and has been a very important part of our lives. I was blessed to grow up in a house where music lived, too. None of us played an instrument (with exception of the plastic flute) though rumor has it my Mother could make a piano come alive in her younger days. My brother might have tried a guitar after I left home.

We were very good at the record player... 78s, 45s, and 33.3s. But the music in most of our lives came from radio. We were the children who listened to the first affordable transistor radios. Having one made us cool and what a list of great music we had to listen to. We started with Sinatra and the hits never stopped.

As kids we listened to Patsy Cline, Marty Robbins, and other country singers who gave way to Bill Haley and the Big Bopper. Then came Elvis and Chuck Berry. Jazz, country, and the blues created rock and roll, Motown, and Do-Wap. Things were never the same. Before you knew it we were listening to The Kingsmen, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and the Beach Boys along with a steady stream of country musicians who started to rock.

In our mid-teens the British Invasion created a whole new set of rules which led us to The Age of Aquarius by the time we in our late teens and early 20s.

The Mamas and The Papas, Jefferson Airplane, Joplin, Hendricks, Dylan, Clapton, The Cream, and Morrison added a whole new dimension to the music we'd known.

We loved them all because they played to us. They wrote for us. They were with us whenever we needed them. They were our friends... no matter what else happened in our lives. For better or for worse.

Today, I don't think anything has changed much. We love our music because it defined our lives and still does. Music brings us joy. The sounds we love are like a smile we can hear... or a heartbeat or sometimes a heartbreak. You can hear a war in music designed to take you into battle or a relationship so deep that you can feel it inside you. You can listen to songs that take you back in time to another world.

The key to our love of music is that we can't give up what we grew up with. Why? Because we're old and we think our music was the best music. There is also the proven fact (at least in our family) that our grandchildren borrow our CDs. They like our music too. So do a lot of other younger people.

Our sound is alive and well inside of us... even if the words aren't. I spent one afternoon reading misinterpreted lyrics as research for this column. In the end I decided not to go there because it didn't make me laugh as much as I thought it would. It did make me miss the music so I found some... a thing easily done in our home and I'm pretty sure it's true at your house too.

Today we are blessed with thousands of ways to enjoy music. It's there for us to choose on so many different devices in our homes. At Shaffer house we listen to Pandora on our television. Who knew? I can put a tiny speaker on a Kindle or a phone and listen to any song I want to hear. Or at least I could if I knew how.

And if you can't find music, make some. Singing, humming, and whistling should be encouraged along with making music of any kind in any way you can. My Grandma used to hum and sing as she did certain chores. I loved that sound. My Dad would whistle low and slow. We probably all know someone who plays finger drums.

If you belt out a song, stumble on the lyrics, and make a mistake... good for you. It means that you are making music. It means that you are happy. We all have a special place to sing. Mine is in the car. After all these years I've discovered that Mr. S is pretty talented in the shower. He rocks.

Whistle a happy tune this week, and like we've talked about in the past... dance!

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