‘Cause I gotta have “Faith”…

Remember when I was telling you all about the rain drizzle weeks I lived through?  I know, I know “Stop talking about it already!!”  I promise, this is the last time I shall refer to it (this week anyway).  I bring it up because during those weeks I found that people had different coping mechanisms to deal with their SAD.  There was binge watching tv.  Extra snacking whilst watching tv.  Going out to eat instead of cooking.  (Ok, a lot of food references).  Going to the gym to exercise.  Movie night.  Those are just a few ways that folks were distracting themselves.  One that I did not mention, which I know makes a big difference and might be obvious is:  MUSIC!

Has anyone ever asked you, “Who is your favourite band or singer?”  Perhaps they have inquired about your favourite song.  In my younger years, while hanging out at THE bar after work, we used to play the Island game.  “If you were stuck on a deserted island, which album would you want with you?”  Good question!  This was not a judgemental question.  It actually led to a lot of great conversation about the type of music your friends liked and why.  Island living was basically forever so what could you tolerate for that length of time.

During my SAD time, I actually did turn to music.  I will be honest with regards to my listening choices.  In order to escape reality, my favourite thing to listen to is actually stories.  I subscribe to an old time radio show where stories from the 1930s up to the 1955s exist.  I love hearing tales and imagining the scenes in my mind.  It’s a beautiful distraction and my mind is fantastic at creating the scenes.  However, sometimes when I need to get into a better mood it is music that lifts my spirits.  I love upbeat music.  In most cases it is not even about the lyrics.  It’s about the beat.  I need a great hardcore thump-thump beat and there are so many musicians and/or singers that provide this for me.  So, when I hit my slump and I need a boost I turn to my recorded/downloaded tunes and dance away in my beloved kitchen.

Music has so many dimensions.  I used to play an instrument (looked like a mandolin, but it was a tambura).  I also sang in the church choir…from pre-pubescence to adulthood.  Music and song are a strong part of my life.  Listening to music on the AM radio was also a life changing experience for me.  When I finally got my own radio, it made me feel like I was friends with kids at school.  I was the outcast.  Being able to identify with the girls about music on the radio and the “rad(ical)” DJs helped with my un-coolness.  The AM radio phase became the FM phase (which I was not privy to), but music was still a huge part of my life.

Not only was I a member of the church choir, but I was privileged in that my parents let me quit the musical sect of Croatian culture (my tambura…prima) and let me join the dancing sect.  I LOVED (and still LOVE) dancing.  I was beyond grateful for this opportunity.  I sang well.  I played…mediocre.  Dancing…I was born for this!

I started off in the junior group because I had never done it before.  I did great!  I loved it!  I was absorbing everything so quickly that within a year I got to do stuff that I had only dreamt of doing.  I loved my group.  I loved our performances.  I appreciated everyone and everything that led me here.  I was enjoying living my life.  Even better…we got to go back to the “homeland” to perform in several cities there.  Us…from Canada…going to Europe. Pack your bags and your costumes and away we went.

Now, I know I have focused a lot on our Canadian dance group.  We were like a mini family. That was the greatest thing.  Not only were we traveling abroad, but we did have many practices to ensure our professionalism.  We had strict curfews.  Most importantly we were friends watching each other’s backs.  This was a trip that not only inspired us to do our best, but it created new friendships and several friendships led to marriages.  Quite the trip right?  The reason I bring this up is because there was one song that we, as a group, listened to over and over and over and over again in the travel bus.  It became our theme song.  It was a song that most did not know the words to except for one word.  When the tape deck (yes…it was a radio/tape recorder) came to that section of the song, everyone yelled it out in excuberance and happy defiance.  It became the anthem of our dance tour.

Thank you, George Michael, for the song that will always bring fond memories back into my life.  Your passing made me think about my life and how it would effect others.  If you can hear me, I would like you to know that your song “Faith” became a memorable part of our lives and perhaps the lives and memories of many others.  When we yelled out “BABY!” we all broke out laughing at our synchronicity.   You were special and so was your song.  If I were on a desert island, my go-to song for partying would be…

Paul Simon’s:  Me and Julio!

Sorry, not being mean, but truthful.  However our favourite line that we screamed and yelled out on our bus over and over again:  “BABY!”  from your (George Michael) song, “I gotta have faith” would lead me believe that I would be rescued.

P.S.  GM…you were so gifted.   You shared that musical talent with the world even though many did not understand you.  Thank you for pursuing your dream.  You were and are special in my life and the lives of many.  We truly believe that our lives will be great because we “gotta have faith.”

If you were on a desert island…

Have you ever played this game?  I remember sitting around with friends and we could go on for hours with this one.  It’s a simple game and you can play it with anyone and it really does tell you a lot about the other person or people.

Here is how you play.  You start off with this question:

If you were on a desert island, what CD would you listen to?  Yes, you only get to pick one CD.  Interesting question isn’t it?  It brings you to pondering what person or band you would or could actually listen to more than once.  Some people answer right away.  Others, well, they would like to know if it can be a soundtrack or just one band.  Can it be a “best of”?  Can it be a box set?  Mind you, we played this game before the world of MP3s so it really was quite a quandry to decide what you would pick to listen to all the time.  What CD would you choose?

Next, what food would you eat?  We would allow up to three foods and of course you get into the silly world of, “yeah, a private jet drops this off to you on a weekly basis and you have a stove and microwave that work and they are solar powered so you can heat everything if you want.”  I know, silly right?  Why wouldn’t the jet just take you off the island?  Duh.  But that’s not the point.  The point is, what food do you like?  And no, you won’t gain a pound no matter what you eat.

From there we would continue to clothing and shoes and books and movies.  See how much fun it can be?

Ok, maybe it was just fun for us because it killed time, but like I said, it really did bring us closer to our friends and their thoughts on things and how they felt about things.

Give it a try one day.  You will be fascinated by what you learn about your friends and family.

(In case you were wondering…..soundtrack to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat / pizza, french fries with gravy, ice cream / men’s dress shirt / crocs (yes, I like them!) / The Talisman, by Stephen King and Peter Straub / The Princess Bride (which includes my favourite line:  “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die!”   haha!  classic!)

What’s in a song?

I am sitting here, listening to the album Faith by George Michael.  What a memorable album for me!  It reminds me of high school.  It reminds me of a trip to Europe.  It reminds me of  how utterly embarassed I was when I first heard it in the car while driving my mother to the store.  George Michael said the word S-E-X.  He said it many, many times.  I don’t think my face has ever felt THAT warm.  Catholic mother and a song about S-E-X.  Yikes!  That was one of the longest car drives in history!  But I digress.

Has anyone ever asked you what your favourite song is?  I always found that a difficult question.  My answer was always, “it depends.”  It depended on the mood I was in.  Was I sad?  Was I happy?  Did I feel like dancing?  Did I feel like relaxing?  So many questions in order to be able to provide the most accurate answer.  Now, if you asked me today, I would definitely say “Faith” by George Michael.  That song is, like, totally, like making me like happy right?  (so feeling the high school vibe right now.)

Yesterday it would have been Nora Jones and her beautiful, hypnotic voice singing “Come Away with Me“.  The day before it was definitely Adele and “Rumour“.  See what I mean?  Sometimes it’s AC/DC and something from “Back in Black“.  On sunny days, when I am driving and the windows are rolled down and the wind is blowing through my hair, there is nothing like Sheryl Crow and “Soak up the Sun“. 

I don’t have a specific genre or a specific band.  It really just depends on the type of day and the type of mood and what season it is and how sunny or cloudy it is and the company I am keeping and what I’m wearing and if I’m having a good day or if I need a pick-me-up.

Oftentimes I have found that I preferred movie soundtracks because they have a mix of bands or artists and a variety of music styles.  From pop to disco to rock to all the new kinds of music that I like the backbeat to but have no idea who the artist is.  That happens a lot and that is when I need The Princess or one of the other kids to tell me who it is as well as to somehow provide me with said music.

How about foreign music?  Love it!  I have music from Europe and Asia and Africa.  So much talent and such different sounds!  I love when artists find ways to mesh the varieties of music.  Isn’t that how rock ‘n’ roll started? 

You are probably listening to music on your MP3 player or on your computer, or maybe the old fashioned radio.  There is something about having background noise that can easily calm you and make your day a better day.  If you think you know your friends and family really well, ask them what song or music they enjoy listening to.  It really is an eye opener.  Some of their answers may surprise you.

I leave you with this quote that I found.  It really does express my true feelings about music.  I don’t know who said it, but that person put my thoughts into words: 

Music is what feelings sound like.”