Friday, November 11, 2022


I was listening to my “Sleep” playlist like I do every night just waiting to fall asleep, but this time instead of closing my eyes to my random flurry of thoughts, the very thing I fall asleep to was the very thing keeping me awake. Song after song, instead of multitasking through each one, I listened closely to each word, each melody, each story. I thought back through the various points in my life that each song belonged to and the memories of the various parts of my journey of the appreciation of a song began to take over.

“How Deep Is Your Love” by the Bee Gees

I was 7 years old and my favorite thing to do was ride in the car with my dad. I knew we would listen to this thing called music and the Bee Gees were the gold standard at the time. I knew we would sing “How Deep is Your Love” and “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” at the top of our lungs in our own special kind of harmony and then we’d launch into a very off key rendition of “Jive Talking” and “Staying Alive” and butchering the lyrics but those were the best duets of my life.

“You Light Up My Life” by Debby Boone

Man I loved this song. I would sit at my Mickey Mouse record player every day with dad’s huge headphones on, put that white gloved needle down and launch into the most gloriously loud rendering (or should I say “Jenndering”) of a classic. I would listen over and over until my mom would make up something to do to get me to shut up. There was just something about this music thing that just captivated me.

"I Honestly Love You" - Olivia Newton John

I think the title says it all - HONESTLY love. That's the only way to love. I try to live my life that way and this song is always a great reminder.

“Without You” by Nilsson

This ‘45 with the orange label was one of my earliest favorites. My dad used to listen to it quite often and I remember loving listening to him sing. This one also used to make me cry although I never understood why since I didn’t know yet about the importance of lyrical content. I just knew it was sad and my daddy singing it made it that much sadder.

“Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” by Willie Nelson

This was the second single off of the “Honeysuckle Rose” soundtrack but I first heard it when my parents gave me the “Willie Nelson Greatest Hits” album for Christmas. This was one of two albums of the first of my very own, the first to start my own collection. This song started my curiosity into the world of lyrics and meaning. What did “flying too close to the ground” mean and who was he talking to and why were they “close to the ground?”

“Elvira” by The Oak Ridge Boys

Ahhh, the “Fancy Free” album. This was the start of my “This country music ain’t so bad” path to my love of “Mama’s genre”. I mean “Giddy Up Oom Papa Mow Mow” didn’t sound like anything my parents were listening to at the time. I first heard it on our local FM station in Decatur, GA during Casey Kasem’s Top 40 Countdown when I was keeping my feet on the ground and reaching for the stars. This song was different, it was pretty cool and you never heard harmony vocals like that on mainstream radio. I knew I was gonna like these guys for a long time. Little did I know that 40 years later, through this thing called Twitter, I would connect with Joe Bonsall and Duane Allen and the Oaks and crew would become like family to me. Funny how a song connects.

"The Key" - John Griffin

This song introduced me to the art of songwriting and gave me a great appreciation for those that craft a song. This song jumpstarted Lovin' Lyrics and made me want to fight for the music and those who create it. It was the flame that started the fiery passion inside of me. I will always be grateful to John for this one and for his friendship over the past 15 years.

“Always a Woman” by Billy Joel

I think I have listened to every song Billy Joel ever released and keep coming back to this one. I just wanted to be the woman in this song, the one who is always that kind of woman to someone, the kind of woman someone would write a song about.

“Only One You” by T.G. Sheppard

Another “this ain’t your mama’s country” songs that I fell in love with. The beat and melody get you moving but the lyrics got me being proud to say to myself that even though there are many others out there I could compare myself to, I need to remember that “There is only one you.”

"I'm Not Going Anywhere" by Kelly Lang

This song is fairly new but it's like an old friend. It reminds me that when times get tough, there are people who aren't going anywhere. They are going to stand by you and see you through, sometimes that person is just yourself. It's a reminder to truly BE there and be present when someone needs you or when you just need yourself.

I could go on and on because this one playlist has 1248 songs on it – important songs that ease my mind, make me think of friends, make me laugh and cry, make me realize the message of each song. Each song was crafted by someone, someone who put long hours and work into making it perfect for me. It was written by someone who just lost a loved one, someone who ended a relationship, someone who made a choice, someone who won their battle, someone who cried while writing their thoughts on a tear-stained piece of blank paper, someone who accomplished something they dreamed of. It was listened to by a girl who loves each word, who appreciates each note and who recognizes the difference a song can make to someone.

Thank you for the greatest gift that never stops giving back each time I discover a new artist, when I listen to the radio, when I sing in the car or when I cry myself to sleep. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, the music is with me. The music changes me every day in some way and brings so many people together through it’s message and it’s melody.

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