I grew up with music in my life. I cannot remember a time when my Dad was not playing music and my mom introduced me to opera. At a very young age they had me take piano lessons and I learned to appreciate the classics - never learned to appreciate the practice part though.
Music is the background narrative of my life. I escape a bit in my music - okay more than a bit. It is what I turn on to clean my house, to start my day and at any chance I get. I am that girl that would sit patiently with her radio turned on, shushing and begging for quiet so I can press record at the exact moment that a song came on to my boom box, JVC - silver - I loved that thing. I bought big ear phones so I wouldn't get in trouble for listening to music at very loud levels when I was growing up and among my buying staples as I got past the age of 12 were 45s, 33s and Marlboros. I had priorities.
I hear a song and it may remind me of a special moment or have been playing during a significant event (good - Theme from Mahogany for my 8th grade graduation or bad event - Proud to be an American playing after 9/11 will make me cry still). It can even be that I do not like the actual melody but may love a lyric or two. Sometime the lyrics are ok but the beat takes me back, short skirt, hot, sweaty, pressed up against someone, darkness, thumping rhythm- man I miss dancing. It is the connection I made with people who can talk about music as much as me and it is the disagreements that are settled with "Nah just listen to this again" about a song we don't agree on.
Music and songs are associated with people for me .. they are tied in my mind and they sing my feelings. I am of course a highly talented singer -- in the shower, along with music driving in my car and of course when others are a bit drunk at karaoke. Sometimes a moment and a song are just perfect together --- driving in a car with someone I care for and the lyrics go "long time since we been together"... or the fun of singing really, really loud along and not caring at that moment how you sound because you are making music with whoever is in the car with you. It is what I need to have on when I paint and boy am I gone from the present and floating when that happens between the painting and the songs. It is what I put on to write. It is what I need to remember and to forget.
I just can never understand the people, and I know some, who don't listen to music - who can't recall lyrics (I may forget what I walked into a room to get but put on a song from 20 or more years ago and this girl belts it out without missing a word) - who don't get transcended when aria in Madame Butterfly has her giving up her child, I cry at that one every time.
My life can be told in the songs that were popular at a given time, or that my father played, or that I learned to appreciate though they came many decades before me. I have passed this on to my kids and I love singing along with them.
"Music to me is like breathing, I don't get tired of breathing, I don't get tired of music" ... The Genius - Ray Charles