A buddy of mine recently gave me a digital copy of an album I bought on vinyl in the early 1980’s and listened to a lot. I haven’t heard it since way back when ever it was that my turntable belt snapped. After many years it’s really good to hear it again. At least for the first few minutes.
I quickly found myself transported back in time 25 years, the way that only music can do. I found myself smiling, happy, in a good mood. “What is this?!” Within an hour I started to realize that my favorite song on this album was evoking memories of being happy. Oh make no mistake the song makes me happy, but what it does best is remind me of how I felt then, happy, full of hope and energy, anxious for the future. It was a time when I was only mildly cynical and way before jaded. There had been only one failed relationship, but one that produce a beautiful and sweet little girl that called me “Daddy”. I had a budding career dreaming up all sorts of things at a drawing board, something I very much enjoyed. While at the same time working towards what I hoped would be a career in music. It reminds me of all of this. And now that makes me sad.
Growing older, barring any life erasing event, happens. When we’re young we don’t think on it much. You grow and age, and hopefully learn and mature. There are often triumphs and tragedies. Happiness and heartache. The mix makes you balanced. It happens. And then one day, after what seems like a month or two later, you realize 25 years have passed.
Music has always been like air for me. So much so that I don’t need any playing to be listening to it. It’s in my head constantly. Either a favorite song. Or maybe a new song. But it’s just there. Likewise lyrics generally have importance as well. Though admittedly not like the actual music notes or melodies do. If I connect with the lyrics in some way though, the song just melds into my subconsciousness for eternity. With this song, I didn’t really understand or connect with the lyrics. However, 25 years later, looking them up to refresh my memory, and wow! It talks about seasons passing you by and shattered hopes. 25 years later the music is reminding me of the hopes I had then, that the lyrics aptly describe as shattered now. It’s one of those surreal moments.
This all leads to the inevitable question: When did it all change? There are no more drawing boards as everything is on computer. No music career ever materialized. There have been several failed relationships and not one of them successful. And the little girl has long since gone and doesn’t call me any longer, much less call me “Daddy”. 25 years have beaten me down and somehow stolen everything that was ever important to me then, from me. There is no hope, no happiness, no future. Only vague memories of what it was like to have these things. I find myself wishing, in vain of course, that I could have my present knowledge, and wind the clock back to a few particular points in time, and have a re-do or two.
And on plays that song. Hearing it again 25 years later makes me realize i’m oh so very tired of being unhappy.
The music never ends.