{Old Words}: 3 Songs

“Go for the jugular. Don’t think. Don’t get logical. If something that comes up in your writing that is scary or naked, dive right into it. It probably has lots of energy.”

I originally wrote this post on April 7, 2015:

“The writing prompt is asking me to write about the three songs that are the most important to me. I am meant to write as I go without editing, which is a challenge for me because I am the type of girl who edits as I go. Whole lines will be destroyed, pages ripped out of journals because I didn’t like the way they flow. At any rate, I will try and not edit this piece. Let the raw, true self shine through the pages.

The first song that comes to mind is “All my Loving” by The Beatles. If I were alive during Beatle-mania, I would have been one of those girls swooning over George, Paul, John, and Ringo. Why “All my Loving”? My father sang that song to me when I was a little girl, but because I was a little girl, I didn’t know he was singing a song that existed, I thought he made it up just for me. He would sing to me when I was very small, and I remember him massaging shampoo into my hair, and when he came to the line, “Close your eyes,” I knew the foam was dripping, and he didn’t want the shampoo to sting my eyes. When I hear the opening chords to “All my Loving”, I immediately think of my father and my childhood. Not that my childhood was perfect, but it calls to mind the nice memories of having my hair washed as my father sang Beatles’ songs to me.

The next one is probably not the mot intellectual song anyone has ever put on a list like this, but it is one that’s stuck with me for a while and has been a favorite for even longer than that. “Okay, I Believe you, but my Tommy Gun Don’t” by Brand New. While it has the potential to sound like the song title of an annoyingly pretentious band who takes themselves and their hair too seriously, it’s actually a band I’ve loved since I was seventeen, and Theresa and I were listening to music on something akin to a knock-off MySpace. I remember the first time I heard “Sic Transit Gloria (Glory Fades)”, the first song I ever heard by Brand New, I was just amazed. They sounded like nothing I had heard up until that point. Brand New and I have matured together; we’ve had our hearts broken, fell in love together, and wrote poems and music right around the same time. This song, in particular, is just fun to jam to. Its lyrics are what I would describe as “clever”. Lyrics like, “Coordinate brain and mouth/Then ask me what it’s like/To have myself so figured out/Wish I knew.” and “Oh, my tongue’s the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart”. As messed up as it sounds, I love the ache in Jesse Lacey’s voice when he sings this and the wail of guitars backing him. I’ve felt that kind of pain. You can tell how badly he’s hurting, yet the song has a hard tone to it. It’s like he is willing to accept vulnerability, but only if it comes shielded behind a brick wall.

Finally, the third song I will always love is “If I Didn’t Have You” by Thompson Square. I was never much of a country music fan, but this duo is a married couple, and I’d say their style is more rockabilly than just straight country. My boyfriend has turned me onto country music, and while it’s not my first choice on the radio, I don’t turn up my nose at it. The lyrics are so, so sweet, and the music video makes me bawl, especially considering the couple is married in real life. I never thought I’d find someone who needs me this badly, but even just watching him mouth the lyrics makes me crumble. When he sings it to me and I sing the alternate verses, tears almost always stream down my cheeks. It hurts me that it took me years to find him, but now we have each other, and that’s all that matters.


All My Loving

Okay, I Believe you, but my Tommy Gun Don’t

If I Didn’t Have You



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