August 20, 2011

Musical Associations

This morning I thought I'd play a game I call musical associations. It's going to do two things, expose my musical tastes and preferences (nothing new here) and allow me to free associate a part of a song with something that is or has gone on in my life.
First, I launch Pandora, the on-line music service. Today's station is 'K-SHE 95'. I created this years ago and for those of you not from St. Louis it was THE preeminent rock and roll station of the 60's, 70's and 80's. I moved away from St. Louis in 1990, so I'm not sure what happened to the format.
Up first: Ten Years After - 'I'd Love to Change the World'
This is from their 1971 album A Space in Time
The line that immediately stood out is this one, 'I'd love to change the world, but I don't know what to do, so I leave it up to you.'
Though a song written forty years ago, to me this is so indicative of the present. People find it easy to complain about this or that, but very few will stand up or take the time to make a difference. Perhaps they just don't know how to get started '..but I don't know what to do...'. Instead of sacrificing their time, energy, talents, resources '...they leave it up to you...'. Remember, I'm just observing here, not judging.
Next up: Led Zeppelin - 'Nobody's Fault but Mine'
A cover song from the late 1920's, also played occasionally by The Grateful Dead.
"I got a monkey on my back"
It's an old blues song that LZ added a heavy rock and roll influence to, as well as changed up the lyrics. Now I could have gotten the line "I got a monkey on my back" from a number of songs but remember how this works; hear the song, make the association. If I have to explain my personal monkey, someone hasn't been paying attention. I'd really like the monkey to just go away for awhile so I could live a normal life, or something that resembled a normal life. With ten days to go, I am feeling more anxious and more obsessed with the disease. August 30th can't get here soon enough. I know removing the monkey completely is not likely to happen, but perhaps I can get him off my back and he can walk beside me, though behind me would be better! 
Finally on came The Outlaws - 'Green Grass and High Tides'
This was the tenth and final track from their 1975 debut album.  
For me this song takes me back to high school. My brother Doug and I must have listened to this song a thousand times or more. For those of you not familiar with the song, it is a nine minute, forty-nine second southern rock classic. The wiki link above has a great write up on the song, but in a nutshell, it is a tribute to Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and others. These lines from the song have always stuck with me: 
Those who don't believe me
Find your souls and set them free
Those who do, believe and know
That time will be your key
Time and time again
I've thanked them

They helped me find myself
For a peace of mind
Amongst the music and the rhyme
That enchants you there 
This morning music was my escape. I hope as you read this you consider three things in your life:
1) Do something for others, for strangers. Make a difference in someones life, people need to be nicer.
2) Get the monkey off your back. In my case it's cancer, yours could be a multitude of things, major or minor. Maybe it's just a phone call to a friend or family member that you should have made months or years ago. Don't wait, life is far too short.
3) Find an escape, spend time on yourself. Get away from the television, cell phones and computers; listen to music, read a book, take a walk, refresh your mind.
I now step down from my soap box .....  Sunshine came softly though my window today....


MP said...

David thanks for sharing your words, music and inspiring us to make changes in our lives. Today I took your advice, listened to your music and relaxed. Molly thought she recognized the Outlaws... she thought it was Lynyrd Skynyrd. Not a bad guess from the kid. I've had a good day thanks to your suggestions. I understand the anxiety you feel waiting for the XL-184 to start. I felt the same a couple of years ago waiting for Abiraterone to start. Now for my favorite song suggestion It's a Wonderful World as sung by Louis Armstrong - helps recenter me when I need it. Good luck my Friend - MP

Anonymous said...

Green grass and high tides what a great song. I used that song in a video I created a few years ago for a girl's soccer team that I coached. The rythm of the music went very well with the video that was taken of the girls while involved in soccer. God bless you and yours. Musicical ability is s wonderful gift that God gave man. I believe He enjoys good music as well.