(Today, celebrate three songs that are significant to you. For your twist, write for fifteen minutes without stopping — and build a writing habit.)
What? Only three? How can I possibly narrow it down. . .
Okay. Music has always been in my head, for as long as I can remember. I can even sing the advertising jingles from when we first got a television when I was 7 or 8. Remember, “You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent”? So the music library in my head needs to be sorted through. And here is what I’m coming up with:
Tschaikowsky’s Prelude in B-flat Minor, also known as “Tonight We Love.” I have no memory of the first time I ever heard it. I was probably too young to be aware. I only know that the power and beauty of the recurring theme, with all its variations, is often running in the back of my mind. I do remember hearing my mom say that it was “their” song when she and my dad were dating and during the early years of their marriage, much of which they spent apart from each other while Dad was touring the South Pacific in a submarine during WWII. Mom had a pretty, light soprano and would often hum the theme while she was busy about her work.
I wasn’t born until after the war was over, but still those years have a great deal of meaning for me. The patriotism that was proudly displayed, the dependence on God and on each other, the horrendous loss of life when so many of our fine young men went off to do their part, never to return, hold an endless fascination for me. I love reading about the history of that time. Perhaps my parents’ love for that song is all tied up in my emotions with that era. Or maybe I just love it because it’s beautiful!
I love to sing. I’ve been able to hear and sing harmony since I was about five or six. Church was a magical place for me because the music was always so beautiful. I used to love to watch the stops in the pipes of the big organ at the Fourth Baptist Church in Minneapolis. We sang–and loved–the old hymns back then, almost always opening the Sunday morning service with Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty” as the whole congregation rose to its feet in reverence and honor to a holy God. My favorite song then and now, in the church setting, was How Great Thou Art. The harmony was very easy to hear and to sing. I’ve been in many churches that all used that song, and almost literally raised the roof with “then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to Thee! How great Thou art, how great Thou art!” Still brings tears to my eyes, and makes me regret the loss of my voice due to chronic sinus issues. I can sing a little, but nothing like I used to.
Finally, a universal favorite from The Sound of Music. I’m a big fan of most–not all–of Julie Andrews’ movies, and this one harks back to that nostalgic time in the ’40’s that I’ve always enjoyed. It was the beginning of WWII, and Hitler was in the process of taking over Austria. Very few were courageous enough to openly defy the Nazi machine. It’s an inspiring story of courage and determination. My favorite song from the movie is Climb Every Mountain. I love the words and the music, and it has been a motivator for me many, many times over the years when I’ve had some difficult mountains to climb.
Please understand that I could go on for a long time about songs I love. There are pop songs from the fifties and sixties that still pop into my head now and then. Pat Boone singing Love Letters in the Sand, Perry Como catching a falling star and putting it in his pocket, Connie Francis wondering where the boys are. So many sacred songs that it would be impossible to even begin to list them.
I’m thankful for music.