The day my husband told me he was leaving I called a friend and asked her to meet me for lunch. I wasn’t hungry, but I had to talk to someone. I don’t remember any of the specific songs playing on the radio as I drove to the restaurant, but most likely more than half of them made me cry. I love music. I’ve tried driving around without playing the radio, and I can’t do it. Music usually makes me feel better. When I’m dragging and need a pick-me-up, I usually turn the stereo or radio up real loud and soon I’m bouncing around like the Energizer bunny.
Even before the breakup there were two or three songs guaranteed to make me cry. Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven definitely tops the list. I can’t imagine going on living after losing a child much less writing and singing a song about it. I love Eric Clapton, but I have to hit the off button when this song comes on or I will turn into a blubbering mess.
Another song that causes me to reach for the Kleenex and the power switch is Dan Fogelberg’s Leader of the Band because it reminds me of my Dad who passed away years ago and our long unresolved issues.
From that fateful Valentine’s day on, there were very few songs playing on the radio that didn’t make me cry. After a week or so of crying while driving, I finally gave up and turned the dial to news radio. It was much more soothing to listen to news of the failing economy, political scandals and local crimes than any of the love songs I usually listened to.
There were a couple of songs that really hit me especially hard and still do. One of the worst was 1,2,3,4 by the Plain White T’s. When the song first came out, our daughter had teased her Dad for downloading the song to his Ipod. (She obviously thought he was too old for hip music.) I didn’t necessarily think he was thinking about me when he listened to the song, but I certainly didn’t imagine he was thinking of someone else. Now, that’s all I can think of when I hear that song.
I’m a little embarrassed to say Avril Lavigne’s When You’re Gone was another tear jerker for me. There’s nothing like a surprise separation to make you feel like a pimply-faced, love-sick teenager again.
Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now would send me running to the liquor cabinet no matter what time of the day or night it was. It helped me feel really justified in imbibing, but Billy Vera’s At This Moment would turn on the tears and convince me I could sing. Not a good combination.
Obviously, I could go on and on with my list of songs. Now, I love my satellite radio, but sometimes I really needed either a commercial break or even a good pledge drive to give me a break from the memories dredged up by love songs on the radio.
Eventually, it was actually my dance lessons that gave me my music back. I found after a few weeks of lessons that instead of listening to the words of the songs I was listening to the beat and trying to figure out what dance you would do to a particular song. Now I can drive across town listening to music the whole way–until that is Leader of the Band or Tears in Heaven comes on.