Okay, so I couldn’t resist this one.  Daily. Prompt.

What role does music play in your life?

I am not a musician, though I did learn how to play the guitar later in life, which I think is so cool, but I’ll talk more about that.  Music literally saved my life.  That belief is so embedded in me that it’s a part of me.  I grew up in a depression.  I know that now.  In my teens I had serious thoughts of suicide.  I had a pretty vivid imagination and I would fantasize exactly how it would happen.  As a pre-teen, I’d fantasize about near-death situations usually by writing scripts for favorite TV shows.  One was the Wild Wild West, starring Robert Conrad.  This was the TV show that the recently made movie was based upon.  It was high tech for it’s time, which was cool, and I might be able to say it was sort of Steampunk because of that… hmmm that’s a thought.

the wild wild west-jim west-robert conrad-cowboys-western-tv-vintage-retro-television-train

The other was a show about rescue personnel, a helicopter and one guy had a rescue dog, a German Shepherd.  Don’t remember the name, but I’d type out the scripts on my grandfather’s old Underwood typewriter… I mean OLD.  One of those that had the exposed keys…..

PHI3743

Typing on this thing was a bitch but I loved it.  I got to really know the machine and could fix it, tweak it… I made it work for me.  When I really got going, the carriage would fly across and I’d promptly hit the carriage return.  To this day, computers have a “Return” button, well, it used to be called Carriage Return.  It was a lever at the upper left on the carriage.  The carriage was the roller and the thing that held the roller in place.  The paper would be inserted at the top, in back of the roller and you would roll it down, around and into place for typing.  At the top, the carriage return was just employed and the paper is back to the starting position, ready for typing another line… Anyway, I see I’ve digressed again… with pics to boot.

So you should have grasped the point by now that I was depressed and suicidal, or at least had suicidal thoughts as a teenager.  I am alive to this day because of Barry Manilow‘s music.   I would sing along constantly.  His music touched my soul in such a way that I felt that someone out there understood me.  All along, the range of my voice was on the lower end, but I can also sing higher now.  I know almost all of his songs by heart and every time I sing something, I feel that little tear, meaning tear drop, in my heart.  I am so grateful for that, for his music.  I’m sure that he already knows what his music has done for this world, but I’d somehow like for him to know how deeply it/he has touched me.  Mr. Manilow, you saved this life.

I can’t end this post in such a dark, non-presence of light.  All music touches me.  Growing up, and I hated it, my dad would play classical and yes, the old country music.  Now, I can say that I love almost any kind of music and I owe that to my dad.  My dad country music and my mom the top hits of the 50’s and her 45’s.  When I was very young and had the chicken pox, my parents got me a Close N Play phonograph and gave me quite an assortment of 45’s from their own collections, mainly from the 50’s and early 60’s.  I learned the lyrics to those by closing and playing all day long until I got all the words written down.  I’m sure my mother appreciated that… HA.  Oh, it was because of a wacky song or pseudo song called, “The Flying Saucer,” by Dickie Goodman that I came to love those story narratives with parts of songs inserted to fill out the story.  Buchanan and Goodman

Through music, I started writing lyrics to songs, and then poetry… or maybe visa versa.  Sad though because I’d never post them up on the internet because I know that someone will steal it for their own.

In my later 30’s I learned how to play the guitar from a friend.  It was a trade off.  I stayed with him while he recuperated from surgery and he taught me the chord of the guitar.  He’d play melody and I played rhythm.  I enjoyed that, but because of a lack of understanding, and math, I could never learn to read music.  That makes me sad, but I like that I can play by ear.  Even playing just the chords touches me deep inside; and just knowing that I can do it, makes me really happy.   I sang in our church choir for a few years and that was very satisfying as I could sing in front of people… and they actually liked it!

So in closing, what music means to me is memories, both good and bad… but mostly good.  Through music I can relive my past, know exactly where I came from and not be very bummed out about it.

Thanks for listening.

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