Classic Rock is my second language Tshirt by kchippie
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The other day Hippie and I were listening to the 70s music station on our satellite TV and before I knew it I was singing along to a song by The Stylistics I probably haven't heard for ten years or more. It made me wonder just how many song lyrics are stored in my memory.
When it comes to music, I have very eclectic tastes. I grew up listening to my parents' records, then my older siblings' records and then the records (eventually cassettes and cds) that my friends and I collected as teenagers. That's about fifty years of music that I was exposed to before the age of twenty. As a result, though sometimes I can't remember what day it is, I know, not just every word, but also "every Sha-la-la-la, every Wo-o-wo-o" to countless songs.
When I can't remember something I often joke that the lyrics to "American Pie" are taking up the space where more important information is supposed to be stored. I even know the words to songs I don't like. I could probably rattle off a few lines of "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" faster than I could tell you what my cell phone number is.
There is a sort of jukebox in my mind that is activated by certain words, phrases or situations. Sometimes just someone saying "hey" to me can have me humming Led Zeppelin (Hey Hey What Can I do) or BJ Thomas ([Hey Won't You Play] Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song) for the rest of the day. The phrase "Wish You Were Here" always triggers a Pink Floyd concert flashback. And when I am having a hard time articulating my feelings "De Do Do Do De Da Da Da" is all I want to say to you.
Hippie can speak a little German and I know a little Spanish but we are both fluent in a language we call Beatles-ese. Neither of us can ever say that something is Getting Better without the other one chiming in, "It can't get no worse". He'll say yes and I'll say no, he'll say stop and I'l say go, go go. Oh no.
Music may be the universal language but song lyrics are more esoteric than that. Everybody likes something with a good beat that you can dance to, but the lyrics are what make a song personal. So I guess it's really no wonder that the lyrics to songs that have provided the soundtrack to my life are among my most enduring misty water colored memories. It's only a wonder that I don't burst into song during every conversation.
And if there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now...