“na na na na na na na Iron Man”
Which brings us to……yesterday.
And a song I heard that always makes me laugh. It’s not a particularly touching song; not particularly deep. It’s Iron Man. Yep. Iron Man by Black Sabbath. But that song is just one of several that remind me why I chose to risk getting married a second time. The adorable way my wife decided one day to sing the familiar guitar riff “na na na na na na na” and yell out “Iron Man” in the cutest voice ever, just reminds me why I married her in 2013.
I married her because she just….fits, in my Life Puzzle unbelievably well. I married her because…..well….that’s a whole other blog entry I’ll write just for her.
But I love that we already have so many of our own “music memories.” The Florida Anthem. Or the “thumpy” song where she stops whatever she’s doing and does the cutest dance! “The Relationship Song.” The Metallica song where she mumbles everything but the title. The song she thought was just ok, until she learned Usher sang it, then she loved it! The song that is such a downer it makes people wanna slit their wrist! Never fear tho, this one is lovely. The heavy metal artist whose songs she enjoys, and I never woulda expected it! Or the song she rocks out to, and has said was “my jam. LookAtMeRockOut!” The cover done by Faith Hill that always makes her cry.
When Rihanna was good.
When Rihanna sucked.
When Rihanna was good again.
Aaaaand she’s back to sucking.
And hey, she likes my impressions of Bob Dylan, and that Muse song, or really any song where I mumble and scowl. 🙂 Or I purposely try and scare her by yelling like Stevie when he screams, “SUPERSTITIOUS!!” And I’m always impressed that she hits the high note near the end of this version of this Christmas song. One of the first country songs I heard that makes me smile and leave it on the country station till it’s over. Chingy and Nelly cuz we’ve been saying Thuuur before all the internets decided it was cool. This one because Awwww. This depressing-ass song from “just the one nail.” 😉 Songs from The Book of Mormon because I finally got to see it last year and we both loved it! As well as more stuff from Hair and Rent and Wicked, because my love of musicals is my own, and I’m just happy that I surround myself with people who feel the same. A Trio of Squishy Songs “because reasons”. This STP song because not everyone yelling on KBPI is STP. 🙂 Zac Brown cuz that dude from Duck Dynasty writes some cool diddies. oh and Mustard Plug, just for having the greatest band name ever!
And this one…..because I really do love the sound of her name. She does belong with me. I do belong with her. ❤
I love that this song is a guilty pleasure for her and I love teasing her about it. I love that without fail, every time she hears that American Authors song, she also sings, “two, three, four” right when she’s supposed to. And I love when Smashing Pumpkins Bullet with Butterfly Wings comes on, she looks at me and smiles and says “do it” and I do my best impression of, well, a rat in a cage (looking for cheese 😉 )
I want 18.5 years, then 19, then 20, then 30 years of memories, both involving music and songs, and just making memories in general with this amazing soul. What I’m saying is, I’m ok with it if she sticks around a while. ❤
Music is powerful. Music can evoke wonderful memories. Or bittersweet memories. Or bad memories. Or can speak to you when you don’t particularly like yourself, and sorta wish you were someone else. Music can evoke laughter. And tears. Music can remind you of one of the lowest points of your life. Or of a time when someone believed in you and wanted you to believe in them. It can be a rallying cry when someone hurts those you love. Music has the power to affect change and be Socially Conscious and perfectly sum up how you feel about an important issue.
Every note in a particular song, every instrument, can transport you to a certain time and place.
Memories of friends that have come and gone (2022 edit: And who have come back again ❤️) Memories of outdoor weddings and of watching said friends stand in the “non drunk tub” that day. Memories can come rushing back simply because of great scenes in great movies or in TV shows like Family Ties. Ringtones can make you smile when you hear them because you know who’s calling. A movie’s soundtrack can stay with you for decades, simply because the music is haunting and the movie was so powerful, you find yourself humming the tune one day just because you remember it.
Music can be in a pivotal scene in the better version of 50 Shades of Gray, the movie Secretary. Or this scene in my favorite TV show or this one from its final episode. Or in another scene from that show, it can really make a person such as myself, who has spent my fair share of time in a hospital, think about everything I have yet to do in life. Music can make you smirk a lil as it reminds you of Self-righteous and Arrogant people who don’t think you know what they’re saying about you. But you do know. Music has the power to make you appreciate your life no matter when or where you are in that life. And it can remind you of a time when you bonded with someone in citywide choir and were friends for 20+ years but who is sadly no longer in your life. (And apparently they are still singing that song in choir! Here’s a clip from some school in 2011.)
Songs can help you through the most difficult incident you’ve ever gone through. But only if it’s the correct version of the song. Because she sings, because she plays instruments, because she is so musically inclined, only this version touches my heart in ways other covers don’t.
And speaking of that incident, music can help you get through a divorce. Music can help in the beginning when you’re in denial that it’s happening. Like, severe denial. Like, you can’t even say “divorce” because you hate how it sounds. You’re just…..you become numb. You think you’re going crazy. You turn lines from those two songs into FB statuses. You get all mopey and listen to songs Like These.
But once you realize, yes this is happening, your marriage is over, then you just breathe. There’s no rewind button and so you do cradle your head in your hands and just breathe. Maybe there are a few days (or months, whatever don’t judge) where you’re psychologically exhausted, emotionally broken, mentally weak; having an all out breakdown. And you listen to beautiful but sad songs like this one by Joseph Arthur.
Know what tho? That’s ok. Healthy even. Breakdowns, and there were many, are ok. There’s beauty in the breakdown. And once you’re past the anger and resentment that I’ve seen every divorce go through; once the angry, pissed off music doesn’t help and you realize it’s not productive, music can help the healing. You find that you really do start to get stronger. You start to listen to cheesy songs such as this, and actually find they give you strength to face the day. You may have to fake it for a while, making sure people only see the “highlight reel” via social media….but eventually you do realize that even as broken and damaged as you are……as I was, there was still hope that I could change and learn from my mistakes that contributed in the demise of my first marriage.
Songs can help you realize that even though it’s a long, tough road, you can do better in life. You even start to think that happiness is for you too, and not just her. Every day is a struggle, every little victory matters, until you learn once again how to go outside and function in the world. Eventually you learn to appreciate the fact that you’re still here. That you’re “alive and doing fine.” You even begin to look back fondly on your time together and sincerely hope she does too. But still you hope and pray that next year will be better. Because after all, the rest is still unwritten.
Back to present day, there are the two songs I hum probably on a daily basis. For no real reason, I just start humming the tunes of this lil ditty from The Shins and this classic song by Pink Floyd . When I’m bored, or distracted, sleepy, tired, flipping through tv channels, other mindless tasks. And this song now makes me tear up a little because one of the kids my wife works with loves the “boogie all night long” song. He’s 3. And last week was his final week with my wife. That makes me sad. This 80’s rap hit reminds people of a certain generation that this dude didn’t just like big butts.
Some songs come out at just the perfect time, right at high school graduation when everything is so dramatic and important and you think you’ll never see any of your friends again and the world is changing and everything is scary and you are about to “stand on your own.” Soon enough you realize tho, that some friends lose touch, some don’t. And that’s ok. Friendships will have ups and downs, but as with most relationships, everything will be fine and you can deal with anything “as long as you’ll be my friend at the end“.
And then the Train songs. The one that was in that one episode of Medium that for some reason I still remember. The one my mommy liked when I told her he wrote it for his mommy. The one that sounds like it’s from Phantom of the Opera. Oh and this one because I did marry her 🙂
And oh yeah, this classic song featured in a classic scene in a classic movie as well as this Metallica hit song, both of which are attached to lots of moments with lots of friends and family that I can’t pick just one incident.
And now, friends and family, feel free to try to find yourself in these next bullet points. 🙂 And if I miss a music-centered memory of us, because when you get to be my age you make a lot of memories, feel free to leave it in the comments section, or if I don’t know you and you came across this entry another way, feel free to leave memories of your own that are centered around music and songs. 🙂
- There’s this song my brother first learned on the brand new synthesizer he got for Christmas more than 30 years ago.
- And his ringtone because every good Mexican sings this while drunk at parties! Which also happens to be the song I sang karaoke to in Guatemala with my BrotherFromAnotherMother, which is the only time I’ve done karaoke. And I was sober!
- What will forever be known as “La Boom music” because the first time I ever heard that song was with him in a club in Cancun in 1995, synchronized to a light show and fog machines. Was the coolest thing ever. 🙂
- This 80’s Janet Jackson hit because it reminds me of the concert my brother and I went to, but more importantly, of all the times he would walk behind me in crowded places, hanging on to the back of my neck, making sure I didn’t lose balance, but also making sure that he didn’t lose me! I always felt safe with him when we were out in the world. ❤
- I have memories of my brother singing “My name is Michael I have a nickel I have a nickel shiny and new.” But I ain’t posting a link because I couldn’t find a version that didn’t sound creepy and a lil pedophilic!
- Continuing with my family, the first time I saw my sister dance to this song, I sorta just lost my shit. She’s been into folklorico dancing since she was a little girl and is just amazing at it. And that song is pretty much Mexico’s unofficial national anthem, so the crowd always goes nuts. Watching my sister dance to this not only gives me pride in her, but in my Mexican heritage as well. While we’re at it, I remember the song we used to sing to her when she was a little baby.
- This song because aforementioned sister, who is 9 years younger by the way, had no clue that the hook to that song was not original to that song!
- This fantastic song by Joe Satriani that will always make me smile because my mom, god love her, always hums it completely wrong!! Every time she does it, she speeds it up and, I dunno man, sounds like some weird-ass song you’d hear at a hoedown!!
- When it comes to friends, I think of this theme song to a Tom Hanks hit and this lovely ditty Billy Joel wrote for his little girl from a certain time and place in high school.
- Or this song a friend from back then sang to me.
- Or this song where I’d do a call and response thing with a friend. And the dances that friend made up to this Offspring song and this catchy tune. Oh. And this. Or this one. This friend was also a huge def leppard fan.
- Songs from Depeche Mode and the cure, who were both huge when I was in 8th grade, where I met some people I still keep in touch with to this day. Oh and this guy with the feathered hair was huge back then too!
- A song from 8th grade that a friend wants played at her funeral so that it might comfort loved ones.
- A country song that had Crystal’s Army mourning their loss.
- Or the song that kept the tears going that same night.
- That time someone I know got locked in the trunk of a rented Lincoln Town car while this song played.
- My two favorite Christmas songs that I sing in the middle of July as much as at Xmas!
- The heavy metal song my brother would do this dance to.
- Amor a la Mexicana was fun.
- Then there’s The Forbidden Dance, which my cousin always tried to teach people but they never got it. And Linear! And Stevie B! His Two faster, More dancy hits we would sing in the back of my dad’s yellow Toyota pickup while on our way to “help out” at his second job back in the day. Or speaking of that same cousin, this thing by Kid Frost and this bilingual, “westside”, ghetto thug hit.
- The song that was on at another cousin’s house when we were just hanging out on another random weekend with family.
- When Crystal turned yells of pain into a Bon Jovi song
- The one I think of when the priest holds up, or “Lion King”s a newly baptized baby.
- That time in high school when two friends sang Toto and Paul Simon songs as their final performances in show choir.
- This because Wayne’s World.
- This (and many more) because Queen!
- This because it really is easier to see more pieces of the puzzle after that puzzle falls apart.
- That time after a break up when I actually saw a Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac and it brought me to tears. Or this version of Fleetwood Mac’s 1970’s hit song, that made a teenage me reflect on what I could’ve done better.
- The songs that made my mom cry because one reminded her of her dad, my grandpa, and one that made her think specifically of her mom. ❤
- The song that makes me smile, sometimes tear up, and think of my mom because Paul is not talking about the Virgin Mary when he says “mother Mary.” His mom’s name was Mary. He’s talking about his mommy. ❤
- The late 80s Spanish pop hit that is sort of all-encompassing of late 80’s with cousins from/in Mexico
- And Ricky Martin before he sold out (or came out! 😉 ) and this ballad too.
- This was fun.
- These dudes shoulda had more hits, I liked them.
- The movie my brother would fall asleep to pretty much every night for years.
- My silly mommy singing this Beatles song at the top of her lungs, or dancing to this one hit wonder by Four Non Blonds (at least she had and still has good tastes in music!) as well as a few more classic rock songs for my dad, including one he sang 2 weeks ago at their house at one of my mom’s typical Sunday afternoon lunches with the family. And one ballad by a Mexican rock band that as an adult, now makes me tear up a lil bit. And this classic, religious song because he studied Latin in Seminary school and taught me the words.
- Oooooh and the song whose chorus I quote, my cousin quotes, and my mom quotes when we any one of us are having a pity party. 🙂
- In the SB community, I could make a whole other entry simply about some of the most wonderful, selfless, loving, and kind people I’ve met in the community. And I might someday. For now tho, here are three songs for three of the greatest people and best friends I know.
- This Katy Perry ditty because skin-tight jeans on a woman are awesome!
- The wife’s all time favorite song ever. (as covered by another one of her fave singers)
- This Meredith Brooks song, which a woman I know calls her theme song because it’s empowering. Shocking one word title aside. And I would agree, it’s empowering AF. 😉
- This song because it’s bouncy and I dig the accent from Argentina and this because my sister would sing both of these songs when they were popular, over and over.
- This popular Eagles hit and this great Buffalo Springfield hit because I will always play the drum beat on your legs 🙂
- This Black Crowes song that simultaneously brings a smile to my face and a tear to my eye.
- Tiiiiiiiiiiiiin Roof! Rusted.
- Bob Dylan’s version of Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, or if you prefer the version by these guys. Not this one because no thank you.
- And let’s end this lil list with some funniness from Scrubs, as well as Southpark because I’m an idiot 🙂
And finally……..why do I still know the lyrics to this and this????
I leave you now with the impetus behind this entry. My inspiration for writing this comes to you from the fine folks at ASAP science and their explanation on why music can be so powerful. From the physiological to the emotional, this clip explains how and why music can literally save your life. (Seriously, someone read all this back to me after I’ve suffered a TBI and forget everything!)
And don’t forget, if you liked reading this, please click any of the share buttons below and maybe it’ll remind others of their own long, strange trip.
This post was in response to:
Always Something There to Remind Me
I’m a Bloggess fan… and also a HELLP Syndrome survivor. I accidentally deleted your Twitter follow request so could you please re-send it? I’m @khouriajen.
Thank you so much for sharing the story of your childhood pains! I could have used a friend like you when I was much the same age! I was rejected by my schoolmates because I was aways depressed and would cry in class. Anyway, I just wanted to connect with you and say to you, “Way To Go!”
Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed my (rather lengthy ☺) post and that you found it relatable. Comments like yours also helps me feel less alone, so thanks ☺
Might we continue to exchange blogs!? I Think that would be great!!
Chuck Smith II
Sure. I’m working on my own entry on mental illness. I always appreciate when another author can read it and give constructive criticism.
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I live this, being the same ish age these songs also spoke to me. Except Ace of base. But I can dig that too.
Ha! 🙂 Well ya know, they can’t all be winners 😉 Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂