Guess what everybody? We made it.
It’s March 1st, which means that spring is right around the corner. The days are longer, pastel colours are emerging in storefronts, and sunny adventures seem like a possibility once again. March always comes furnished with a sense of renewal.
While warmer air incites anticipation of the season to come, it also brings with it memories of past adventures. Memories of exploration, of change, of road trips and friendships. Of flying free.
I’ve recently noticed that each of these memories seems to come with its own distinct anthem: a song that has inextricably linked itself with an impactful moment in time. From an early age, my parents instilled within me a love of Cat Stevens, Jim Cuddy, Neil Young. Their deep appreciation for music meant that these and many other artists played lead roles in the narration of my upbringing.
It is no wonder, then, that 32 years later I continue to collect musical scores to add to my life’s soundtrack. Does this happen to you as well?
Within that soundtrack, there are those special songs whose lyrics seem to resonate on a deeper level. It could be on the first listen or perhaps the 105th, but those carefully chosen words suddenly evoke a visceral response: a laugh, a sigh, maybe even a tear or two. At that moment, the artist is speaking to you, and only to you.
I have a list of these captured: some collected during moments of vulnerability, transition, or, like the ones below, adventure.
When I am old and grey, these songs will remind me of those unexpected open plains and mountain roads taken in from driver’s seat of my hatchback; of those days when the decibels of laughter were the only measure of success; of those times I allowed myself, with all of my being, to chase a dream.
Here are a few of my favourites.
10. ‘I will learn to love the skies I’m under’ – Hopeless Wanderer, Mumford and Sons
9. ‘may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten’ – Upward Over the Mountain, Iron and Wine
8. ‘give me tree-line, give me big sky, get me snow-bound, give me rain clouds’ – 3 a.m., Gregory Alan Isakov
7. ‘I’m following the sun / that’s setting in the west / we’re floating on a bed of fading light’ – The Shade, Metric
6. ‘these songs are true / these days are ours / these tears are free’ – The Obvious Child, Paul Simon
5. ‘this may be their cage, those may be their wings / lying on the ground but it’s their hearts that sing’ – Where I Stand, Tom Francis
4. ‘smoke in my lungs, or the echoed stone / careless and young, free as the birds that fly’ – Old Pine, Ben Howard
3. ‘we’re the heirs to the glimmering world’ – The Geese of Beverly Road, The National
2. ‘the summer shone beat down on bony backs / so far from home where the ocean stood / down dust and pine cone tracks’ – Old Pine, Ben Howard
1. ‘I’ve got nothing to do today but smile’ – The Only Living Boy in New York, Simon and Garfunkel
Well now my interest is piqued. What are some of yours?