Music Tuesday continues today with a great post by best-selling author Carolyn Ridder Aspenson. You can learn more about Carolyn and her books below.
It’s 1973. A seven year old me dances around the front room of my childhood home to Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. My father snaps pictures with his Polaroid camera. I stand on my tiptoes, spin in circles and then fall back into the rust colored velvet chair, dizzy and happy. My father hands me a bottle of Dr. Pepper® and a hand full of Whoppers®, which I stuff into my mouth like a chipmunk gathering nuts for the winter.
It’s 1998. A thirty two year old me dances with my dad to Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline at my wedding reception. He tells me he loves me and is proud of me. I ask him if he’s got any Dr. Pepper® and Whoppers®.
It’s 2014. My father has been gone nearly five years now and every time I listen to Sweet Caroline, I cry. Sometimes the tears are happy, each one a testament to an unconditional love like no other. Sometimes they’re filled with an indescribable loss, a pain that never truly ends. My father loved music and those nights with him made me love music, too.
For me, music is a time machine. One song played on the radio can transport me back to a different time, a different place and flood me with emotions. Neil Diamond represents my childhood, that time when the whole world was that front room and my father was the man of my dreams. When I hear Separate Ways by Journey, I’m suddenly a teenager again, filled with angst and drama as I scream Don’t Stop Believing at the top of my lungs.
My husband considers music nothing more than background noise, something I’ve never understood. Music inspires me. I have my go to songs for cleaning, exercising, writing, missing my mom and dad, the birth of my son. Music reminds me of friends, of good times, even bad times. I can’t listen to BoDeans without thinking my friend Tammy and the fun we had driving to their concerts or dancing up on stage with the band.
Music reminds me of my life experiences. It gives me a taste of the past and a peek into the future. It tugs at my heartstrings and reminds me of how far I’ve come, how much I’ve grown.
Music makes me feel and I can’t help but think that’s what it’s supposed to do.
Carolyn’s recently published novella, The Inn at Laurel Creek is a contemporary romance featuring a musician. While writing the story, Carolyn created the following playlist for motivation.
The Inn at Laurel Creek Playlist
- Jason Mraz I’m Yours
- BoDeans Naked
- Paul Carrack I Need You
- Al Green Let’s Stay Together
- Misteridge Hopes & Dreams
- George Strait I Cross My Heart
- Matt Nathanson
- Ray LaMontagne You Are the Best Thing
Booktrope Editions author Carolyn Ridder Aspenson is the Amazon and Barnes & Noble best selling author of Unfinished Business; An Angela Panther Novel and Unbreakable Bonds; An Angela Panther Novel. Aspenson has also released the contemporary romance novella The Inn At Laurel Creek and Santa’s Gift, a Cumming Christmas Novella. Her next novel, Uncharted Territory; An Angela Panther Novel will be released in February 2015.
Find out more about Carolyn at carolynridderaspenson.com, or http://www.facebook.com/carolynridderaspensonauthor. Follow Carolyn on twitter at @awritingwoman
I got the chills reading your post. Music does exactly the same thing to me. Certain songs remind me of certain people or moments in time – sometimes without any rhyme or reason. Definitely not just background noise.
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So sorry to hear about your father Carolyn – he must have been a very special man. I listen to different types of music depending on what I’m doing! Sweet Caroline would definitely be raking the leaves on a crisp fall day and looking forward to a nice cup of hot tea!
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Thanks so much for being a guest today, Carolyn! I love your line about music being a time machine. That’s such a perfect metaphor. It’s really amazing how a single song can take a person from a sad place to a happy one–and vice-versa–with just a few notes. My dad was a total music guy–he never did anything without putting an album on the stereo–and his favorite songs were from the Big Band era. He used to tell me that when I couldn’t sleep as a baby, he’d put on Count Basie and dance me around the living room until I conked out. In any case, I think that’s why I’ve always felt like I can’t live without music. And yes, whenever I hear Count Basie or any of the Big Band artists, I get choked up. I don’t normally listen to that stuff by choice, but it only takes a little of it to turn back the clock.
What a beautiful post. It really choked me up – in a good way. I feel the same way about music and it’s nice to know I’m not alone. There are certain songs that bring a flood of emotion and memories and I think that’s a blessing. Thanks for this reminder, Carolyn.