In Tune with life.
Marty Robbins’ songs date back to the 50’s, the gun slinger ballads. “El Paso,” “Night time would find me at Rosas cantina, music would play and Filina would whirl, one night a wild young cowboy comes in, dancing and daring a drink he was sharing, with wicked Felina the girl that I love, I challenged his right for the hand of this maiden, down went his hand for the gun that he wore, in less than a heart beat his challenge was answered, the handsome young cowboy lay dead on the floor.” Hollywood movies and songs like this made me a milk-bar cowboy. It was a red sports coat and no white carnation; I was the Milky Bar Kid pushing juke box buttons.
“Kaw-Liga (Kalayja) was a wooden Indian standing by the door. He fell in love with an Indian maid over at the antique store, Kaw-Liga too stubborn to let it show, so she could never answer yes or no.” Marty’s hit song “The Story Of My Life,” was written with a Dobro guitar and a Dodge car. The music we encountered in our travels makes us think of our life story, the people, places and all that we once held dear perhaps loved . Memories we recalled when songs are played, take us back down that long road of no return to the land of what might have been.
“When some button pushing cowboy plays that love song and here I am just missing you again.” Olivia Newton John sings that song and some songs affect you in that way. “The Carnival Is Over.” I first heard Judith Durham sing back in the mid sixties and it still causes strong emotions in me. Those two Australian singers I like, not only because of their voices, but also the choice of songs and the memories they bring back. Music touches our heart in a way no other art form can. It is mood provoking. We must be mindful of the music we listen to because it can change our mood. Some songs from a joyous youthful era lift our mood. Then there are the bitter sweet songs of the past with their pensive recollections. That can provoke a melancholy, sentimental feeling of indecision of its merits. This is the time to remind ourselves, it is the now we are living in.
I do not regret the decision to sail off to foreign lands I was not ready to settle down. “My heart knows what the wild goose knows and I must go where the wild goose goes”, Frankie Laine, back then I empathized with those words. Like in the movie I escaped through those “Sliding Doors” to Napoli. “La Paloma”, no language barrier, music and a smile are the universal language. “Her eyes were deeper than the bay of Napoli.” Did she return to the Trevi Fountain was thirty lira enough, “I wonder who is kissing her now. I wonder who is teaching her how, Breathing sighs, telling lies; I wonder who’s buying the wine for those lips that I used to call mine. I wonder if she ever tells him of me.” Had the doors not closed my life would have been different but still full of “Heart Ache By The Number,” I was ignorant, a wild goose ready for plucking.
The carnival is not over I am riding on a merry-go-round, with ups and downs and around and rounds. “Hot Chocolate”, “You Sexy Thing.” “Mississippi” the Pussycats only hit. “That was my song that was her song but it’s over.” Like “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”, was her song. “Up in the morning out on the job work like the devil for my pay, but that lucky old sun got nothing to do but roll around the heavens all day.“ That was my song. “Dire Straits,” would have diagnosed “Industrial Disease.” No letter, no “Dear John.” “I heard it through the grape vine and I nearly lost my mind.” “Only The Lonely.” Mick was right, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Some songs can motivate and keep us going.
“Xanadu.” “Magic,” you have to believe we are magic. Nothing can stand in our way. If all your hopes survive, your destiny will arrive, and bring all your dreams alive for you.” Then “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” “Jumping Jack Flash,” You know “Thin Lizzy,” well “The Boys Are Back In Town.” “Cream”, “The Sunshine of Your Love,” “Eric Clapton.” “Stand By Me” “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” “A Whole Lot a Lovin’,” “Leo Sayer” would sing, “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing.” “With a Rebel Yell, “Billy Idol cried “More, more, more,” and “Another One Bites The Dust,” “Queen,” “Rolling On The River,” Tom Jones. It was “Late In the Evening,” with “Paul Simon,” “Love Is in The Air,“ not “Under The Boardwalk,” “Down Under,” “Men at Work,” “When They Begin The Begin,” N.Z. 1982 “Hands Up,” eight weeks the top hit, still my top hit.
There is a lot more memorable music we embrace and hold tightly to our hearts. We all have our own personal favorites, the music that activates our emotions and shrinks time, taking us back to a long lost past. Like “The Ghost Riders in the Sky,” to an almost forgotten lullaby, that tempts us to break down and cry. But “Even the Bad Times Are Good,” “There are times in this life of mine. That I think the sun forgot to shine. But as long as you are always there, it don’t bother me for why should I care, when all I got to do is run to you.” “You are My Sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey, you’ll never know dear how much I love you; please don’t take my sunshine away.” We will be, “On The Road Again,” with ”Mustang Sally,” at the wheel. “Get your motor running, head out on the highway, looking for adventure and whatever comes our way. Like a true nature’s child, we were borne to be wild. Yeah! Darling, going to make it happen and take the world in a loving embrace.