Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Musical Memory Lane

The people who know me best know I am a huge fan of music- and more than that, I'm full of ridiculously useless information that pertains to pop music. I know the artist, the song, probably even the year the song was released, and the movie it was in too. Sometimes I'm appalled that others don't know these things. My favorite era for music was definitely the 80s. Just today I heard True by Spandeau Ballet and it took me back to Sixteen Candles and Jake Ryan and his red Porsche.

I recently heard, and wasn't surprised, that CDs will be obsolete soon. Because downloading an MP3 is so convenient, and cheaper than buying a whole CD, it's no wonder. I'm a bit embarrassed to say I only got an MP3 player a year ago- and it's not even an i-pod. As I told the Starbucks barista every time he offered me a free itunes download, I'm just not that cool. But now that I've got a generic MP3 player, I can't believe I lived without it. Just like when I got my first CD player. How did we manage fast forwarding and rewinding our cassette tapes all those years? How much time did we waste trying to find a certain song?

We've still got a few cassette tapes kicking around. What I'd give for a Memorex of mixed songs I recorded off the radio! As I continue to unpack odd boxes, perhaps I'll come across one. Our box of CDs was sitting upstairs, waiting for a new home until earlier this week. As I glanced through the various titles, I realized I barely, if ever, listened to most of them. Typically I'm listening to my i-pod(ish) thing. So the box of CDs became another thing to weed out and purge.

As I perused the titles, there were a few I just couldn't part with. Some of these CDs I've had for years, like more than 12, going back to when I first became a true Christian. These little round discs are like a landmark in my life. The songs bring back incredible memories of God's faithfulness to a 19 -year-old girl that had finally found Him. Some of those songs were the encouragement and strength I needed to keep me trudging upstream when I so easily could have headed back downstream. I hear them today, and I cry or smile, caught up in one of those moments back then.

I put on Margaret Becker's greatest hits album from 1991, Steps of Faith. I owned a cassette copy of it around the time it was released. I was only 14 or so, but oh how here words resonated in my soul. I wanted a passion for holiness, I wanted to dance in the streets of innocence, I wanted to know who I was, that a Holy God would call me by name. It all seemed so far out of reach and I gave up trying to grasp it. Years later, when I bought a CD copy, the same words refreshed my soul. The war inside of me was over and I marvelled at how the Lover of my soul had wooed me even years ago with these words.

A few other CDs from that "era" in my life that I couldn't part with are 40 Acres by Caedmon's Call, which plays in the back ground now. Nicole Nordeman's poetic debut Wide Eyed, Sixpence None The Richer's Collage, and Watermark's self-titled album (along with every other one they've produced) remain in my collection. They are full of memories I couldn't possibly throw away.

I continue to be a big music fan, mostly of the old stuff. When I go bowling with the girls, we own the high-tech digital jukebox and drive the young crowd crazy with our selections. Journey, Bon Jovi, Blondie, Def Leopard. It's full of fun.

In this "era" of my life I'm most likely listening to Christmas music, the Rat Pack and other crooners, and anything that might motivate me to run on the treadmill. Music sets the tone to my life.

And the soundtrack is always changing.