Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Song Warp

I flew around time yesterday. The wild journey began with a radio station playing all the hits of my life - those key songs that spark a memory. Songs which are inextricably intertwined with a memory cause instant transportation to that moment any time the rhythm starts.

Many of my Song Warps are clearly YA memories, and I don't kiss and tell. But there are a few more appropriate ones:

Copacabana, by Barry Manilow. Year: 1978. Setting: My Grandpa's living room: imagine dark paneling, those little vintage glass bottles in assorted colors, large floral print couches, and a wooden parrot. My grandpa had hands the size of basketballs from years of working on the railroad, fighting in Normandy, and a long career in construction. But he always held my tiny hands gently when we danced to the Copacabana. *sidenote* It's funny to think we were actually listening to a Top 40 hit and not an oldie as I always thought of it- like me dancing with my girls to Roar

The Warrior, by Scandal. Year: 1984. Setting: Barbie doll house in the basement. For this particular song, Barbie always dressed in her jean jacket, because it made her look tough. I don't recall exactly what Ken had done, but he had messed up real bad and Barbie needed to show him how she felt by belting out the Warrior and stomping around in ridiculously high heels.
(via wikipedia)

All I Need, by Jack Wagner. Year: 1984. Setting: Sitting cross-legged by the record player in my living room.  This was my very first 45 record that was all mine and not shared with my stinky big sister. (if you are "age challenged," here's a helpful link to define record.) It was of critical importance, because when I found out we were moving to a new town, I put this on repeat for HOURS. I probably was leaving behind some sort of third grade boyfriend, but mainly it was a good sorrowful song for crying to.

Grease Mega Mix. Year: 1997. Setting: College formal dance. My date (though we went as 'friends') and I did an electrifying dance. I guess he was the one that I wanted, because I went ahead and married him.  And we are still friendsJ

These songs strike such a specific emotional chord, I can harness the power in my writing by just plugging in a relevant song when I'm writing.


I know you each have awesome song warp songs, so hit me with a good song and memory in the comments. Consider it your writing inspiration for a day. 

10 comments:

  1. Fun! Thanks for sharing your memories!
    Mine: Listening to a 78 album on my record player of Simon and Garfunkel and my dad saying, "Oh, you're listening to Simpleton and Garbage again." He wasn't so fond of the "new" sound and thought he was being very funny :-)

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    1. That darn new-fangled folk music again! That IS funny to think of S&G as modern. Maybe he was concerned it was going to turn you into a pot smoking, california-running, flowers-in-your-hair type who married a long-haired guy. Didn't it make you want to listen to it more once he said that? :)

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  2. Well, from your time warp with Copacabana, it shows I'm a bit older than you! lol I was dancing in the discos when that song was out :) And Penny, "Simpleton and Garbage" WAS funny lol

    There are SO many songs, it's hard to really scoop one out of the fishbowl, you know? Though they don't bring me into a mindset for writing, these two came to mind bringing back special memories of my son: "Saving All My Love for You" by Whitney Houston because my son wasn't an easy one to get to sleep, and for about two weeks this song worked at soothing him, even if it was blasting! lol I would hold him and dance with him, singing this and it worked, but ONLY for two weeks, just like any other solution with him---short lived lol

    The other is the "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker, Jr. Paul LOVED the Ghostbusters cartoon and the movie (though I forgot the one "zipper" scene and when he asked what she--the ghost hovering over Dan Akroyd--was doing, I quickly said, "She's helping him go to the bathroom!"), and we listened to this soundtrack every time we got in the car. I loved it, too :)

    All special! Thanks for the prompt down memory lane, Lauri :D

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    1. I think there's inspiration in there. Definitely for a desperate situation, because that's how it feels when your babies won't go to sleep. Babies don't even take bribes. You can't rationalize with them! It would be easier to cut a deal with the mafia than to get your baby to sleep.

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  3. The 1978 Grease soundtrack was my first album. Loved it so much I organized a neighborhood variety show around the music, complete with fridge box backdrop. Only three adults showed up to watch, but one of them was my 4th grade teacher. I remember being so excited that she actually came. :)

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    1. Oh Coleen that's a special memory. Whenever you have a character who is really soaring with pride you can think of that song. Then of course you have to proceed to tear her world apart, because you are a writer:)

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  4. I never considered playing music while writing. I feel like it would be too distracting. Lauri, do you listen to music every time you sit down to write? Maybe I will give it a try. I have tons of awesome CDs I never get a chance to listen to. :)

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    1. I don't as long as I can concentrate. Sometime my brain is elsewhere and the music helps contain it. I will listen to certain music when I need to get into a character's mindset. I might put on some Weird Al to get a good boy-voice going or a sad love song to write some dark YA.

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  5. The first record I bought with my own money was "Weird Al" In 3-D.

    I remember spending way too much time in my room playing "King of Suede" (a parody of The Police's "King of Pain") over and over in order to memorize the lyrics. That song is still in my noodle to this day -- and it serves no practical purpose whatsoever.

    In fact, I am convinced that this song is taking up much-needed brain space. I think it is the reason why I can never remember my cell phone number.

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    1. I agree - why do I need the words to Blueberry Hill still? I'm never going to hear it on the radio, yet there it is crammed in there while I can't remember if I added the baking powder to the muffins.

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