A mix tape for my daughter

One of the reasons I have been drawn to music is the power it has to take you from flat-out normal to exceedingly sad, or from bored to overwhelmingly happy, in less than four minutes.  And when listening to longer, more complicated pieces, like Bach or Puccini or Durufle, you sit in a concert hall feeling arias building and cadences growing, and your heart starts racing.  You find yourself residing in another dimension, and suddenly you can’t even breathe.  And then one day when you are diagnosed with cancer, you are in a Dunlap’s parking lot in Waco, Texas, listening to a scratchy rendition of Eva Cassidy singing People Get Ready live at Blues Ally.  You sob and rock like a child and you think you heart just fell out in front of you.

Music makes all time and space melt around you like butter, and you are suddenly very far away, peering into the very realms of heaven.  Maybe I find the addiction to music fascinating because it puts one face-to-face with strong emotion, and only when you work through the pain and fear and passion that it evokes can you really heal.

So when I peek inside my daughter’s room and see her sitting alone listening to music, it makes me smile.  I want her to have the same elated cries, and find joy in certain phrases, and think she can make through this life.  I want her to have hope, and be confident, and find the joy in all things.

Then she asks me to buy Party in the USA on my ipod.  Ugh.  I’m suddenly thrown back into reality of her 6-year-oldness.  We’ll work on her taste a bit.  But the yearning’s there.  And that’s a good thing.  She already owns The Best of John Denver, so at least there’s that.

So I put together a little mix CD for her of songs that are joyful, and express my love of life, and of her, and the south.  These are songs I don’t mind being etched into her little brain, for her to recall in her later years.  They are but a few of great inspiring songs to come.  What a lifetime of music lies ahead.

  • Strip Me, by Natasha Bedingfield
  • Come To Jesus, by Mindy Smith
  • The One I Love, by David Gray
  • Summer Dance, a flamenco guitar piece
  • Dreams, by Fleetwood Mac
  • This Old Porch, by Lyle Lovett
  • You Know I Love You Baby, by Mindy Smith
  • Southern Kind Of Life, by Kasey Chambers
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water, by Eva Cassidy
  • Grace, by Saving Jane
  • I Know You By Heart, by Eva Cassidy
  • Over the Rainbow, by Ingrid Michaelson
  • Shake It Out, by Florence + The Machine
  • The Way I Am, by Ingrid Michaelson

What songs have you always wanted your daughter to know?

Comments

  1. I so, so love this post, Amanda. You couldn’t be more right. Music can lift us up, throw us into sobbing fits (often in a therapeautic way), nudge us through a hard workout, distract our distracted minds long enough to finish some tedious bookkeeping, and help us experience inspiration, love, joy and any other emotion we crave. I will give some thought to what I’d want a daughter of mine to hear and experience. Thanks as always for what you bring to my days with your writing.

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