The soundtrack of my life

May 27, 2022
by Andrew Meuleners

I think I have told you before how much I love music. My love of music comes from my parents. They both would have the radio on in the car whenever we were driving somewhere. My Dad would attempt to sing along with some old-time country ballads (he sounded like a hound dog wailing), and he would make me and my brothers laugh so hard because he would mix up the words or make up new ones.

My Mom would listen to country but would play the music she grew up with, like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Nancy Sinatra, The Oakridge Boys, and the King, Elvis Presley. I remember my Mom dancing with us in the kitchen, us on her feet, and she would sing Blue Christmas.

Because of my parents, I grew to love music of all types and genres. Another way I loved discovering different kinds of music was by listening to an AM/FM radio. At night I would maneuver the antenna just right and turn the knob on the radio just enough to tune in music from all over. I loved finding new stations to explore. But, of course, things change. Technology now allows us to listen to radio stations worldwide and build huge playlists of music on our cell phones.

Recently my older son had an assignment in his English class that intrigued me. His teacher asked the class to write about their top ten music playlist. I thought that would be a great topic for a column.

I thought about it and decided to expand upon that a little bit. I thought about what the playlist of my life would sound like. The first song that popped into my head was I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith. The song speaks for itself.

The opening lyrics say I could stay awake just to hear you breathing. Watch you smile while you are sleeping. While you’re far away and dreaming. I could spend my life in this sweet surrender. I could stay lost in this moment forever. Every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure.

The people in our lives and the moments we share with them make our lives worth living.

The next song would be I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty. I wish I would have listened to this song a little more in my life. I often didn’t stand up for myself or make it clear that I wouldn’t be pushed around. However, since I have gotten married and now have children, I take this song to heart.

Well, I won’t back down. No, I won’t back down. You could stand me up at the gates of Hell. But I won’t back down. No, I’ll stand my ground. Won’t be turned around. And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down. Gonna stand my ground. And I won’t back down.

I think if I was searching for a mantra for the last several years of my life, this song would be it.

I am also passing this one on to my kids. You need to know when to stand up for yourself and not let others push you around.

Regret is something that I think we all have. I know a few people will say that they don’t regret anything in their lives. I am not sure how you can be human and not regret something that you have done in your life. I certainly regret certain situations in my life where I have hurt people or done some things that I should not have.

I think the two songs that speak powerfully to this are Hurt, written by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, covered by Johnny Cash, and Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton. Both songs speak about all the pain the singer has caused people because of the bad decisions they have made in their lives.

I have seen firsthand the pain that addiction can cause families; even though it was not in my immediate family, I have seen the ultimate price paid and the pain that it causes to those left behind.

I think I will round this up with two songs that speak about how I think we should live our lives. The first one is Let’s get this Party Started by Pink. Unconventional, yes, but this is the song that we started our wedding dance with because my amazing wife and I have always lived with the idea that our love started this amazing party.

We live our lives in a way to try to push out the negative and invite the positive in as much as possible.

The final song is At Last by Etta James. Simply, it is a song that reminds me that someone will come into our lives in our darkest hours that will bring us out of all of our hurt, no matter what that it is.

At last, my love has come along. My lonely days are over. And life is like a song.

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