This past week I downloaded two albums from iTunes.
1. The "Despicable Me" soundtrack.
Oh my goodness--what a find! Pharrell and Robin Thicke--such a fun summer soundtrack. And I personally love the title song that opens with:
I'm having a bad bad day
It's about time that I get my way
Steam rolling whatever I see
I’m having a bad bad day
If you take it personal thats ok
My girls love this soundtrack and I love that it's not so kiddy. Of course, the Unicorn Song is a classic. Uni uni uni corns, I love them!
If you haven't seen that movie, it is worth the price of admission. My whole family enjoyed it--so make sure you add it to your Netflix queue. Steve Carrell = Hilarious.
And, for number 2.
2. "Lead Me On" by Amy Grant
Ok, stop laughing.
I fully recognize that this came out in the 80s and Amy Grant has sort of become a cliche punch line in Christian music circles.
But, some of us remember a time before Darlene, Kari, Brooke, and Christy. We remember before we had to sing with power vocals to every new worship song if you wanted to have a chic on lead vocals.
Guys in worship music today have it so easy. The guy vocalists sound like every other guy and don't have to be all crazy when they sing. I mean, Chris Tomlin is a little high, but with the flick of a capo you guy singers can totally sing his songs (while us altos are CRYING because the natural harmony we found on the CDs becomes an unattainable goal).
You have to know something about me as well. I love music. Period. I can listen to just about anything and find something to enjoy--and a lot of the time it's something like a crazy bass line or an accessory percussion part that's quirky and fun. I love it when they invert a rhythm or modulate to a new key during the climax of a song (makes me want to clinch my fists and scrunch my face up!) I love voices that sound like everyone else, I love Whitney and Mariah and Aretha when they spank you with their vocals. I love Williams and Menken, I love Stravinksy and Sondheim. I love the sweetness of acoustic, and I adore studio created hip hop. I love lyrics that are surprising, I love words that make you think.
I internalize it all and I get it.
Well, years ago, before she became commercialized and poptarty with "Heart in Motion" (Baby, Baby anyone???) Amy made all us girls say, "You know, she sounds like my mom, my sister, my aunt, my friend." When I was a kid, my aunt, who really does sound like her and honestly if I sounded like my aunt I would totally be fine becauseshe'sthatgood, and I would sit around the fireplace with her guitar and sing until all hours of the night when we would get together.
Amy was our specialty.
Her lyrics were sweet and endearing (I still get a little misty when I hear "Tennessee Christmas" the first time during the holiday season--who doesn't love that hint of harmony in "where the loooooooove circles around us").
(Hold up, let me give a shout out to my friend, Neal, before he goes all high and mighty on me in the comments section: JESUSISTHEREASONFORTHESEASON!!!)
It was her voice that grabbed my attention. It was gravelly and haunting and I wanted to sound like her.
Not Debbie Gibson. Not Tiffany.
I wanted to sound like Amy.
I remember years ago I sang at church and our chaplain came up and said, "Your voice reminded me of Amy Grant."
I really almost cried.
Needless to say, I wore out my Amy Grant tapes (this was pre-CD). My favorite song of hers (besides her CHRISTmas albums which deserve a category all by themselves) was "Saved By Love." I didn't quite grasp the magnitude of the song, but I loved the simplicity of the beginning (and goodness who doesn't need a little mandolin in their life???):
Laura loves her little family,
And she's the kind of woman who loves them with her life.
But sometimes in the evening,
When the world rests on her shoulders
With four walls closing in,
She'll close her eyes.
Oh.... It's not like she misses being younger,
Though she never was in Vogue magazine or on TV;
Her husband loves her dearly,
And the morning shows her clearly,
Kisses her little baby girl.
Laura, she's the queen of the world. Can't imagine ever leaving now,
Now that she's been saved by love,
Saved by love, saved by love.
Listen to her quiet heart singing loud.
Laura, she's been saved by love,
Saved by love, saved by love. I would sing along and imagine that one day I would be a tired mommy who loved her family and was content to just love her family.
Reminds me of a lot of us mommies who are trying to make sense of this crazy game called life and still have moments of sanity with our family. I am so thankful that I have an opportunity to be a semi-stay at home mommy (even though my students have commented that I sometimes forget to turn of my mommy mode when I hand them a wet wipe. What? Their hands were sticky.)
Anyhow, I know it sounds very 80s and all, but I still LOVE the beginning of that song and there are moments I hum it even though I have no CLUE where that tape ended up. I finally decided that I needed to add that to my iTunes collection because sometimes you've got to have some nostalgia in your life.