I like marking events and milestones in my life by songs.
The first song I remember hearing was, "Don't Pull Your Love Out" by Hamilton, Joe, Frank and Reynolds. I was a kid listening to my cousin's radio and didn't know anything about songs being on rotation. I just thought I was lucky to hear it every hour or two and I loved the low, deep voice of the group's lead singer.
Neil Diamond's, "I Am, I Said" is the second song I remember. I was feeling pretty sad about being an only child, raised by my grandma and the only girl in a sea of male cousins. The line, "I've got an emptiness deep inside..." really hit home with me. Made me feel less alone.
Songs would come and go, genres would change and so did my tastes. I listened to "Toys In the Attic" by Aerosmith, "Destroyer" by KISS; groups like Bad Company and Grand Funk Railroad. Music and lyrics explained things to me and even gave me a playlist for relationships or a broken heart.
REO Speedwagon taught me that if a relationship is getting stale, it might need some "Variety Tonight." For a moment there I thought, "Don't Let Him Go" but the relationship was over and it was "Time for Me to Fly."
Def Leppard proved love and/or a broken heart could come from a simple "Photograph" and if I wanted to wallow in some self-pity about a lost love, Ringo Starr's song by the same name did the trick.
Pink Floyd made me "Comfortably Numb" when life got too overwhelming and Ozzy brought me back with "Flyin' High Again."
I got over the 'love of my life' with songs. Phil Collins came in handy. The relationship began with "Follow You, Follow Me," but soon I could feel the break-up "Coming in the Air Tonight." When I realized my guy was "Throwing It All Away" new songs were needed.
"On My Own" by Patti LaBelle/Michael McDonald said what I couldn't. It was over. When I needed to cry I played, "I've Done Enough Dying Today" by the Gatlin Brothers and "I Call" by M.S. Smith when my little heart thought there was no one but God who could possibly understand. The line, "I call...and you're the one who hears me crying" said it all.
But REM reminded me that "Everybody Hurts," and it would pass then Kenny Loggins told me "This Is It.""Are you gonna wait for a sign? Here's your miracle...stand up and fight" Kenny sang. So I did.
Eventually, Journey declared, "I'll Be Alright" for me, and I was.
There is a song that could be applied to every bump, bruise and triumph but my favorite example of a song marking a milestone happened the night my son was born. "Circle of Life" from "The Lion King" came on in the birthing suite as the nurse put him in my arms for the first time. It was fitting.
What's on your life's soundtrack?