Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Hills Are Alive . . .

by Julie Coulter Bellon

An author over on another forum was talking about how they listen to music when they write and I do that, too. Sometimes the words just flow out faster when I've got some good music playing. Most of my books have songs that remind me of when I was writing them.

As I thought more about it however, most of my life is like that. I associate songs with different events in my life. For example, I can't remember the artist or title and sadly I only ever hear it on the "oldies" station now, but when I was young there was a song called Nobody But Me that went like this: "Nobody can do the shake like I do, nobody can do the shimmy, like I do, Nobody can do the boogaloo like I do," and we had a babysitter named Melody who would dance all around the room doing an air guitar/dance that was so funny I still remember it to this day.

Or when I hear "Dueling Banjos" or "Yesterday" I think of my dad who is an amazing guitar player and singer. A lot of my childhood memories have him singing to us in it, and I still have a copy of the record he made. (I know it dates me that it's a record. I still have a record player. I just couldn't bear to part with it.) Any Glen Campbell or Neil Diamond song reminds me of my mom and how she would make us start their records over and over. Remember Song Sung Blue? Sweet Caroline? The Jazz Singer soundtrack?

Or how about the song, "Send Me An Angel" by Real Life. That was the song that was playing in the background when I had my first serious kiss (at a church dance, by the way. Big shout out to RR—you know who you are!) Remember the song, "Mickey" that goes, "Oh Mickey you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey." That was what was playing as we rode home on the bus as the Provincial Volleyball Champs. Love that song.

Whenever I hear Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins I think of the summer when Top Gun came out and I watched that movie 63 times (Tom Cruise was a lot less annoying then). The movie was on TV the other night and I amazed my children by being able to quote the actors' lines before they said them. (Hey, I should go on America's Got Talent. That's about as good a talent as I've seen on there if you count Leonid the Magnificent.) You know, I can totally see myself as an old woman challenging my husband to a wheelchair race with the words, "I feel the need—-the need for speed!

My favorite song is Lady in Red by Chris de Burgh because that's "our" song. My husband first really noticed me when I was wearing this awesome red dress at a BYU singles dance. For our anniversary he bought me a ruby ring for the Lady in Red, with our children's birth stones all around it. Sigh. He's so romantic.

Even the songs that were popular when I was pregnant and throwing up still make me feel somewhat nauseated to this day. But songs like Aretha Franklin's Pink Cadillac remind me of how it was playing when my daughter was a baby and did her first belly laugh. It's funny how music affects us and can call up so many memories. Once we had kids, though, it seems like a lot of our music listening time became Eensy Weensy Spider and When You're Happy and You Know It or the Primary songs. Did you ever hear the song, "Mormon Woman?" I laughed really hard when I heard it because it reminded me of myself and so many other Mormon women I know. Very funny.

Sometimes it's just passing things, like when I was listening to the radio the other day and heard the song, "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter. The lyrics totally reminded me of Jack Bauer. I mean, really, no one else has a bad day like Jack Bauer. Poor Jack.

I think I should start writing down all these memory songs so I won't forget. Memories . . .like the corner of my mind . . .misty water-colored memories . . .


At 8/10/2006 2:57 PM, Anonymous Marnie Pehrson said...

Great blog, Julie! I'm the same way... music and memories. I can be driving down the road, hear an old song and I'm transported back to a distant memory - a memory I probably wouldn't recall any other way.

At 8/10/2006 5:38 PM, Blogger FHL said...

The "Nobody But Me" song is probably by the Isley Brothers, or the Dickies, maybe.

I have a very strong connection to music from various parts of my life. The album Dreamboat Annie by Heart always makes me think of my mom when it was just the two of us. Phil Collins's Groovy Kind of Love makes me really sad, because it got seared into my memory when I danced to it with this girl that I had a huge crush on, but then she died in a car accident a couple of years later, and so...

The weirdest thing is hearing certain 80s songs and associating them with Ultima 4 or some other game I was playing at the time. (Why, yes, I am a geek.)

Some songs resonate with me so well that I get actual goosebumps when I hear them. Amy Grant's El Shaddai is one of those, but so is Time and Tide by Basia and Think of Me from Phantom of the Opera.

I'll probably want to listen to music when I start writing. I wonder how that will influence me...

* Actually, having just finished Season 4 of 24, nobody has a bad day like Audrey Raines. *

At 8/10/2006 6:30 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

We just finished Season 4 as well! If you put all four days together with his wife and daughter kidnapped, the death of a certain family member, Jack being tortured until dead, (of course he was resuscitated), being an addict, cutting off limbs, watching your boss blow up, killing another boss, thinking your friends were dead, disappearing, being shot, having the president's go to guy put a hit on you, having to deal with people like Nina and Chloe,I mean, seriously, I still think Jack has the worst days EVER! Another song that could apply to him is Hard Day's Night, I think.

I didn't really like Audrey in Season 4. I like Kate from Season 2 better.

At 8/10/2006 9:34 PM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

FHL, you are a man after my own heart. Although my earliest memories are of Ultima 1. But I played them all. For me the two groups are Supertramp and Air Supply. Defintely listened to those alot on a lot of dates. Oh and Stairway to Heaven always makes me want to run and find a cute girl because it's the last slow song of the dance.

At 8/11/2006 10:02 AM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

A fellow Supertramp fan? Sweetness!

At 8/11/2006 11:07 AM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

FHL, thanks for the link to the artist and title of that old song. You rock!


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