October 2, 2011

The Soundtrack of Your Life

What is the soundtrack of your life?

Is it a thumping bass, moving you forward with rhythmic precision? Do you dance through life with the rise and fall of a waltz? Or are your days filled with the hectic unpredictability of a jazz improvisation?

Like many of us, I formed my musical taste during adolescence. I preferred dark, sensual singers and bands like Morrissey, Depeche Mode and The Cure. Although I could dress the part for the occasional concert, my personality was never quite so dark, so my collection of records, tapes, and eventually CDs, also included plenty of livelier bands like Duran Duran and Erasure.

My iPod is now filled with those same sounds, as well as some newer additions I've discovered along the way. My kids have their influence there as well, with Music Together as likely as Ben Folds to come on when I'm shuffling songs in the car. I used to obsess on whatever album I was into at the time, especially if it was new, playing it over and over. Lately I always shuffle songs, but with one hand on the next track button in case the selected tune doesn't fit my mood (or meets with disapproval from a small person in the back seat).

I've read that smells have a powerful way of transporting people back to a certain place and time. But isn't it the same way with songs? A certain song comes on, and I'm instantly lying on the floor in my pink room, making mix tapes from the radio, playing and replaying my favorite songs so I can learn every word.

This post was inspired by Deborah Reed's debut novel, Carry Yourself Back to Me. The story follows 
heartbroken singer-songwriter Annie Walsh as she digs into the past after her brother is accused of murder. As a member of From Left to Write book club, I received a copy of this book for review. You can read other members posts inspired by Carry Yourself Back to Me on book club day, October 3, at From Left To Write.


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