— The Carpenters
Singing has always been a part of my life.
I remember car rides through the hills of Pennsylvania singing and bouncing around to “Carmen” (a then contemporary Christian artist) and trips home from church or friends’ houses singing praise or worship songs.
Sometimes we got complex, singing different parts or in a round.
When my youngest sister Honor was born, our car sing-a-long music slowly shifted to “VeggieTales.” As she grew, they were songs from Barbie movies that were fun or full of emotion.
Then, a return to praise and worship songs we all knew.
Our family singing went beyond the car as we sang for church as a family.
This tradition was continued even in summer trips to Florida during college.
Some evenings, we three sisters would do karaoke using the sing-a-long section of the DVDs as we sang about island jungles and the hope of new beginnings.
While none of us have had any formal training, we sounded good together.
Singing is now my stress relief. Whether it is some random song with catchy tune or a heart’s cry to God, singing takes me out of the situation, at least for a moment, to a calming place. Catchy tunes have been frequent companions.
I once had “The Bear Went Over the Mountain” stuck in my head for two days. Other times songs that really relate to my feelings at the time stick with me. “Not for a Moment (After All),” by Meredith Andrews, was one of those. I remember sitting on a bench on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway listening to it during a stressful time. Later, the chorus played over and over in my head.
My dad once said something about having a song in his heart, commenting it was a good thing because there hadn’t been one there for awhile. At the time, I don’t think I really understood what he meant. Now, I think I do ... a cheerful tune that lifts your spirits and gives hope for the day ahead.
I love the mornings when I wake up and my mind immediately begins playing a song.
Often by the second time I hear a song I have much of it memorized.
As a teenager, Superchick gave me my go-to songs. I played them so much that I memorized every beat and guitar strum. I took the songs with me wherever I went. They gave me encouragement to stand up for myself and change the world even when, “They said don't try to change the world, you're just a girl.”
As a Lee University freshman, I related to the Superchick song, “Suddenly.” The chorus of, “And suddenly I am where I'm supposed to be, and after all the tears I was supposed to be here,” reflected my mood after comparing my StrenghthsFinders assessment results to my chosen major. They were a perfect match.
Each season has a song.
I’ve had life seasons where songs of frustrated desperation were my anthem. Songs of the reassurance of God’s love have played in my mental stereo at other times.
Lyrics and the music accompanying them have a unique power to make people feel a certain way. Happy, sad, angry, silly and excited can be condensed into three minutes of audible art.
In my days since college, one of the things I have missed most is the ready access to live music whenever I wanted. There were few days that went by on Lee’s campus that there wasn’t music floating through the air somewhere. Whether it was a door being left open while a choir practiced or an impromptu jam session on the ped mall, music was prevalent.
I have always admired those with musical ability. Singing is as far as it goes for me, but there is something to be said for an instrument you can carry with you all the time.
So I’ll just sing “my song,” and hope that it’s good enough for others to enjoy.