A Splash Of Summer Tunes

Summer songs have always drawn me. There’s a freedom and playfulness about it, much like splashing in a cool lake with friends. Also really awesome is how the music has such a broad range…from the laid back summer breezes to the boy-meets-girl summer romances to the reminiscing about the past…to simple joyrides.

So, as summer is beginning to wind to a close (sad, but true) I thought I’d share 5 of my favorite songs of celebration.

Is there anything cooler than the combination of Ella and Louis? Really. Not much… Listen to the way they play with each other through their voices and Louis’ trumpet. You don’t find that kind of musical interaction these days. Doesn’t it make you nostalgic for warm nights, a cool breeze and a song that is all sultry heat, yet soothing as a lullaby?

What about that first summer crush? Trying to impress… The rush, the excitement… Knowing you’ll never forget the memories you’re building. Yeah, there’s something bittersweet about that kind of nostalgia, but it never fails to bring a smile to your face. Brad Paisley is great with songs like that for me. His music warms my soul.

For those of us who aren’t spring chickens anymore…who doesn’t think of Henley and Bryan Adams. Boys Of Summer was good, but nothing did it for me quite like this one. Running around with friends. Thinking we were cool. Yeah, thinking back on the 80’s and early ’90’s can still make me smile.

And what about those coming of age moments? That last summer before college can be both fun and traumatic. Or the summer before your senior year…when you realize your life truly is moving toward adulthood….It’s energizing, but it’s also a little scary. Throw in your first “romance”…..makes for some great summer snapshots in your mind. For me, that’s what Deana Carter’s managed to capture.

Did you ever go somewhere else for the summer and find romance? Maybe it was camp. Maybe it was somewhere exotic. Did you think it would last forever? Was it really the person or the place that drew you? This playful Simple Plan song makes me smile and my body move…yup! This ditty has me dancing.

So what about you? What are your favorite summer songs? Favorite summer memories? Would love to hear about why they’re meaningful to you.

 

Love On Fire

“You know, dimples are a form of birth defect,” a boyfriend once told me.

I had been smiling at the time, the deep dimple on my right cheek obvious. I punched him. Most people find that form of “birth defect” cute.

It was also then that I realized for the first time that there’s a vulnerability that comes with opening your heart to a person. Letting them in means showing your imperfections and hoping that somehow they won’t matter. Often I think we’d settle for the imperfections being overlooked, but there’s this part of us, deep down that hopes that somehow the right person will love us not despite our imperfections, but that those things that mar the surface are actually part of our charm.

I’m lucky to have found a man who finds my flaws to be beautiful. He knows I cry at stupid sappy stuff on TV. When it happens he turns his head, looks down at me like he’s the one who lucked out, kisses the top of my head and says “I love you.” When a song I hate comes on the radio he counts in his head to see how long it will take me to change the station, then laughs. He’ll even mispronounce words on purpose just so I’ll correct him…LOL!

The one and only time I set off the fire alarms to our house happened this year. I had been baking a cake for my family and misread the tin instructions, filling it with double the amount of batter it was able to handle. The cake overflowed in the oven causing smoke to billow out everywhere. Our fire alarms are connected to our home security system. In my panic, I accidentally sent the security service to voice mail instead of answering and letting them know it was a fire alarm, prompting a visit by the fire department. My normally unflappable self had disappeared amidst the stress.

At first he tried to tease me into a better mood, but quickly realized it wasn’t going to work this time. Knowing the fire department was on their way, he sent me out to the driveway to handle them. He started airing out the house, calming the dogs while I stood outside and told the fire department that it was an accident and everything was under control. Once the smoke cleared (literally) he tried again to calm me down. Knowing I was frustrated and angry at my mistake, and that I had church early in the morning he sent me off to bed. He re-did the cake for me while I slept.

When someone can love you like that, allowing yourself to be vulnerable to them is easy. I’m lucky. I know it. But I also know I’m not the only lucky one. I’d love to hear some stories centered around flaws…maybe things you’ve found sweet or things that have been done for you to help you feel better… What can I say? Everyone loves a lover…

I think this song best illustrates how sweet that kind of love can be…

 

Beauty In Ballads

Ok, so I have two big ways of expressing myself. Music and poetry. Most of you who stop here regularly have already figured that out. Thanks for stopping and commenting, by the way…your welcome has been amazingly warm and I’m beginning to feel right at home.

I’m sure it will come as no surprise to anyone that I’ve decided to look into ballads a little bit. First, I’m a sucker for a slow song, but more importantly, I love songs that tell stories. In fact, I remember being in 4th or 5th grade when our music teacher told us about ballads. Oddly enough, we were also learning about ballads in English class. She told us that ballads were songs that told a story. Today I decided to look up the definition. This is what I found.

Ballad:

1.
narrative song: a song or poem, especially a traditional one or one in a traditional style, telling a story in a number of short regular stanzas, often with a refrain

“The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde”
2.
slow romantic song: a slow romantic popular song

“two up-tempo numbers followed by a ballad”
Definition #2 is what most of us know ballads to be these days, right? A slow song that allows you the opportunity to get all close and cozy with the one you’re with…also one of the only songs almost any man is comfortable dancing to because he doesn’t have to do more than hang on and sway. (No, not all men…there are a few out there who can really dazzle a woman or man with his footwork..but generally speaking I’ve found this to be the case.)
Now the first ballad poem I remember reading was Casey At The Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer. I really liked it! Between poems like this and my ties to music, me writing poetry was practically a given.
The first musical ballad I remember learning to sing was…and don’t laugh…Don’t Fence Me In. My music teacher at the time was in her 70’s, so I’m guessing she learned it being sung by guys like Gene Autrey or Roy Rodgers. Me, I prefer Ella…Love her voice!
Anyone have any idea what a cayuse is? I don’t…but I still like the song. Go figure.
There’s something about the story you can picture in your mind when you hear a ballad the way it was defined to me as a child. Take The Gambler by Kenny Rogers…people love it because they can see the story unfold! Oddly enough, that’s not my favorite Kenny ballad, though he’s done many, including songs like Lucille, Reuben James & Long Arm Of The Law. I’m a sucker for heroes, which may explain why this one is my favorite…which is saying something because Kenny has done a ton of amazing ballads. (BTW, this one has the Supernatural hotties in it)
If I consider Kenny to be the reigning king of ballads, and I do, Reba would have to be the queen. With songs like Bobby, Is There Life Out There and The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia, how could I not? She’s not only a vocal powerhouse, but she made those songs huge hits! Of course, Fancy is my all time favorite one. The story blew me away and left me in tears…proud for the woman she became, sad for the things she had to go through to get there.
There’s something about a ballad that draws me in and touches my soul. Not only do they tell a story, but usually, if you listen hard enough, there’s a message. Now I know there are more ballads than just in country music, but these are the ones that stand out to me. I love music, and especially discovering new ones, so if you have some ballads that you’d like to share or any of these songs touched you in any way, please share! I’d love to hear them and from you. I’ll leave you with a few more that are guaranteed to touch the heart strings….Such amazing poetry and artistry. Is it any wonder I’m fascinated with ballads?
Tragic and destructive…filled with regret.
The video says it all!
This is committment!
And this is how I feel about my guy…:-)