I know I’ve said it before on this blog, but music is pretty important to me. Songs bring me back to times, places, people. Led Zeppelin will always make me think of sitting in the living room as a little kid with my dad, with huge headphones on learning what rock music really is. I could (probably) recite my entire marathon playlist if I needed to, and I’ll never forget that the song playing over the speakers at the finish line was Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. And one of my favorite songs ever written is God Only Knows by The Beach Boys. Nolan’s song.
I always knew that Simon’s song would be Bob Dylan’s Forever Young. I couldn’t wait to sing it to him while we rocked, while I put him to bed, while he was screaming at 1 in the morning and I happily tried anything to help him calm down.
But then it was sung at his bench dedication. And I sobbed as I heard it. I will never again hear that song without absolutely losing it. And I’ve done everything I can to avoid it. I honestly don’t think I’ve heard it since last August, and in a way that’s OK with me. And in another way, I feel like I’ve deprived Simon of hearing it, and that breaks my heart.
Then came Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder. I love that song. I love the line “you are the apple of my eye, that’s why I’ll always stay around.” I was ready to sing that to Little Guy. I did sing it to him a couple times. That was going to be our song.
And again, I haven’t heard it, or wanted to for months. I avoid clicking on anything by Stevie on YouTube for fear that it’ll show up as a suggestion. Another song I just want to escape but can’t get out of my head.
And the radio seems out to get me these days. Not with these songs, but with so many others that I listen to in an entirely different way. In the past week, I’ve heard a pretty tough list.
The One I Love by R.E.M. “this one goes out to the one I’ve left behind.” I wake up in a panic periodically feeling like Simon feels as though his dad, his protector, his hero left him behind, and this song made that feeling well up throughout my body. I sobbed on my way to work.
Lightning Crashes by Live. It’s a song about baby loss. What the fuck? How have I never know that?
How to Save A Life by The Fray. I just wish there was a way. I convince myself there was a way and I didn’t do it. I convince myself that I should have noticed something, said something, seen something, felt something. I couldn’t save his life.
Yesterday by the Beatles. “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away, now it looks as though they’re here to stay.” Yep.
I Am A Rock by Simon and Garfunkel, courtesy of a punk remake by Me First and the Gimmee Gimmees. This one blares in my ears while I’m on the bike. I pedal and sweat and try to feel good as the lines ring out. “If I never loved, I never would have cried. I am a rock, I am an island.” Quite literally every word of this hits really damn hard. I loved my boys. I still do. I always will, and that’s why I cry, why we grieve, why we hurt. And so often feeling like this world is an island. That no one really gets it, and so few want to understand me…us, it’s so frustrating, and angering, and heartbreaking.
This is one week. And only the songs I could safely type into my notes as I drove listening to the radio. It’s every day. It’s so many songs. There’s so much hurt and so many reminders.
Hell, I didn’t actually know until I sat down to write this that Simon and Garfunkel sang I am a Rock. SO there’s another reminder.