I love the idea of Songlines. The original book was written by Bruce Chatwin but I tend to fall in line with Jimmy Buffett’s camp with his definition in the quote above.

For those of you new to this blog, you probably think I’m going to launch into a list for the soundtrack of my life. But that’s just too predictable and not how we do things here.

Ever since I was a little girl, I had a strange connection to music. My parents like to tell stories about my fascination with the radio. I’m not talking about the fact that I liked to listen to the radio all day (and that weird factoid is still true today!) but I would pretend to be ON the radio.

Apparently, I walked around the house with a hand-held tape recorder and interviewed my parents, my sister and anyone who came over to visit. Later that day, I would play back the interviews and end it with, “and here’s the latest from Neil Diamond” so I could play Sweet Caroline that I recorded earlier that day.

Weird, yeah I know. You didn’t think I got this strange when I hit adulthood and had a kid? I had years in the making of my inner weirdness.

But wait folks … there’s more! Want to know where my first real grown-up job was? My junior year in college I got my first ‘I can’t believe they’re paying me this much to work here’ at a local radio station. I worked in sales at the Top 40 station that all the college kids locked into the first place on their car radio buttons.

I spent the first month learning all the secrets behind the music and voices on the air. I soaked in as much as my college brain could handle. For the next ten years, I found a home in radio. With the exception of accounting, I’ve done just about every job you could imagine at a radio station. I even did a small part on the morning show at our local country station for about a year and half.

Then came that fateful day when the big box store corporations took over my world. I moved to the online division and eventually my frustrations with the way radio was changing caused me to leave and start my own business. That was truly the day the music died.

So you can see, I have my own definition of Songlines. The concept is more than just a YouTube video that we all share on Facebook. It’s about moments. Something in these songs brings us back to that place. It could be joyful, troubled or where ever you are in that moment place. That song takes you there.

And it’s such a special moment that if too many people knew about it, it would ruin the story. Sometimes the song becomes even more extraordinary when you keep it to yourself. You pull it out and look at it when hear you those emotion-filled lyrics mixed in with a familiar melody.

How long did it take for me to understand the meaning of Songlines? About 25 songs.

(I’m back on the Yeah Write grid this week! Come check out some great writers with me!)


Photo credit: Bridge to Infinity

22 thoughts on “Songlines

  1. I am a long time diehard Parrothead. And I have that connection to music, too, but my parents were so jaded about the music industry when I was growing up that I knew there wasn’t anything viable I could do in that area.

    My daughter’s name is Caroline.

    I hated that Neil Diamond song until she was born. Now, I’ll belt it out at the top of my lungs with the CD set to repeat. How long does it take to get from my house to the kids’ school? 2 1/2 Sweet Carolines.

    • Welcome to my Parrothead world!
      How sad that you missed out on connecting with music as a kid. At least now you can listen to all that music we heard growing up and make your own choices.

      VERY funny about how long it takes to get to school! See there … you found your own Songline 🙂

  2. Did you save any of those tape-recorded interviews with your family? I bet they would be a treat to listen to now. I love that kind of kid – they turn into the best adults!

    • I wish my parents had saved them. I think I may have recorded over them every day. I don’t remember having a lot of cassette tapes laying around but it’s funny to hear my folks tell one of these stories.

      Yeah, we are … and my kid is just like me 🙂

  3. Songs do bring me back to moments I thought I’d forgotten. Neil Diamond is my mom’s favorite singer – I remember listening to his records over and over again as a kid.

    • My mom too! She had all his records and she’d put them all on the record player to play one after the other. We use to listen to him when we were cleaning the house so I know all the songs by heart. A few years ago, I bought a box set of Neil Diamonds and I pull it out every now and then.

  4. this so reminds me of my youth… recording songs from the radio onto the hand-held recorder and trying not to get the DJ’s voice. : ) oh man. now I’m thinking of John Schneider It’s Now or Never. ;D good times.

  5. I am in Advertising and know, all too well, how the big-boxes have ruined radio, from the inside out. I hate that DJs and even local stations have no say over what they play. I don’t even listen to local radio anymore. Sirius XM has saved my sanity. I love your connection to music and can relate well to this post.

    • So you REALLY understand what I’m talking about. If I told everyone the truth about what really goes on behind their favorite radio station, they’d be so upset. It’s like telling a kid there’s no santa.

      I LOVE LOVE Sirius! My favorites are the Coffee House, Alternative Wave and the Buffett station. I also listen online to I-heart-radio stations to get me through the day.

  6. I can’t believe how similar our posts are. When I was growing up I was being groomed to be a doctor or lawyer, I never knew I “could” work in radio. 25 years later, at least I can write about it!

    • I just clicked over and read your post. You’re right! I think it just goes to show how connected we can be to music and how it’ll stay with us.

      I didn’t realize I could work in radio either. I just went over there when I was in college to see if I could get an internship and they hired me. It was such a cool job until the corporations took over.

  7. Nice to learn this about you. I know you refer to Jimmy Buffet regularly. Cool that you were able to follow your passion and work in radio. I am so with you when you say that songs bring you back to a place.

    • Yeah Buffett has a big influence on my world. But as one of my blogger friends, you knew that already. But I bet you didn’t realize about all the weird stuff I did as a kid. Kinda makes you understand why Jake is this way.

      (BTW – got your email and we’re going to my usual place for services this Frid. I’ll see if anyone will talk to me about this one more time and will let you know when I write back)

    • Traffic reports … that’s a good one! I didn’t do that one but I love the idea of make the sound effects with the dollar bill. You’re making me feel better that I’m not the only who did this kind of stuff 🙂

  8. Pingback: The Parrothead | My journey to live an authentic life

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