Three Generations of Song

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Love songs (and breakup songs for that matter) are universal. No other topic has been written or sung about as much as love. Like concentric circles on a felled tree, each ring represents an era of a song's popularity. When it comes to romantic relationships, couples often choose "their song" as an unofficial way to signify their season together. A soundtrack of sentimental verse set to guide their future.

My grandparents, who celebrated 70 years of marriage right before my grandpa passed away, kept the sheet music for their song in a worn piano bench in their basement. Whenever I hear a rendition of the 1927 song "Tea for Two" I can't help think of them. Old-fashioned sorts, from the depression era, who, while never demonstrative in their affection, were clearly committed to one another.

Decades later, my parents—a product of the 70s generation— danced to "Colour my world" when they first met as teenagers. From that moment it became their anthem for the next 18 years of marriage.

When Ken and I were dating we had a couple catchy tunes we jammed out to on every road trip, but when it came to picking "our" song it seemed like we didn't have one. Then one day the song just sort of emerged. I had heard it and shortly after Ken sent me the song in an email. Immediately we both knew it was "ours." Now whenever I hear "The Way I Am" I am transported to a May evening, along the Potomac River,  jazz trio in the background, where we danced on a slightly damp lawn.


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