The Soundtrack to My Life: The Early Years

For as much as music is a part of my life (any given time, I’m probably listening to music, thinking of a song, or humming an earworm), I don’t remember it being a vital part of my childhood. It was there, but it doesn’t stand out. We didn’t have nightly dance parties or stand around the piano and have sing-a-longs (thank god). We DID have a piano, and there’s always been one of those whether it was my mom’s or my grandfather’s. And I remember them playing and ‘playing’ with them.

(Insert adorable picture of me and my grandfather sitting side by side on the piano bench that I know exists I just don’t have possession of).

I remember a lot of Disney – I grew up in the golden age of Disney with wonderful Alan Menkin compositions like Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, plus Lion King. And a LOT of this song. (I don’t even have a brother. I don’t even recall wanting to do this to my sisters…)

And after my parents went to see Phantom of the Opera, my dad used to play the Prologue/Overture for us. Mainly to attempt to scare the shit out of his young, impressionable children. (I finally saw the show live when I was 20 or so. I tensed up in my seat after the auctioneer said “illumination”… [Good parenting Father.])

I remember my mom listening to Kenny G. A lot of Kenny G. And that’s all we have to say about that. (It turns out her music taste is pretty good but nothing sticks other than the Kenny G. And the Partridge Family)

I also disliked a lot of my dad’s music. (Then I realized that George Strait is a god among men and Garth Brooks is incredibly talented.) (Strangely, the thing that comes to mind the most when I think of driving in my dad’s truck and what was on the radio is Paul Harvey. And the crop futures. Never mind, not strange when you know my dad…) But some of the things he introduced me to (probably way too young) are some of my favorite guilty pleasures: Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” in particular. (Seriously. I was in like 3rd grade. This was also the time my parents introduced me to Grease. Listening to the lyrics now, I wonder what they were thinking…)

Not long after, we got our first PC (now THAT is a monumental day that I can recall with stunning clarity). As PCs did (and still do), it came with a bunch o’ bloatware. Including an interactive CD that was going to be the wave of the future – you put it in the computer and it played the videos and had facts about the musician, or it played like a regular CD. All I can recall from this interactive CD is it had Celine Dion on it. And I was OBSESSED with this song. I performed this song and it rivaled the performance of Ms. Dion. (My first CDs were from Santa – he left me the *NSYNC debut and a Celine CD. I always wondered why the Celine. I think I’m getting it now…) (So you can visualize how much I love this song: I’m writing this in a Peets. And listening to this song. And I’m having to bite my lip to not start performing…)

And from there, it took off. I discovered MTV and started finding my own way in the music world.

But bits from my childhood pop up still: I love show tunes. I love genuine country. Amazing songs from the 80s are horrible guilty pleasures. And my music tastes span the gambit. So maybe my formative years have had more effect on my tastes than I thought…

Inspired by the prompt: What sort of music was played in your house when you were growing up? What effect, (if any) did it have on your musical tastes?



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Filed under About Me, Music, PostAWeek

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