I really did start this post today, writing in Wishbone Diner in Chicago :-)
An ode to great music!
Do you have songs that can lift your entire mood? I'm sitting in a Chicago restaurant right this moment, listening to "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" and don't understand why everyone isn't dancing! How can you sit there eating your soup? Where is your Guess miniskirt? Your rubber Madonna bracelets? Your permed hair? Your best college girlfriends, shaking their hips and pointing during the refrain, then shimmying those hips down as the whistling "dropping a bomb" sound repeats... again and again and again... thank you, Charlie Wilson!
I also heard “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen on a recent road trip. From the opening lines (“like vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays…”), the poetry of racing out of town with a dangerous boy on a warm June night can still make me feel like anything is possible, if only I am willing to take a risk (where are those dangerous boys now?!).
And suddenly, during a professional development (that I was leading -- so I'm not sure this impressed the participants!), I felt compelled to start singing "Say a Little Prayer for You." (For clarity, I'm imitating the Dionne Warwick version (with props to Aretha, who sings a beautiful version, too); but most people know this song from My Best Friend's Wedding. I'm lucky enough to have learned this song from hearing it on vinyl... thank you, Mom.) It was amazing how quickly the lyrics jumped right back to me, and a handful of teachers joined right in, without skipping a beat, a big smile on their faces (I think they were singing the Dionne Warwick version, too!).
Although they are so very different, each of these songs buoys my heart immediately. The trigger of a night of dancing, a night of anything being possible, a night of loving – I’m so lucky my brain is absolutely wired to shift gears and allow the combination of compelling lyrics and a strong hook to serve as a jolt of joy. What songs are on your bring-the-joy playlist?