[Kelly’s Newspaper Column]
I love Pandora radio. Imagine my delight the first time we created a Barry Manilow station.
Song after song was pure joy. The Barry was followed by The Carpenters, then Air Supply, then Lionel. On and on, old delights came on. Bread. Chicago. Neil Diamond. Kenny Rogers. Big names of my once upon a time mixed in with lesser remembered singers like Paul Davis’s “I Go Crazy” or “Baby Come Back” by Player. (Yeah, haven’t heard those in forever but you will know the words.)
Of course I know all the words to every Barry song, every Karen Carpenter line, and I can lip sync Air Supply like nobody’s business. But I was surprised at all the songs that came on that I had not heard in years (decades) and had forgotten even existed, and yet I could sing along word for word.
The brain works in mysterious ways. I cannot recall what I had for dinner last night, but give me a song from 1974 and I know it. And the 80s too.
I had forgotten that music producer Quincy Jones put out an album, but when “Just Once” came on, I knew every word. James Ingram was the singer for that one. I looked it up and it’s from 1981 when my teen brain was obviously a sponge. For certain things.
Ask me about geometry and I will remember….not much, but words to songs are etched in my cerebral cortex. The science behind it would say that perhaps it was the time of life or the emotion attached. Or maybe they’re just great songs.
But oh yes for emotion. Young hairbrush microphone divas across the land would lip sync along to these songs, long before there was karaoke or lip sync battles. It was just young girls clutching their hearts and singing songs of heartache and happily ever after. Not for show, just for the joy of it.
I can’t help myself. I close my eyes, and silently belt out with deep emotion and shoulder heaving along with my beloved singers. There is nary a clunker in the bunch as the Pandora plays on. I don’t hit skip. I click thumbs up over and over. I thank Barry and pals for serenading me through my edits and writing.
The window on my computer with the Pandoa playing is buried under other research windows so I don’t see title and artist displayed, thus I can play name that tune with myself. Call me cocky, but it seems like three notes or less every time. I know you want to challenge me.
Even though Adele was not yet born when these folks were part of my world, (and I love that they are a part of it again), I channel her hand motions while I silently sing. Even typing this short article had several pauses as my right hand is extended straight up in the air as I’m feeling the vibes.
It doesn’t take much to make me happy. Let me write. Let me listen. Let me be lost in love. I have several Pandora stations. Bruno Mars. Robbie Williams. Van Halen. But the one that makes the happiest, song after song after song, is Barry’s. Thank you.
England Dan and John Ford Coley, anyone?
(Kelly Epperson Simmons is contemplating writing song lyrics. Invite/write/share firstname.lastname@example.org. Get Kelly’s weekly email joy letter by sending your email address.)