Today’s Prompt: Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?
Only three? That might be hard. Well, let’s see, if I’ve only got three, we’ll go with Run, Rabbit Run, by Eminem, Angel From Montgomery by Bonnie Raitt, and Landslide by Stevie Nicks.
If you’re a writer living in obscurity, likely broke, maybe with kids, and you’ve never listened to Run, Rabbit, Run, go do it. Don’t bother with the awful movie that spawned it, I wouldn’t want you to have to sit through it. But the song speaks to something very deep in my heart about writers block, and trying to find the right words to express the image I’ve got in my head. It’s nice to know that maybe I’m not the only one who can see a scene just right in my mind, but then when I try to write it out, it just crashes and burns like the Hindenburg.
Angel From Montgomery is one that my mom used to sing when I was little, so I hear her voice when I listen to it. Even though she and I aren’t close, and never really were, it makes me think of the way I felt then, when I was little and she was the strongest person I knew. Besides that, Bonnie’s just got this voice, you know? It’s so deep and powerful.
And Landslide. Just step away for a moment from the legacy and legend that is Stevie Nicks, and think about the song itself, and the myriad of meanings it can have for the listener. When I first heard it, I would have said it was about a woman who’s husband was leaving her, and she didn’t know what to do with herself. She’d wrapped up too much of who she was in being his lover. Now, I hear a mother’s lament in it. “Time makes you bolder, children get older, I’m getting older, too. And if you see my reflection in a snow covered hill, the landslide will bring you down.” Now, it’s the image of a woman who’s daughter is moving out into the world, away from her. We build our lives around our children, and when they leave there’s a hole where they were. But I think we all secretly believe that they’ll look at themselves and see a part of us there. No matter how bad your relationship with your parents, there are parts of them in you, the same as there will be parts of you in your children. For better or worse.
Music’s always been so crucial to me. It expresses emotions in a way I have very rarely seen prose writers manage, hard as we may try. We writers, we paint a landscape. Song writers show us one flower.