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Music of Life

Do you know who Billy Talent is? If you do, you’re one step ahead of me…..in another universe parallel to mine. My musical awareness is still taking a walk around the block of Soft Rock and Seventies music. Billy Talent’s music lives about three decades away in a different time zone. Right now, he’s “visiting” our home for about a week, on loan from the library.

My 12 and a half-year old son insisted that I listen to the CD today. He finally got his chance this evening as I worked on our dinner in the kitchen. I have to say, I was a pretty captive audience, given that I happened to be doing a stir-fry and hadn’t much choice about remaining in the same spot for some time. So listen I did. (Mental note: That sounded like something Yoda might have said…..)

Billy Talent uses a lot of drums in their songs. (Apparently “Billy Talent” is the name of a band and not just a singer. At least that’s what I’ve been told.) It also sounded like the singer was always kind of……..shouting……..singing loud…….lots of electric guitar……loud……

My husband walked in as I continued to stir around the chicken in the wok.

“That’s the music your kids like,” I said under my breath, glancing furtively over my shoulder for overly-curious little people with big ears.

“Hmmm.” Sigh. He wasn’t paying attention.

“I don’t like it. Ugh,” I muttered. The chicken was looking pretty good, but the music was not to my taste.

My husband laughed. “Isn’t that what our parents said about our music before?” Ahhhh, he was listening after all!

“My music had words I could understand. I can’t understand what that guy is singing about.”

My husband shrugged his shoulders and walked out of the kitchen, laughing. And of course he would. He liked new wave music when he was a teen-ager. While I appreciated some of it, I always had a very mixed bag of musical preferences. I grew up listening to the music of the Beach Boys, the Beatles, the Ventures and the Shadows, the Mamas and the Papas, Bread, Kenny Rogers, Barry Manilow, the Bee Gees and Andy Gibb, Earth, Wind & Fire…….see what I mean? My music was all over the place! And I loved it!

I have my father to thank for the variety of music that I appreciate and love to listen to. One of my most favourite songs is by the Bee Gees — “How Deep is Your Love?” I remember as a child asking my dad to play the record of that song (No CDs then, little children…..). He would always get a smile on his face and — as if I had actually asked him how deep his love was — would say to me in reply, “Very deep.” To this day, the song evokes sweet memories of my dad and I am comforted by a song to which I can sing along. Every time I hear it, the years melt away and I am once more all of nine asking my dad to play my favourite song. In my mind’s eye, I see my father’s smile lighting up his face.

But back to tonight and my Billy Talent moment. As I stood in my kitchen, cooking dinner and listening to my son’s kind of music, I briefly felt……old. The music I was hearing spoke to me in a way I couldn’t seem to appreciate. And inasmuch as I am quite comfortable with my age (37 years and four months, if you please), at that particular moment by the stove, I felt about as young as pterodactyl. For about a fraction of a second, I felt positively Jurassic. And then — it was gone. It was not a feeling I could or would entertain. After all, dinosaurs can’t very well cook stir-fried chicken in oyster sauce and garlic green beans, not to mention manage a household of eight children and a husband.

Ambivalent feelings about Billy Talent’s music aside, it’s really not an option to feel “old” when you’ve got a family that keeps you young at heart.

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