Well, here goes nothing. It’s high time I began writing again, and I have had a little project in the back of my head slowly eating its way into my brain. Music. Yeah, nothing new there I know. But I was looking at my iTunes library after paring it back greatly (now I wish I hadn’t done that…) and wondered how I know and arrived at all of these songs.
Let’s get a few things straight. First, I have loved music since the womb. Again, nothing new there. I bet we all say that. But be patient with me. Second, my music collection spans the globe, the decades, the genres, and yes, even the taste of most people. I like most teenagers in the early 90s had a CD “membership” to Columbia Records, which I kept for a while out of both fear and greed. They would send a new album nearly weekly. Sometimes the “deals” were too hard to pass up, and my collection quickly swelled from under 50 to over 300. When digital music and online downloading happened, hell–my music collection became anarchy. And I secretly like it that way.
When I was 19, I traveled abroad for a semester. In England, I discovered a new writer, Nick Hornby, and the amazing novel High Fidelity. Yes, it was made into a movie with John Cusack but the novel is its own world. I dog-eared page after page where Hornby wrote lines that hit my soul. The one that has stayed with me for 16 years is as follows:
“I’ve been letting the weather and my stomach muscles and a great chord change in a Pretender’s single make up my mind for me, and I want to do it for myself”–High Fidelity, Nick Hornby. 1995
I take songs to heart. I take lyrics to heart. I have pages and pages of lines from songs written in journals, typed up on word documents, slapped on post-its in my planner. They mean something. I take my music collection beyond the normal collection realm. I remember songs. I remember places when I hear songs. When certain songs play, I feel like someone from somewhere in my life is popping up in memory to say hello. Crazy, I am sure. But again, I beg you to stick with me.
As of today, I have 4131 songs in my iTunes library. As mentioned before, this number is after a large purge (mostly show tunes–you’ll thank me for that one). I will attempt to, in shuffle mode, write about at least 5 songs each entry. I have no idea how long this will take me. It will most likely take two full years. I will not arrange songs into any theme or choose songs I like first. Each entry will be based on chance. I might write a little, I might write a lot. We shall see. But I will re-listen to each before writing and see what I remember, see what I forget, see what I hope never to see again.
I thought I would start there. Let’s see how this goes.