The music in my head

I was watching one of those “music of yesteryear” specials on PBS the other night, when I heard a song that hadn’t been in my head in almost 50 years. “Little Jimmy Brown” by The Browns was a hit during my parents’ time, and I remember hearing it on the radio in the kitchen many, many times. It’s a catchy, memorable tune, and it had been sitting there in my mind for all those years.

Rock-n-roll had just come on the music scene, and this song competed with the likes of The Everly Brothers, Elvis and other early pop performers.

Music is one of those things that frames a person’s life. We all have a sound track, because music helps us mark passages. It also is a connecting influence for culture, a bonding experience for communities of interest.

Today, at age 62, I find that the radio station I listen to most frequently is the one in my own head, for I prefer silence over adding new layers to the sound track of my life. Maybe it’s the music of today, but I doubt it (speaking of which, have you seen Britney’s “Womanizer” video? Good Lord, she’s NAKED!). I think I’m just happy with the music that’s already there, for it defines me. In the winter of one’s life, we tend to give a lot more weight to nostalgia than we do while passing through life’s other seasons.

A few years ago, I discovered the band Great Big Sea from Newfoundland, young men with a unique style of rock, folk, Irish and sea chanteys that wrapped its way around my mind so tightly that I couldn’t let go. While the music was “new” to me, there was a mystical familiarity that, I think, goes back to my deep roots. “The boys” are now a part of my sound track, but I’m really not interested in adding anything else.

I was very fortunate, I think, to grow up during the birth of rock-n-roll, for I’ve always related to sources of original thinking, and that includes pop culture. I wouldn’t trade the music of my generation for anybody else’s.


  1. Great recommendation, Terry. DL’d a couple albums yesterday. Can’t believe I hadn’t heard of them before.

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