Saturday, June 21, 2014

To Be Understood, As To Understand

My daughters made me a mix CD for Father's Day. A mix CD of songs I own. Because, y'know, we're all on the same iTunes, and 95% of everything on there is stuff I bought or burned.

That's not the appropriate initial response to a gift, by the way. Especially to a gift from children who are provided little spending money. Thankfully, I'm at least smart enough lately to keep smartass thoughts like this to myself, and my blog, in moments of intended generosity. My eldest is more of the music obsessive, but my second definitely left her imprints on the selection as well. Their CD was an invitation of sorts, a gift not about music, per se, but about how they see me through the music library we share.

1. Open Up Your Heart & Let the Sun Shine In - Frente!
2. Stay Gold - First Aid Kit
3. Full Circle - Aerosmith
4. More Than a Feeling - Boston
5. I Will - Dia Frampton (with Blake Shelton)
6. All Too Well - Taylor Swift
7. Home - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
8. Backwards Walk - Frightened Rabbit
9. The Only Exception - Paramore
10. Out on the Town - fun.
11. The Show - Lenka
12. Even If It Breaks Your Heart - Will Hoge
13. I Melt with You - Modern English
14. Dog Days Are Over - Florence + The Machine
15. You'll Be In My Heart - Phil Collins
16. Baby Of Mine - Alison Krauss

Four of the songs are ones I used to sing to them when they were babies. One of them I still do. One verse every night I tuck them in.

My earliest memory of rock music is here.

At least one song representing all five decades of my life are here.

One of my most recent purchases is included.

They chose two songs by bands I pretend I discovered, two more from bands I've seen in the last year, and two more we all sort of fell in love with as father and daughters.

They chose a playlist that's built like a good meal. It's got cheese, a decent measure of meat, a bit of fluff, and some homegrown natural farm fresh ingredients. It's got vitamins and minerals, fiber and fat. It nods to history but lives in the now.

Some really great music binds people, but some music doesn't. OK Computer, for example, is one of the better albums of the last quarter century, in my opinion, but it is not the sound of bonding humans together. It's a lonely, isolating listening experience built to remind you what a lonely, isolating world we have constructed for ourselves. And I appreciate that message.

Further, I appreciate why Bob and others with half a brain would loathe Phil Collins. Because, I mean, he's Phil Collins.

But if you want to bond with your elementary school daughters -- or even your middle school daughters -- just trust me that "You Will Be In My Heart" goes a lot farther than "Karma Police."

I don't want to go too deep into the meanings of the songs on the mix. I could. I'm tempted to. OK OK, I have. I've secretly thought about the songs and wondered about the messages and all that, because it's fun to do, but their gift wasn't intended that way. The message they intended is in the forest, not the trees. And it's a special message.

It's a good mix. They'll get even better at it. My eldest has a wider and better appreciation of music at 14 than I did at 20. More importantly, it says they understand the parts of me they need to understand. They know what I like, and they know what moves me, and they know that the two aren't always the same thing. They know what I want for them isn't nearly as much about me as my blog is about me. They know that the very act of their hearts beating is the most treasured reality in my whole world, that Who they are, What potential they possess within them, Who they might become, What they like or Whom they love are entirely secondary to their mere existence in my life.

And they hear it, constantly, in the music we share.

1 comment:

Robert Berman said...

A Frente! recording I didn't know about ?!? (Runs to Amazon)