Writing 101: Day 3

Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

Well, I won’t say that these are ‘THE’ three most important songs in my life but rather these are three songs that strike me as being important as I think about it today. In the coming days I’ll probably think of other songs that should have been on this list. But here goes…

Song number 3 is “She’s Leaving Home” by the Beatles. This Paul McCartney song touched me at a young age. I was about 13 when Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band came out and this song really struck me. Of course I could relate to the young girl who runs away from home because she wants to have fun, my family lived out in the sticks in Tennessee so I could understand her! But as the lyrics continued to express the heart of the parents I felt so bad for them.

“She (We gave her most of our lives)
Is leaving (Sacrificed most of our lives)
Home (We gave her everything money could buy)
She’s leaving home after living alone
For so many years (Bye bye)”

This song helped me realize that there are two sides to any situation and we have to be careful about taking sides without understanding the 2nd party.

Song number 2 is “My Way”, the Frank Sinatra version. Hats off to Paul Anka for taking the French song “Comme d’Habitude” and giving it some lyrics worthy of the music:

“Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way.”

This song is simply explaining what it is to live a good life. Be ready to accept difficulties, to persevere when times are hard, to make mistakes and learn from them, to accept criticism. The goal in life is to discover who I am, what I believe and remain true to myself.

And Song Number 1 is……………(drum roll)………………I’ve Loved These Days by Billy Joel. I had made the decision to move to France for five years to discover my wife’s country and culture and wanted to take some good music with me. I bought a CD by Billy Joel, “Songs in the Attic” which had a selection of some of his early songs from before he made it big. I heard “I’ve Loved These Days” and was stunned. It was as if he was describing me. His song is about someone who has been living the good life and realizes that it’s time to make a change.

I couldn’t find a Youtube clip with the lyrics so here are the lyrics:

“Now we take our time, so nonchalant
And spend our nights so bon vivant
We dress our days in silken robes
The money comes
The money goes
We know it’s all a passing phase

We light our lamps for atmosphere
And hang our hopes on chandeliers
We’re going wrong, we’re gaining weight
We’re sleeping long and far too late
And so it’s time to change our ways
But I’ve loved these days

Now as we indulge in things refined
We hide our hearts from harder times
A string of pearls, a foreign car
Oh we can only go so far
On caviar and cabernet

We drown our doubts in dry champagne
And soothe our souls with fine cocaine
I don’t know why I even care
We’ll get so high and get nowhere
We’ll have to change our jaded ways
But I’ve loved these days

So before we end and then begin
We’ll drink a toast to how it’s been
A few more hours to be complete
A few more nights on satin sheets
A few more times that I can say
I’ve loved these days”

My life at that time didn’t include caviar, cabernet, champagne or cocaine but this song captured my state of mind. I had enjoyed my life but it felt empty and I knew I needed to make a change. This song helped me feel I had made the right decision about going to France and it gave me the strength and confidence to move forward and leave the past behind.

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