Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 1 - A Song

Day 1 - a song that reminds you of your child, or one that you can't listen to anymore and why.

There is something about the slacker generation, Generation X, or whatever you call it, that seems to take music like some kind of quick overview of one's personality. What kind of music do you like? What are the five albums you are stranded on a deserted island with? Are you a ABC person or what? Sarah Vowell has a great essay about it, hilarious and poignant, can't for the life of me find it, but whatever. She is worth the read or listen. I basically know her work from This American Life, so I listened to it.

I do happen to like bands/musicians/singers in almost every genre of music. And I listen to a lot of music, over and over again. I sometimes would just put on song on infinite repeat for an entire day. I never tire of my obsession, until I do, usually the next day, when that particular song was sooooooo yesterday.

When Lucy died, music all but dried up for me. Lyrics are my thing, as a writer, and suddenly every song was overwrought and heartbreaking and seeming to be so fucking sad. Leonard Cohen is a perennial favorite, and yeah, even Suzanne broke my heart. What can I say, I was emotionally fragile. Cell phone commercial gutted me on a good day. I was hollowed out, filled with tears, readying for a piece of music to come along and poke holes in me. Salt water flooding my cd collection.

Still, there were a few things that I listened to over and over again. I loved listening to Tegan and Sara's album the Con when I began painting. It helped that Bea would listen to it without demanding that They Might Be Giant's ABC album get put on, so there is that. My musical choices are often trumped by a toddler. I tried desperately hard to sneak Bikini Kill in, but Beatrice told me that Bikini Kill scared her. Shit. Basically, the only time we would listen to music during the day after Lucy died was when we painted. It became that we either put on Tegan and Sara or Bjork.

Ever notice how dang applicable breakup songs are to babyloss? Shit. Tegan and Sara are amazing. Anyway, I used to ache to hear one of Tegan's songs, and I would put it on, then start it over, just so I could have myself a good tear up. It was like pushing a black and blue. It hurts. I am still alive. It hurts. I am still alive.

Anyway, the lines really have nothing to do with babyloss, but these lines remind me of Lucy and not getting to be her mother.

Maybe I would have been something you'd be good at.
Maybe you would have been something I'd be good at.
But now we'll never know.
I won't be sad, but in case I go there everyday to make myself feel bad,
There is a chance I'll start to wonder if this was the thing to do.

The song is Call It Off. Here is the video.


  1. I totally relate to this post....every song somewhat hits a chord without me even realizing it. I have been addicted to Wicked ever since I saw it this summer in Milwaukee. I did a huge post on that song here: It just totally hit me and related so much to what my life is like now since losing my baby girl. Love the song you chose to share.

  2. Gawd yes to the breakup songs. They just hit that ouch spot so perfectly.

  3. There are three songs that go right to the heart of it for me, and I can't really listen to any of them now. One, obviously, is the one Alan wrote for Kai after he died but before we knew he was Kai. (Have I ever played this for you, Ang, by the way?) A second is Paul Simon's "Father and Daughter", which is a song I hear played a lot at weddings for father-daughter dances. I can't watch touching father-daughter moments on TV or in movies without crying- never have been able to- but since our losses, this song in particular reminds me of what Alan doesn't have and it rips me up.

    The third is a Cat Stevens song- "If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out." Alan used to play it on guitar and we'd sing it together, and it was the first song I planned on singing to Kai on the day I expected him to be born. I banished it from the house all together after we lost him, though it's back now, in small doses. I alternate between imagining the moment I thought we would have and feeling tender, and wanting to puke when I hear it.

  4. That's a great song, thanks for sharing.. wow. For me, the #1 punch-to-the-gut song is "Goodnight Kiss" by Dream Theater. ( I posted a long comment at the bottom of that link explaining.

  5. Beautiful song.

    'Maybe I would have been something you'd be good at.
    Maybe you would have been something I'd be good at.
    But now we'll never know.'

    So matter of fact and so very sad.

    I can't listen to 'Father and Daughter' either Danielle. It's just too sore.

  6. Danielle, I haven't heard the song Alan wrote for Kai, but would love to. And Father and Daughter...totally. Cannot listen to it. Well, ever, really.

    Lucid Anne, definitely sounds like a babyloss song. And your description, YES. It does make you feel crazier than anything else has ever made me feel. Thank you for sharing that one. I have never heard this song.

  7. I'll listen to a song all day as well.

    Eddie Vedder's Rise has been a big one for me since my son was stillborn. It makes me think of my son and my two living girls and makes me smile. Last night I was listening to it in the car when the biggest meteor I've ever seen streaked across the sky. It was a fantastic moment.

  8. Ever notice how dang applicable breakup songs are to babyloss?

    yes yes yes yes yes yes

    Amazingly so. I've been thinking through my list of 30 too, Ang and when I came to this question I was shocked at how many love gone wrong songs ended up on my shortlist. The ouch spot - MaryBeth said it well. As did you - the bruise you need to keep touching to remind yourself you're still capable of feeling.

  9. Oh - and also "Let It Be". I'm not religious, but this was a good one for me.

  10. We lost Katie right around the time the movie "City of Angels" came out. Still haven't seen the movie, but the soundtrack was huge & all the songs on it related to grief & loss, including "Angel" by Sarah McLauchlan & "Iris" by the GooGoo Dolls.

    Elton John's song "Blessed" was big during my pregnancy with Katie & always reminds me of her. Just listen to the lyrics!


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