February 2, 2005
“Finding Humor in Heartache”
“This is not a love song”
While rifling through my entire collection of cd’s, trying to determine which were worthy enough to be put on my new iPod, I came across one that I had not seen in at least 5 years. The cover, decorated so beautifully with little pink flowers and fancy swirling writing, said in big red letters “Jason and Tara: The Wedding Soundtrack.” This cd had been a wedding favor from one of my best friends weddings. As I put the cd into my computer to see what was on the wonderful story-in-music, I began to think back to that most interesting of days.
If this wedding deserved its own soundtrack, then the movie that it had been most like would have to be “Old School.” Now this might not be the movie most people think of when they think of weddings, some of the more famous being “My Best Friends Wedding” or “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” or my personal favorite, “Princess Bride.” This one, however, was most like the scene at the beginning of the movie “Old School” where all of the groomsmen are telling the groom that “the bride is 30 yards away, we can still make a run for it, 20 yards, 10, last chance…” But, the wedding went off without a special side note or story, just as most weddings do, with two people deeply in love promising to spend the rest of their lives together making each other happy.
As the cd began to play on my computer the first song that came up, I soon realized, was the couple’s first dance, which was to “Cowboy Take Me Away” by the Dixie Chicks. As the singer belted out those magical words, “…Cowboy take me away, fly this girl as high as you can into the wild blue. Set me free, oh I pray, closer to heaven above and closer to you,” I could picture Jason and Tara holding each other tight, staring innocently at one another. But, as the song continued I began to recall the course of their marriage and how the cowboy had taken her everywhere she wanted to go. They had moved to Virginia, Florida, back to Virginia and finally to South Carolina, each time him giving up his job and life there to make her happy because she always wanted to be somewhere else. My mind then flashed forward to about 2 months ago when he called and told me that they had tried, but the marriage just wasn’t going to work out and he was tired of making all the sacrifices. As it turned out, instead of “Cowboy Take Me Away” he should have picked the Dixie Chicks song “Ready To Run.”
As my thoughts return to the present, I realize how much stock people put into songs. Certain songs that we think are the defining moment of our lives that turn out to be nothing more than trivial moments. Some songs we choose for special occasions such as proms or wedding dances. We have special songs we play during breakups because we feel that the artist knows our pain.
My mind once again begins to travel as I stumble across another gem in my music collection, this time to my cousin's wedding on a chilly October day about 4 years ago. My cousin, a sound technician for the band “Cracker”, which meant that he traveled with band all the time, would share his first dance as husband and wife with his beautiful bride. They held each other close as the guests all gathered round to catch a glimpse of this magical moment. The song Faithfully, by Journey was playing, and seemed to be the perfect song to represent their marriage. Everyone in my family shared a quiet laugh as to how perfect this song was for the newlyweds, especially as Steve Perry sang the line, “…they say that the road ain’t no place to start a family. Right down the line it’s been you and me, and loving a music man ain’t always what its supposed to be…” They looked so happy (use a better descriptor here, more passion) gazing into each others eyes. Now my…