Traveling back on a “Heart-filled Journey” with Anne and Elvis

That moment when you hear an Anne Murray song on the radio and realize you know every single word of the song?

Yeah, that happened today.

And I’m actually admitting it.  It’s okay.  Really.

Within a fourteen-minute period I went from being 22 again to ten to seventeen and back to elementary aged.

Ah, listening to the radio is an awesome time travel experience, isn’t it?

It started with Heart’s “What About Love.”  I was back sitting in an office with a co-worker whom I loved then and still do today.  We kept the radio on the local station.  Sometimes country, sometimes classic rock.  Always trying to win a contest.  And we still got the work done.  Those are some good memories.  The day she promised she would have my back on a day I needed it, it was like she was speaking a vow, because she still has it today.  When you find a friend like that, hang on tight.

Then came Miss Anne Murray.  I almost changed the station until my heart recognized the song before my head did.  I was ten again–the year it hit number one.  “You Needed Me.”  I sang along and in the rearview mirror I saw looks of disbelief from my littles.  She’s no more cool now than she was when I first fell in love with her voice and lyrics all those many years ago.  *sigh*  (And don’t you wonder what I thought I was singing about at age ten?  It’s almost as bad as all these six-year olds belting out “Let It Go.”  Seriously, what do you need to let go of, sweethearts?)

Next it was Journey’s “Open Arms.”  Ahh.  Yes.  Seventeen.  High School.  Friends with boys who could sing.  And they did.  Very well.  Memories of afternoons working on the yearbook while hanging out with friends, some of whom could play piano and were in the literary Quartet group.  Another favorite was “Sara.”  Love this song.

As we pulled into our neighborhood, Elvis Presley’s “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” began.  Y’all.  This very well could be my “Let It Go” song from when I was a child.  You know I teethed on Elvis albums, and he was IT in our house.  This song was one of those so full of feeling that I automatically belted it out every single time I heard it.  (I didn’t mean to imply that I belted it out well, just that I was loud.)  That last “Believe meeeeee…..”–I was probably every bit as passionate as the little ones who are “letting it go.”  And had about as much life experience as they do to put into the meaning.

And then we were home.  That was a good thing.  I don’t know how much more my heart could take.  It’s not easy this time travelling thing–the emotions seem every bit as strong as they once were when you take that trip back.

This afternoon today turned into one of those hard days you didn’t see coming.  One where you feel ill-equipped to handle what is coming next.

By supper I was exhausted.  And had many miles left to go.

And then this happened.

Aub, who is officially a sophomore *sigh* now, is home.  For the summer.  And she was playing some music from the internet.  And she gasped.  I looked over at her.

She smiled at me and hit play.

And one more trip back.  To 1983.  The stereo record player on the desk that Mama and Daddy had stripped and refinished out in the backyard.  Daddy learning to set the player so it would play his 45 over and over and over.  And over.  Hours after hours of that song.  (Mama used to say it was a Joyner trait to listen to the same song over and over or read the same book again and again.  Daddy really proved it back then.)

“Pancho and Lefty.”  Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.  Y’all.

Only tonight it was a cover by Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan.  For the new Merle Haggard tribute album.

I was happy with the memories of the past.

She was happy with the version in the present.

She knew it would make me smile.  Memories of my Daddy never fail to do so.  He loved that song.  Loved the story.  Wondered why they didn’t make it into a movie.  It was always about the story with that one.  I don’t fall far from that tree.

Tonight I’m thankful for my Mama and Daddy who kept a small transistor radio (off white from age, made to look like it had stereo speakers–with wood grain-like trim) sitting on the kitchen counter and kept it playing.  Music was a huge part of our world.  When they got the record player, our horizons only broadened.  What an eclectic set of albums I’ve inherited from my Daddy.  I’m thankful for the memories tied to music that come to mind within three notes or less most times.  Most of all I give thanks for my girl knowing just what her ‘Dre needed after a hard day.

“Lefty he can sing the blues

All night long like he used to…..”

Pancho and Lefty, written by Townes Van Zandt

Love and just the right song when you need it to all.


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