Music + Times | Part 1 {Personal}

after all, my plans they melt
into the sand
band of horses | older

Have you ever noticed that music is strange and fantastic emotional time-travel?  Have you ever listened to just three seconds of a song and instead of driving on the highway to a meeting you are tan, talking to your best friend late at night, alive and well?  Though in reality approaching an exit in your frosty, rusty Corolla in a grey day, you instead smell warm night, tacos and fruity deodorant.  Instead you hear glowing laughter, you are having lingering conversation, you are with very specific people on a very specific night.  And the verse to the song hasn't even started yet! Am I the only one who has ever experienced this phenomenon?

Of course not.

That is why the world loves music.  I don't mean why "artists" and "musicians" and the "intellectually understanding" love music.  It's why all of us - even us who aren't trained in the art - love it.  Music makes us feel.  Music and smells take you back in time.  Music and friends get you through current times.  Music and dreams excite you for future times.  What an enjoyable gift God gave us in music! 

"Come into my arms, where a dreamer can meet the Lullaby Lady from Hushabye Street." Hushabye Street was playing on a cassette tape my entire baby and childhood.  I never remember not knowing that song.  When I hear it I'm laying on my back in my wooden, bead-cut, crib staring up to the dark ceiling.  Through cracks in the door I could hear the muffled voices of my parents and the dishwasher starting up. I could see a haloed glow.  And night after night sleep was victorious with me "till evening greets morning on Hushabye Street."

18 months after I was born, my brother Timothy entered my world.  The closest friendship he and I ever had was when we were homeschooled in middle school together.  Our "tradition" for lunch was to make a box of pasta with red sauce, eat half of it, throw the rest away, leave the dirty dishes out and then head to the basement for hand-stand contests.  Yup.  We were often in our parents pajamas, too.  (I have no idea why...) We would spend up to hours on end before basketball practices in the underbelly of a home on Boxberry Terrace trying to walk on our hands.  Tim always swore he walked 10 times when I went to the bathroom or wasn't looking.  I always blamed him for distracting me - "I have better balance then you! You just distract me!" - (like I didn't distract him ;) haha).  We got into a habit of taking our blue $14.99 boombox down with us, and we'd gymnast it up to Tim McGraw duets or Steven Curtis Chapman.  One particular day I grabbed a hairbrush and dramatically belted Faith Hill's portion of "Like We Never Loved At All."  I handed Tim a water bottle to join in.  He didn't accept my offer.  He just stared and shook his head "You are so weird." I sang the chorus alone.  But by Tim McGraw's part in the second verse my own Tim had joined in with me.  And we weirdly sang the rest of the song together.  It was quite excellent and breathtaking and probably perfectly in tune ;)

Maybe that's just your way of dealing with the pain/ Forgetting everything between our rise and fall / Like we never loved at all

Tim, if you ever read this, I love you and miss those times.  I've never forgotten them and would love to have more of them.  Just promise you won't push me over if I get to nine hand-steps?
Jason Reeves came into my life a-la Colbie Caillat.  His songs were songs I loved before I felt.  I thought they were pretty and kind of edgy (give me a break. They WERE edgy compared to Selah and WOW Worship CD's).  I played his album on repeat for months.  Little did I know how I feel them.  This song doesn't take me back to one place like the previous song did.  This song takes me backs to a watercolor smear of years.  The first piano notes "dun dun, DUN DUN, duuundun" make me feel 14 and 20, confused and clear, empty and full.  And I have poetry and drawings of my life when you weren't on my side and I didn't know /
The person who introduced me to Band of Horses is now my "house-mate."  If you've followed the blog a bit you know that I live with my friends-turned-family, Dre and Becca.  You also might know that they just had their first child, little Behr.  Dre is obsessed with Band of Horses.  When this song plays I think about driving around in their blue SUV looking at townhouses.  I think about priming the walls with Dre will Becca sat on a cushion on the floor, trying to keep her pregnant self moderately comfortable.  I think about coming into a house with music already playing because other people live there - I don't live alone.  I think about cleaning their kitchen, waiting for them to come home from the hospital with Behr for the first time, scrubbing to "Dilly" and "Older."  I think about how "after all, my plans they melt into the sand." 

I think about how so many friends have dreamed with Dre and Becca about this little nugget of life.  I think about the Pinterest boards for his nursery, additions to his walls and shelfs from friends near and far, and watching that bump grow and lower as we imagined and talked about and analyzed what he might look like, what he might be like.  I think about the way Behr's neck smells.  I think about how he smiled right at me today.  I think about how someday I'll be strolling along in a store and Band of Horses will pop on the radio and I'll jump into the emotional time machine... I'll be taken back to August 2011 - January 2012ish.  I'll smile and love the memory.
PhotobucketIf you find this post random at best, completely boring at worst, I do have a direction I'm going with it ;)  No, these are not my favorite music recommendations for you.  And if you listen to any of these songs you might think "Um. Okay?" I don't listen to these songs frequently at all.  But when they appear, they stop me in my tracks.  You have "those" songs too.  Go find one of them today and listen to it and remember why that song affects your body.  And then say "Oh, I see why Kristen posted those."

BUT.  Someday on this blog I'd like to tell you folks a story.  And I'd like to use songs in the story.  In the next few weeks and months, as I plan on blogging more, if "random" music posts show-up, bear with me, and find some little thing to enjoy.  And feel free to tell me about a song or two that takes you back in time.  I'd truly love to hear.  I'd love to know more about you.  It would probably even make me feel less scared about letting you know more about me ;)


  1. My mom rocked all her babies to sleep with the song "I love you Lord" and I sang it to my little siblings when I rocked them to sleep as I got older. It's so special to me.

    Phil Keaggy songs take me back to 10 years in a row of week-long camping trips in Delaware, (Cape Henlopen!) and driving through Pennsylvania countryside at sunset on the way home in the truck, with sand in our pockets and crabs riding in the back. :)

    "You and Tequila" by Kenny Chesney is the song that played when Mom and I pulled up at my friend Chloe's apartment so I could photograph her birth, and saw the ambulance and police car waiting outside, lights flashing, and us not knowing what was wrong or that she was so close to death. Tears come with that song.

    O, you are most definitely not the only one that feels the way you do about music! What's coincidental is that I had the same thoughts you wrote out in my head this morning, listening to a song.

    Can't wait to read more blog posts. :)


  2. Love the BOH song. One of mine is New radicals- you get what you give... crying with my best buddy the night before I left town to go start college back in 2000.

  3. Every time I hear "Big Green Tractor" by Jason Aldean I am 17, wearing aviator sunglasses, my windows are down, my sun roof is back, and golden summer wind is blowing my hair. My sisters are with me, we are heading to town to blow money and run errands for Mama.

    Thanks for the reminder, Kristen :) I can't wait to hear more of your stories.

  4. This song...

    Always takes me back to when I was little sitting in the car looking out as we drove through Yellowstone National Park, and just that whole beautiful long road trip. When I hear it, it makes me want to cry. I think it's because I remember thinking the whole "Gettysburg" soundtrack went SO well with the majestic surroundings. Sometimes when I try to recall that trip, I just play this soundtrack and all of these memories flood back and remind me how incredible it was :).

    Also, this specific song from the same soundtrack...

    Makes me smile and takes be back to when we were driving late into the night on the same road trip and I would sit up front and keep Dad awake while the others slept in the back. The fun peppy little fife in this song made this track my favorite on the cd and I would do a little dance with my fingers on the middle console as Dad watched me, smiled so big, and whistled, that is one of the most special memories I have of my Dad and I...and I've just told you and I don't think I've told more than three people these memories, thoughts, and emotions of mine...I hope it made you smile because it's really making me happy reminiscing these memories :').

    I'm so thankful God put it on your heart to write this blog post and share your memories so I could share mine and remember how blessed and wonderful my life is :) :). Thank you, Kristen :)

  5. This summer definitely had a few songs that take me back...and it was only 6 months ago. Not even that long ago, really. :) "Summer Girl" by leighton meester, and "Long Hot Summer" by Keith Urban were two critical ones. :) I SO know what you mean...not weird at all, btw:)

  6. Work it out Barbie.. from my barbie mix tape. I used to dance around my entire house with my sister in my underwear to that song.
    Then theres always Brittany Spears...oh brittnay..

  7. The only song that comes to mind right now that has a memory attached is "Mean." I don't listen to Taylor Swift but when I do hear it it takes me back to last summer and an afternoon I spent with friends from church. In the midst of our goofiness, we sang it.

  8. Such a good post, and so true! That is one of the many reasons I love takes you back!

  9. I think of you when I hear Taylor Swift. Someday I'll teach Behr that and he'll have some sort of odd response about how ugly and "old" she is. That's an odd thought...

  10. This is a perfect post. Really and truly beautiful.


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