It was a long, eventful, and somewhat tiring four day weekend. Despite the long layoff, many people endure a chronic case of the "Mondays." Even the cushy life of a stay-at-home dad will pitch you a mean Monday sometimes.
I'm not complaining. We've been blessed every way possible. It's just one of those days when nothing seems to go to plan. It may be a cancellation of an appointment which throws the schedule into disarray for the remainder of the day, and sometimes even a minor negative financial surprise can just flat-frustrate anyone. It's the confusion and busyness of a day like today that music can restore order to your brain and bring the high octane engines back to neutral.
I had a late start in my music hunt today, and on a frustrating morning I think about the peace and calm of home. I picked these songs today because they remind me of home for one reason or another. They are all country music songs, and this Nashville boy wouldn't have it any other way.
1. Dixie- Bobby Horton- If you've never heard this version of the old song, you need to go buy it right now. For a southern boy who misses home, this song is soothing. It reminds me of the old cotton fields in South Alabama, and still pine forests on my family's farm. It reminds me that I have deep roots and a steady sense of where I've come from, and that has helped me find who I am in the most uncertain of moments.
When the icy and harsh winds of the mid-western plains blow on my face, this song can take me to the breezy coolness of a Tennessee summer night with nothing but the sound of crickets and the sight of dancing fireflies. I recall singing songs on the old ball field at Camp Kalos, and the faces of all the people I love who have lived and died in The South.
It's deeper than a general latitude and longitude on a map. It's home. I miss it. If you are a northerner who doesn't understand, go listen to this acoustic version of the song. It's plain to me that this song has nothing to do with hate or rebelliousness. For a southerner, each chord tells their story of home, which plays like a slide show in their mind of days gone by.
Listen to it, and tell me you don't feel the same.
2. Small Town Saturday Night- Hal Ketchum- I've always liked this song a lot. It reminds me of the pick up trucks in Franklin square before cruising was banned to make way for the posh crowd that resides there now. Not that I mind, but it's just what it reminds me of.
3. Sunday in The South- Shenandoah- This song is Canoe, Alabama 1954-present. The 15 member Church of Christ on the corner of Hill Road and Hall Road has housed the same family for nearly a century. The after church lunches and time spent on the front porch of the Hall House with my family come to mind when I hear this song.
Sundays are special there. It's not backward. It's not antiquated. It's a mindset that is shaped around family and the precious time that Sundays provide. I miss that too.
4. Don't Worry 'Bout a Thing- SheDaisy- It was a good reminder for the day.
5. Ashokan Farewell- One of only two songs that might not ever fail to bring me to tears. It's most synonymous with Ken Burns' Civil War Documentary. It's a beautiful song that evokes a powerful response from the listener, whether visible or not, and is more of a ballet for the living that reminds us of those we hope to see again someday.
Maybe it's a parent, grandparent, or friend you miss. It might be a friend who is lost, and your only hope of seeing them again is on the other side of the big adventure of life.
Today I'm turning my mind to those things that have made me who I am. Those things that have made me a better person, and as I am writing this, it has put my off-Monday in perfect perspective.
Missing all of my loved ones today. Some of you more than others.