Love: The Musical Journey

No doubt about it: I’m a music lover. For me, music manages to capture things that can sometimes be intangible and make them solid and real. It gives us a place to hang our emotional hat, so to speak. I’ve been transported and transfixed by music since I was a young child. Small wonder then that for every significant event in my life romantically, there is musical association. The following are a small list of some of the more memorable moments for me, captured in melody.

Let’s Get It On: A Sexual History

“World In Your Eyes” ~ Depeche Mode
This song was the theme for my very first striptease. An inexperienced 22, I managed to tangle my foot in the iron scrollwork of the footboard and fall on my ass. Much laughter and injured pride followed (as well as some nice bruising).

“The Pass” ~ Rush
I recognize this is a strange choice. Still, the song always takes me back to my first kiss and the bad boy who gave it to me. We shared a tumultuous few months as a couple, while my strict parents worried and fretted. He was my first halfway sexual experience (a third base evening that left me feeling guilty and more curious than ever) and my first true heartbreak. He made me feel daring and exciting and probably gave me quite a hang-up about sensitive bad-boys. It ended in tears, but “Presto” (his first gift to me) brought me hours of joy, pain and extended bouts of soulful introspection in my room. Ah…young love.

“Crash” ~ Dave Matthews
I associate this song with my sexual awakening, which happened after over a decade of marriage. The music is sensual, Dave’s voice is sexy and the lyrics are a bit naughty. “Hike up your skirt a little more and show your world to me.”

“Portishead” ~ Portishead                                                                                                I have to claim this entire CD, rather than just a song. Not only was it the background music for a very hot encounter (or several), but it seems an appropriate theme for the entire relationship that accompanied it. Sexy, but with an underlying darkness and melancholy.

If I were going to create a soundtrack for a sexy evening, it might well include some of the following:

  • Crash ~ Dave Matthews
  • Portishead (Anything by Portishead!)
  • Destiny ~ Zero 7
  • Letting The Cables Sleep ~ Bush (Preferably the Cafe Del Mar version)
  • Overcome ~ Tricky
  • Sadness Part 1 ~ Enigma
  • Inertia Creeps ~ Massive Attack
  • Your Body Is A Wonderland ~ John Mayer
  • The Sweetest Taboo ~ Sade
  • Feelin’ Love ~ Paula Cole
  • Bedroom Hymns ~ Florence and the Machine
  • Personal Jesus ~ Depeche Mode
  • You’re Makin’ Me High ~ Toni Braxton
  • Crazy For You ~ Madonna
  • When Doves Cry ~ Prince
  • Hysteria ~ Def Leppard
  • Fever ~ Peggy Lee
  • Fade Into You ~ Mazzy Star
  • Need You Tonight ~ INXS
  • I’m On Fire ~ Bruce Springsteen
  • Chris Isaak ~ Wicked Game
  • Closer ~ Nine Inch Nails

Love: Down Through The Years

Of course, if we’re talking relationships/break-ups, my significant songs would be entirely different.

“I Want To Know What Love Is” ~ Foreigner: Conjuring up the boy I fell in love with at age 9 and was steadfastly in love with until age 15, when he married my older best friend. We had a deep love of music and bonded over Foreigner; This song will always recall the bittersweet sting of unrequited love.

“November Rain” ~ Guns N’ Roses: The bad boy who gave me my first kiss, who was torn from my life by my parents (Oh! The tragedy!) after discovering his intent to lead me into sin, left me crying to this song night after night in…you guessed it…November. 21 years later I can say with the wisdom of age that my parents were absolutely correct. At the time, however, I was convinced my life was over. My desolation was so complete that I even gave up food for three days, which trust me, is a rare thing.

“Last Worthless Evening” ~ Don Henly: This is for the boy with whom I grew up, maintained a love/hate relationship  for years, but always secretly crushed on…hard. We danced around each other for so long that it just seemed natural when he told me he was interested. As life would have it, we took different paths and never made the leap.  Driving down country roads together so he could let me hear his new sound system and the brand new Don Henly CD he’d just gotten; This song brings him to mind every time I hear it. We wouldn’t have been right for each other, but I still feel a sweetness, tinged with a hint of sadness, when I think of him.

“It Had To Be You” ~ Harry Connick, Jr: My husband and I picked this as the song for our first dance as husband and wife; it would become the song we considered ours. Admittedly, it’s a little painful for me to listen to it now. I still remember hearing it while out on our first year anniversary and thinking it was a sign we were meant to be. We stopped and danced where we were, so in bliss with being young and in love.

“A Murder Of One” ~ Counting Crows: This song is deeply personal for me and I won’t write much of it here. Suffice it to say that when Adam Duritz sings: “I walk along these hillsides/in the summer ‘neath the sunshine/I am feathered by the moonlight/falling down on me” or “All your life is such a shame, shame, shame/All your love is just a dream, dream, dream”, I know exactly what he’s talking about. This song brings deep, intense emotions to the surface…about my life at the time and the man who inspired the feelings.

“How To Save A Life” ~ The Fray: This song played on the way to one of the only few marital counseling sessions my husband would agree to. I remember tears running down my face as we sat in a silence so profound that I didn’t know how we’d ever find words again. I still occasionally get choked up when it comes on the radio. “Where did I go wrong/I lost a friend/Somewhere along in the bitterness.”

“Someone Like You” ~ Adele: Really, does this need any explanation? While I attach it in my mind to one particular man, it could be anyone I’ve loved and lost. “Sometimes it lasts in love, sometimes it hurts instead.”

This is just a short glimpse of a long list. There are songs that make me cry and songs that make me think about certain people, but those are the ones that really stand out in my mind.

If you had to write a soundtrack for your love life, what would it be?

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