Meanings of songs

Listening to songs can often magically transport you back to a different time in your life. Whether it is the lyrics of a particular song and how it resonates in your mind or just the song itself reflecting a certain time in your life, it’s a powerful thing.

For instance, when I hear fifties music, I think of car rides with my Dad since he would often listen to that music as we were driving. When I listen to eighties music, it reminds me of high school.

When my kids were a little younger, we went through the “children’s music” phase – primarily Raffi and The Wiggles. I embraced it because I saw how much the boys enjoyed it and I knew it was for a limited time. (I probably shouldn’t admit it, but I actually enjoyed The Wiggles – we even took the boys to see them in concert more than once, including the Farewell tour with Greg right before Jeff and Murray retired and to see Greg back in the group kinda felt like a Beatles reunion, kiddie-style).

Anyway, since then, we’ve introduced the kids to music that we enjoyed pre-kids (starting with The Beatles, of course). But since I’ve been listening to “Venus in Overdrive” and “Songs for the End of the World” in the car these past few months, it’s become a whole different level of sharing.

It’s been a really cool experience. I’ve always really enjoyed Rick Springfield’s lyrics and it’s fun to see how they respond to them, too. We discuss what the songs mean (sometimes with me relating details RS shared in interviews and sometimes about what I think it means). It’s also been somewhat educational.

History: When “3 Warning Shots” came on during a carpool ride after school the other day, my 8-year-old turned to his 9-year-old fellow passenger and said, “This song is about the man who shot John Lennon.”

Vocabulary: My 6-year-old: “Mommy, what does oblivious mean?”

Spelling: D-E-P-R-A-V-I-T-Y

Science: After this line from “One Passenger” –  “Why you’d change a worm into a butterfly”  – my 4-year-old said, “Actually, worms don’t turn into butterflies, caterpillars turn into butterflies.”

We’ve also discussed the songs about Sahara and they know she was a young girl who was friends with RS and how sad he was when she died. They wanted to know how she met him and whether they would get to be friends with RS, too.

Sometimes I play the “My Precious Little One” CD in the evenings when I’m trying to get them to settle down before bed (my 6-year-old recently asked why RS doesn’t scream in any of those songs) and they especially like “Don’t Keep the Sandman Waiting.”

I often hear them singing RS songs around the house (sometimes with completely different lyrics). They also like to point out when RS has said a bad word, which hopefully the carpool kids don’t repeat, and if I turn down the volume to discuss anything, they remind me to “turn it back up.”

I can appreciate that.

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