“If you’re gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.”

Sometimes, I think I was born in the wrong era. at the wrong time. In the wrong part of the country. Okay, not sometimes, ALL THE TIME.

I’ve never fit in. I’ve never liked what everyone else liked. I never understood why I always felt like such an outsider. And I’ve always hated it. I don’t need to be like everyone else, I just don’t understand WHY I can’t just like what everyone else likes!

As I’ve gotten older I actually am starting to embrace it. I’m not someone who marches to my own drum, and I’m not a creative person, it’s more that I was born and raised with an appreciation for all kinds of music from a VERY young age and that’s not something most of my friends were being exposed to I guess.  Some of my fondest memories are sitting and listening to my mom’s 8-track tapes in the backseat of her brand new Audi she got when I was 4 years old! I am so thankful for music.

20130410-222206.jpgI remember getting Kenny Rogers’ autograph as a little girl, I couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8, so the “late” 80’s and thought it was the coolest thing ever and took it to school and no one cared. They were like “who?”. I was CRUSHED. I was so excited. My parents knew it was cool, but my friends didn’t. I felt different. I felt like something was wrong with me. That was probably the first time I noticed.

I have ALWAYS loved country music. I love all music really, and listen to a mixture on a daily basis whether it’s on the radio or my iPod, I appreciate listening to all different kinds of music but from the first time I ever heard “The Gambler”, it got me. The words. The emotion. The rawness of the words. I remember thinking how sad that song was.

On a warm summer’s evenin’ on a train bound for nowhere,
I met up with the gambler; we were both too tired to sleep.
So we took turns a starin’ out the window at the darkness
‘Til boredom overtook us, and he began to speak.

He said, “Son, I’ve made my life out of readin’ people’s faces,
And knowin’ what their cards were by the way they held their eyes.
So if you don’t mind my sayin’, I can see you’re out of aces.
For a taste of your whiskey I’ll give you some advice.”

So I handed him my bottle and he drank down my last swallow.
Then he bummed a cigarette and asked me for a light.
And the night got deathly quiet, and his face lost all expression.
Said, “If you’re gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.

Now Ev’ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
‘Cause ev’ry hand’s a winner and ev’ry hand’s a loser,
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.”

So when he’d finished speakin’, he turned back towards the window,
Crushed out his cigarette and faded off to sleep.
And somewhere in the darkness the gambler, he broke even.
But in his final words I found an ace that I could keep.

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.

But I didn’t know it was sad. I sang along and belted out with a fervor one hasn’t seen until they’ve seen my brother and I belt out Neil Diamond’s “We’re Coming to America”. 🙂

Country music has always gotten a bad rap (pun NOT intended!) for being about my girlfriend left me, my dog died, I lost my job and blah blah blah.  But, honestly, that’s what I LOVE about it, it tells a story.  And some stories are sad and some stories are not.

It’s like reading a book, or following a TV episode, but every single song tells a story that when you look at the lyrics, away from the tune and genre thrown in, I bet even YOU would find meaning and appreciate the words.

I’ve been a walking heartache
I’ve made a mess of me
The person that I’ve been lately
Ain’t who I wanna be

But you stay here right beside me
Watch as the storm blows through
And I need you

Cause God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
And for when I think I’ve lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it’s true
God gave me you

There’s more here than what were seeing
A divine conspiracy
That you, an angel lovely
Could somehow fall for me
You’ll always be love’s great martyr
And I’ll be the flattered fool
And I need you
Yeah!

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
And for when I think I’ve lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it’s true
God gave me you

On my own I’m only20130410-222940.jpg
Half of what I could be
I can’t do without you
We are stitched together
And what love has tethered
I pray we never undo

Cause God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
And for when I think I’ve lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it’s true
God gave me you, gave me you
He gave me you

30’s years later, Blake Shelton’s song “God Gave Me You”, gets to me, just like Kenny Roger’s song had.

Music has saved my life on many occasions.

When I had nowhere to turn.

When I had no words to explain.

When I was alone and needed to feel a connection.

This is the first song I remember listening to on repeat over and over and over and over until I wore out the tape and needed a new cassette! Melissa Manchester’s Don’t Cry Outloud. And as I sit here now writing this post, listening to this song after not hearing for YEARS, so much comes flooding back.  And it also makes me realize how deep I was at such a young, young age….wow! I was 2 when this album came out, so I truly don’t remember life without it. Kind of amazing actually when I think about the kids and the music we listen to together and they love, but that’s a whole other post!

Baby cried the day the circus came to town
’cause she didn’t want parades just passin’ by her
So she painted on a smile and took up with some clown
While she danced without a net upon the wire
I know a lot about ‘er ’cause, you see
Baby is an awful lot like me

20130410-222151.jpgDon’t cry out loud
Just keep it inside, learn how to hide your feelings
Fly high and proud
And if you should fall, remember you almost had it all

Baby saw that when they pulled that big top down
They left behind her dreams among the litter
The different kind of love she thought she’d found
There was nothin’ left but sawdust and some glitter
But baby can’t be broken ’cause you see
She had the finest teacher-that was me-I told ‘er

Don’t cry out loud
Just keep it inside and learn how to hide your feelings
Fly high and proud
And if you should fall, remember you almost had it all

Don’t cry out loud
Just keep it inside and learn how to hide your feelings
Fly high and proud
And if you should fall, remember you almost made it

Don’t cry out loud
Just keep it inside and learn how to hide your feelings
Fly high and proud
And if you should fall, remember you almost had it all

Before I started writing this blog and keeping a journal regularly, music was my only outlet. I obsess over music. Whether it’s a song that relates to EXACTLY what I’m going through at the time. Or a song that is nostalgic to a better time in my life. Either way, I spend HOURS and HOURS a week listening to iTunes on my laptop, iPad or Apple TV.

Music helps me to cope.

Music helps me to express myself without having to say a word.

Music helps me to be okay.

Music helps me to heal.

Life goes on…….but music never changes.  And when I need to be raw, and need to feel something. Or I need to remember, or grieve, or just get it all out, I turn to music.  Mostly Country Music, but there are PLENTY of non-country artists that right now are top on my playlist.  Rihanna, Five Finger Death Punch, John Mayer, Adam Levine, Jason Mraz, James Blunt, and my two newest favorites, A Rocket to the Moon and Ed Sheeran. (you should DEFINITELY check the last two out if you haven’t!).

Life moves fast.  Sometimes I know I need to sit back and listen.  To feel. To hurt. To love. To do all the things that various songs invoke. When I have no words, I find the words in the songs that I love. And when I need to express myself, but can’t, I find music that can do it for me……..

You know I’d fall apart without you
I don’t know how you do what you do
‘Cause everything that don’t make sense about me
Makes sense when I’m with you20130410-222947.jpg

Like everything that’s green, girl, I need you
But it’s more than one and one makes two
Put aside the math and the logic of it
You gotta know you’re wanted too

‘Cause I wanna wrap you up
Wanna kiss your lips
I wanna make you feel wanted
And I wanna call you mine
Wanna hold your hand forever
And never let you forget it
Yeah, I, I wanna make you feel wanted

Anyone can tell you you’re pretty, yeah
And you get that all the time, I know you do
But your beauty’s deeper than the make-up
And I wanna show you what I see tonight…

When I wrap you up
When I kiss your lips.
I I wanna make you feel wanted
And I wanna call you mine
Wanna hold your hand forever
And never let you forget it
‘Cause, baby, I, I wanna make you feel wanted

As good as you make me feel
I wanna make you feel better
Better than your fairy tales
Better than your best dreams
You’re more than everything I need
You’re all I ever wanted
All I ever wanted

And I just wanna wrap you up
Wanna kiss your lips
I wanna make you feel wanted
And I wanna call you mine
Wanna hold your hand forever
And never let you forget it
Yeah, I wanna make you feel wanted
Baby, I wanna make you feel wanted

You’ll always be wanted ~Hunter Hayes, WANTED

Music has been a ginormous part of my life. I don’t know that I could live without music.  It’s a shame I’m tone-deaf and can’t keep a tune since I have such an appreciation and love of music…….but for now, I’m happy that I have my music.  I live in a world where while sitting in traffic I can use Shazam to find the song that  I JUST HEARD ON THE RADIO and download it in seconds.  (Don’t think I don’t do THAT all the time!). I used to be the radio geek sitting at night with her radio on and her tape recorder ready to record THAT ONE SONG I had been waiting to come on the air all evening.

Wow…..I just REALLY aged myself didn’t I?!?!  😉

So this Thursday……..I could not be MORE Thankful for MUSIC. ❤

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