Hey Baby, They’re Playing Our Song!

by Kevin Burton

    For every romance there’s a soundtrack, am I wrong?  Certain songs where the first notes of the introduction transport you to that special place.

   Every couple has a story. Sometimes a favorite singer will sum it up with lyrics in a way they hadn’t thought of.  The music underneath it makes the heart soar. 

    This is sort of a continuation of my Tuesday post about the love song as an art form (“What Makes For A Great Love Song,” Feb. 9).

   These are the songs that help me remember and cherish my wife Jeannette and our nearly 14-years together. From first meeting to “I do” took five years for us.  We’re very close to nine years as husband and wife.

   This is a musical valentine to my bride. I hope it inspires you to write one like it for your partner. 

   Karen Carpenter was a drummer before she was a singer. The introduction to The Carpenters’ song “Only Yesterday” begins with a drum pattern that reminds me of a heartbeat.

   This was the first dance song at our wedding. When she sings “in my own time nobody knew the pain I was going through,” she tells a truth that many of us have lived.  

  When she sings “I have found my home here in your arms. Nowhere else on earth I’d really rather be,” she sings of the long painful search for love but cuts to the good parts.

    “Life waits for us share it with me. The best is about to be,” is just the sweetest invitation I can imagine. 

   One time in our dating years, Jeannette and I were headed home from somewhere. I think it was a beepball trip.  We were waiting for a ride to the airport.

    I can’t recall why I started singing “I Just Want To Be Your Everything,” by Andy Gibb.  Maybe I had just heard it on tape.  But Jeannette started singing with me and she seemed to know all the words. I was so happy to have something we could do together musically.  

   We ended up singing it to each other at our wedding reception. Everybody heard it but really this one was for an audience of two. 

   Is there not something about being on a car trip that adds something to the emotional power of music?

   Couldn’t begin to tell you where we were going, but I remember being in the red Camry with Jeannette and hearing the song “Beginnings” by Chicago come on the car radio. 

    She was my fiancé at the time. The guitar intro rings out with hope. Here is a 1971 song and I’m hearing it as if for the first time.

   “When I’m with you. It doesn’t matter where we are, or what we’re doing. I’m with you that’s all that matters.”

   “Time passes much too quickly, when we’re together laughing.  I wish I could sing it to you. I wish I could sing it to you.”

   The song also repeats the line “mostly I’m silent,” which is my M.O. and was absolutely true in that moment.  I remember Jeannette asking me something or just saying something and my being temporarily unable to speak.  The song, those lyrics, had clobbered me in the very best of ways.

    Then there is the song by the Stylistics that to me anyway, is about loving beyond ability to express it.  “Write your name across the sky,” is of course something I can’t do. So I’m left to babble, “betcha by golly wow, you’re the one that I’ve been waiting for forever. And ever will my love for you keep growing strong, keep growing strong.”

   I could never write that, but I could never say it any better. 

   A lot of couples choose “We’ve Only Just Begun” by the Carpenters as a first dance. Even before I proposed this was a special song albeit a bittersweet one. We were in our 40s, so “white lace and promises” had a shorter shelf life.

   “A kiss for luck and we’re on our way,” still rang true though, and for us it wasn’t about luck. 

  We had then and have now, Jesus Christ as a mutual Friend.  That binds us together with cords and with chords, that will not be broken.

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