By now dear readers, you are well aware of my connection with lyrics and the poetry of music. My mind searches for words, and phrases that bind me to songs on intellectual, as well as emotional plains. Lyrical language draws me into dances with myriad musical genres. In fact, there are specific songs that are able to transcend time and space all while grounding me in reality when I need it most.
While some songs thrust me into emotional tornadoes that float all of my feelings around uncomfortably; a necessary, yet jarring experience, others comfort me like warm ginger tea on an icy day. My eclectic playlists each serve a specific purpose. There are musical collections for catapulting me into shape. There are collections to wash my soul with tears. There are collections to ease my fears and frustrations. I even have lists for specific moods, weather, activities, and days. This of course brings me to “Supertramp Sundays.”
It was close to the last New Year’s Eve of my high school career. I remember the scent of the air, and the sound of the sidewalk beneath my feet as I walked along a nearly empty sidewalk laughing with a gaggle of my girlfriends. We stopped for a bite of Chinese food; I can see the plate of fortune cookies on the table. I wonder if any of our cookies spoke the truth. There was a music store close to the restaurant. We were either drawn in to escape the cold, or because we were in search of the newest Top 40 hits to dance to at our slumber party. Either way, I remember leaving with a white cassette: “The Very Best of Supertramp.” To be honest, I don’t know what led me to my purchase. At that time, I’d probably only heard a couple of songs, so in reality, it didn’t make much sense for me to gamble my discretional income on music, but I purchased it anyway, in spite of my friends poking fun at my “less than popular” selection.
We got back to my friend’s house, the cassette fell to the bottom of my bag where it remained for a couple of days until I popped it into my Sony Walkman for the first time. It was New Years Day.
“Good bye stranger, it’s been nice. I hope you find your paradise…”
Opening lyrics serendipitously connected with my “big night out.” We were so young, honestly underage to be in the clubs (funny how I didn’t get carded back then, but every now and then, I get carded NOW when I purchase alcohol, or go to a casino! NO, it’s NOT because they are checking if I deserve the senior discount!!), but we thought we owned the world. We did that night, at least until 2am, when my father picked us up at the local Burger King, and chauffeured us back home. That night, we met a group of boys posing as men. They, like us wore attitudes, and charm that were too big for our shoulders. One for each of us, we exchanged phone numbers, and possibly a couple of kisses before slinking back to our stuffed animals, and onesie pyjamas.
Broken telephone calls, and late night conversations didn’t flourish beyond a week, or two of communication, but it was New Year’s magic that made it fun, and extra flirty. Behind me, was my new soundtrack: “The Very Best of Supertramp.” I must have listened to that cassette on loop for days, if not weeks on end. Every single song reached me.
Whether I was walking along to a fun destination with my Walkman at my hip, or sitting in my room listening on my wannabe boombox, I was transfixed by the poetic lyrics that danced with music that filled a room with visions.
Time passed, my Walkman played its last tune, and new music filled my airwaves. Nothing however replaces the feeling of listening to Supertramp on a clear crisp day. In fact, I feel like Sundays are made for Supertramp.
“Even in the quietest moments, I wish I knew, what I had to do…”
“When I was young, it seemed that life was so logical…”
How Ironic. I was young, not even 18 years old; life unfolding like a new pair of jeans: stiff, uncomfortable, but still beautiful with newness. Everything would change so much within the next few years. Nothing would be logical, or quiet. At least, there would be amazing soundtracks to help through the most difficult days, as well as to celebrate the best moments.
Fifteen songs on repeat shaped a feeling that is challenging to capture in words. Today, as I sit and contemplate the benefits of a cup of ginger tea instead of another cup of coffee, snowflakes dance outside my window, and I’m once again drawn into the trance of Supertramp on a Sunday morning.