For our February Inspired by Song! contest, this month's theme is "Inspired by Love Songs". This is certainly a broad category, and I have already enjoyed reading many of the entries. Obviously, my own entry is just for fun since I am one of the judges.
I started thinking about what love songs inspire me personally, and which ones I can mentally attach to my family members. I wrote a post awhile back that didn't focus on love songs exclusively, but it was about the songs that my wife and I heard and danced to on the night we met in 1991:
As you might well imagine, our first dance at our wedding will always remain a special memory tucked away for me. In our case, we chose Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed" (click to listen).
I won't include all of the lyrics here, but here is a sampling:
And though you dont believe that they do
They do come true
For did my dreams
Come true when I looked at you
And maybe too, if you would believe
You too might be
Overjoyed, over love, over me
Fifteen years later, I am still very much overjoyed to have found Pam, and I can't imagine what my life would have been like without her. We have laughed, loved, and shared as we are raising our three beautiful children. She is a blessing from God, and I am thankful for her every day. I put off writing this one a little bit, as I knew that it would make me cry, and I was right!
When we were dating, there were a couple of songs that are memorable to me because they were receiving heavy radio airplay, "More than Words" by Extreme and "Rush Rush" by Paula Abdul. We used to sing "More than Words" together when we were in the car or just hanging out and we would hear it come on. As for the other tune, this one seemed to be playing often when we were….ahem, umm…you get the picture.
For my children, I have some songs that will forever remind me of them, too. How's that for a segue? These may not be love songs in the classic sense, but they are representative of my love for my kids.
In December 1998, we were blessed to have our first child, my son, Brandon. When he was a baby, I used to watch him by myself every morning, since my wife was still working back then. John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy" was meaningful and poignant to me, and I used to like to sing this one him. When it was naptime, I used to break out Kenny Loggins' "Return to Pooh Corner". This relaxing CD of songs inspired by Winnie the Pooh was often helpful to calm this tired baby and I can't hear "Return to Pooh Corner" without thinking of those days spent with my infant son as a new dad.
For my sweet daughter Aleah, who is now almost seven (yikes!), I have a silly version of a popular song from "West Side Story". "Maria" is one of the best-known songs from that film, and I always mentally change the lyrics to "Aleah, I just met a girl named Aleah…." It rhymes, so it works for me. I started doing this when she was born, and I have sung this to her a few times lately, but now she just looks at me like I am a little crazy, which I guess I probably am.
Our toddler, Abrielle, has a song, too! Actually, if I am being forthright here, since Abby is the youngest, she is currently forced to share a song with her older sister, at least until I find another one for her. "Isn't She Lovely" was written by Stevie Wonder years ago for his own infant daughter, and it expresses my own feelings toward both of my lovely girls. I never really realized how much Stevie Wonder's music has been a part of my life until today.
As a side (and maybe unrelated) note, one of my favorite love songs of all time is "Annie's Song" by John Denver. I ALWAYS sing along with this one if I happen to hear it, and I will also admit that I have a CD of his greatest hits in my car that I occasionally listen to as well. If you read my "Guilty Music Pleasures" post a couple of months back this probably doesn't surprise you at all.
My aunt Linda (actually my mom's closest friend in the world) knew John and Ann Denver when they were still together and helped them when they were adopting two children in the 70's. Although I didn't know him personally, his death a few years ago affected me, perhaps because I was only one degree of separation away.
Thanks for taking a few minutes to read about which love songs have significance for me! Happy Valentine's Day!