Music is in the Air

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February 2011

By DeeDee Corbitt Sauter

I enjoy music. It’s all around. If you want to get all philosophical and maybe Thoreau, then you could even say that the birds in the trees make the music of Mother Nature. In fact, the very hills are simply alive with the sound of music… Ahem.

Music can draw a crowd. Music can bring tears and stop your heart with emotion. It can set the mood, send a message, talk to you, and it’s not a party unless there is some sort of background music. Your music and the music of your children should not be the same; when it is, it surprises the daylights out them that you know a “cool” tune.

I know this for a fact, as I went to the mall with my nine-year-old before Christmas. Eighties hits were being piped into the common areas. (And why not? We are the age group that’s spending the money. They might as well entertain us.)

Anyway, I leaned over and started to sing into my son’s ear. Although I was quiet, he was mortified that 1) I thought I could sing, and 2) I actually knew the words.

But, I don’t know all the words to everything. In fact I don’t know the words to most songs. I do listen to all types of music; most recently, the songs of Sesame Street and other classics fill my world. While driving down the road, I confidently belted out the tune to “Rock a Bye Your Bear” by the famous Wiggle quartet. (Or does Captain Feathersword make it a quintet?) Regardless, I only lament the fact that I cannot actually rock my bear while safely driving.

Music is lovely. I’m being repetitive, but please do not think that your music is lovely. There should be some sort of law about music that vibrates my car. You know what I am talking about. You’re driving down the road and the car next to you on 95 is bouncing down the lanes because the bass speakers are vibrating so hard due to the excessive volume that the vehicle takes flight. What does that prove? That you are deaf? That you want to make me deaf? Or do you just want to show us that your little car can fly? Why do I have to listen to that?

When I am standing in line with my baby and waiting to get these pants returned in a crowded and stinky store, your singing does not soothe me; it adds to the chaos.

Trust me, even if you are my friend and for some reason you are in my car by invitation, stop trying to prove to me you can sing. I was talking to you about many mundane and unimportant things. Breaking out in practiced voice to a song I do not recognize is annoying. I may push you out next time. Just believe that I believe you and find your dulcet tones impressive. I just do not want to hear them.

Next time I am out and about with the baby, painting the town, I am going to crank Barney. I am going to rock in my Cheerio-laden minivan and screech the incorrect words to a classic song and turn up the volume. I may or may not even have the baby in the vehicle. It’s just sad that most baby tunes lack a deep and powerful bass section.

So next time you are on the road and you hear an annoying, something-is-not-quite-right sound coming from the minivan next to you, it will be me rolling up alongside you. What are you looking at?

DeeDee Corbitt Sauter is a resident of Prince William County. Hercolumn, “Tambourines and Elephants,” appears monthly in Prince William   Living.

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