Mark My Words — A Song for You

If you are like me, every once in a while, a song comes on the radio that you swear was written for you.

Whether the song relates to a situation in your life, your job, a relationship or whatever the event, certain songs can put into words what you are feeling or going through, sometimes in perfect clarity.

Some songs remind us of the carefree days of youth, our friends growing up and other times as well. We all remember our class song. When I graduated from Constantine High School back in 1992, our song was “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by Boyz II Men. Obviously, anytime I hear that song, it takes me back to my years attending school and the great times I had with wonderful friends. I mean, we WERE the closest class to ever graduate from that school. And yes, I know every class before and after ours has said the same thing!

Over the course of our relationship, my wife and I have had many songs that we “adopted” as our song. Out of all of the songs however, the one that sticks with me the most is “The Other Half of Me” by Bobby Darin, which is the song I used in my engagement video to my wife. More on that song later!

Songs also remind us of our loved ones who are no longer with us. When making plans for my father’s funeral, I searched the internet for songs that I felt could tell his story. While we settled on “On the Road Again” (my dad was a truck driver his entire life) and “Boot, Scoot and Boogie” (one of his favorites), I was drawn to a song by Five for Fighting called “The Riddle.” While it doesn’t really fit the relationship that my dad and I had, it made me yearn for the type of relationship that I wish we did have.

Dealing with a bewildering and unexpected job loss last year left me down in the dumps. However, “Fight Song” by Rachael Platten kept things in perspective for me and it gave me the motivation to not let the questionable actions of others dictate my life. In the end, I am better off for it.

I asked my Facebook friends to give me some of their songs that had an impact on their lives and the responses ranged from touching to hilarious. My favorite story was from a friend of mine who said the song “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns and Roses could be the theme song for their home and at times professional life. The same friend said the song “Have I Told You Lately” by Van Morrison/Rod Stewart expresses perfectly her feelings for her spouse.

I had over 45 responses to my request, and while I cannot mention them all, I did want to give a few more of the highlights.

A friend whose spouse is in the military said that “Stand by You” by Platten helps her to strengthen her resolve as she watches more than 70 percent of military families she knows, split up mostly due to living with PTSD in the household. Another friend mentioned “Forever Young” by Rod Stewart which reminds her to stay young at heart.

“Kelly Clarkson’s song ‘Stronger’ came out as my son was going through chemotherapy and it seemed to always be on the radio as we made our way to treatment. It was perfect and I can’t hear it without picturing us driving to Bronson Hospital three times a week.”

“Bob Seger’s ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’ makes me dance wherever I am.”

“‘It Takes a Village,’ by Raffi. I love this song. It makes me think about my career as a teacher and how I have a huge impact on the lives of my students.”

My wife and I decided that our engagement song would also be used as our first dance as a married couple. Well, it never happened. I left the CD at my parents’ house and our DJ did not have access to the song, so we settled on “My Girl” instead. Both songs fit the bill just fine, however, as I found “the other half of me” and was dancing with “my girl” at our wedding!

Submitted by Mark McGlothlen

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