The Song That Changed Your Life: Picks
By Lita Bablitz
So you want to know the song that changed my life? There is such deliciousness in the challenge of deciding. Whose life does not have a soundtrack?
I was born in 1973 so my formative years were a mix of my parents’ BeeGees, John Denver, and Beatles records and my ABBA, and Grease Soundtrack. Then I discovered U2 and Madonna and Depeche Mode. I saw the rise of grunge and had the pants. I have both moshed and line danced, though neither well. I have worn out many a cassette tape rewinding and playing back my favourites. So what song changed my life? I wish it was something really cool like Cohen or Dylan but it’s a Muppet tune. It’s “Rainbow Connection” from the Muppet movie in 1979 and it is brilliant.
From the day my Dad bought the soundtrack, on 8 Track no less, it was the theme music of our family road trips. My parents firmly believed “why fly when you can drive and really take in the land?” And they always said “why go as a family of 5 when you can still cram more people in this van?” And they always insisted “there is always more room at this picnic table for a park ranger or a hitch hiker to eat with us.” And they always took us on great adventures from one side of this country to the other, and all the places in between, over the years.
The song changed my life, not because the lyrics are so very beautiful (though they are) nor so very touching (though still they are). It’s not even because it won an academy award for best song, or because I’ve heard it at least 1000 times. It’s because when I hear it I feel all the beauty of my childhood rushing back. It’s all the best of what my childhood was, and what my parents wanted me to get from it. It’s all the same things I want for my kids. It’s adventures and long road trips and sharing room and food and joy and not skipping over the hard parts for some sort of instant gratification because in doing that you may miss the best part. It is the best and sweetest of life and that is why it is the song that changed, or perhaps made, my life.
Lita Bablitz is from Edmonton, AB
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