Digging Through The Pile

July 28, 2017 § 2 Comments

For years, I struggled to deal with some of the events, memories, and traumas of my childhood. I won’t go into a litany of what those were, but I will say that the two constants for me growing up were books and music.

Books allowed me to escape for hours at a time from the horror that I felt was my reality. I would open a book and dream of living in the world described in its pages. I sometimes did this even to the point of fantasizing of a similar life for myself, projecting it out years into the future.

Music served a similar purpose. If I was down or upset or even on the few occasions I felt happy, music was my touchstone, my safe harbor. From Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra to Blood, Sweat, and Tears and David Bowie to John Denver and Barry Manilow, music and especially the lyrics allowed me to get outside myself to a place where things were more constant, more peaceful, more joyful.

The lyrical side of music also because a place for self-expression, a chance to work through various thoughts, feelings, and events in my life. I wrote my first lyrics a little before my 19th birthday. Lyric writing became my form of journaling.

Over time, most of my lyrics have moved away from such self-absorbed content and have drawn inspiration from the things I see and hear around me. Lately, though, I have felt compelled to try to better examine and deal with some of my own experiences while also challenging myself to make those experiences and memories perhaps a bit more accessible for others, something my earliest lyrics likely did not do.

In a way, music was my church growing up, an idea I had never really explored in my lyrics. Until now. Please let me know what you think.

The Music Saved My Soul

The music, my shelter
From angry voices coming down the hall
I knew if I stumbled
That I wouldn’t have far to fall

Black circles spinning
At 45 or 33 and a third
Kept me from losing hope
I found my church in the notes I heard

In my darkness, the music found me
I let the sweet sounds surround me
Lift me up, keep me warm
Those voices sheltered me from every storm
My Gospel reading came from every track
Of every album I had in my stack
And while it couldn’t ever make me whole
I know the music saved my soul

From The Beatles to Sinatra
And all the songs in-between
I found salvation in their words
The music washed me clean

A cheap hi-fi, my altar
I knelt before that heavenly sound
My bedroom was my church
That turntable was sacred ground

Those discs were hypnotizing
Healing me as they went round and round
I was lifted up by angels
Every time I heard their sound

In my darkness, the music found me
I let the sweet sounds surround me
Lift me up, keep me warm
Those voices sheltered me from every storm
My Gospel reading came from every track
Of every album I had in my stack
And while it couldn’t ever make me whole
I know the music saved my soul

Maybe music couldn’t ever make me whole
But I know music damn sure saved my soul

© 2018 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

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