Saturday, October 24, 2009

Music Made Just for Me!

Anyone who knew me in high school (or college) knows how much I love Jewel's music. When I was a freshman in high school, I bought her "Pieces of You" album after hearing her songs on the radio. Turns out I listened to that album for four years straight and it really spoke to me! We all know how high school goes, one day you're on top of the world and the next day you in a bawling heap of tears and snot on your bed crying about how you just can't go on for another day - for some reason. High school is weird. I would pop that CD in my boombox and either jump on the bed singing at the top of my lungs (when no one else was home, of course), or I'd sit cross legged on the floor with my box of tissues and sing along with her sad, teary songs. It was great! I'd go so far as to say that CD helped me survive high school.

Then, during my senior year of high school, as I was prepraring to go away to college, her album "Spirit" came out. And I was ready for it! It was full of soft, folky, acoustic guitar, lyrical gems. I used to take the long way home from school and from church and from...anywhere...just so I could be alone in Mom's Ford Taurus singing my little heart out to every song on that CD. When I went to college it made me feel at home. I dated a guy who used to put the CD in his computer and we'd drink bourbon and watch that crazy light show that Windows Media Player would do with the music. I used to sit on the back porch of dingy college apartments late at night and play those songs on the guitar. My roomates bought me Jewel's first poetry book and I read it cover to cover in one night, sometimes crying over they way her writing just felt so much like my writing, as if she'd torn a page out of my journal and published it without my consent! (I'd totally give her consent, but still).

Also, right after I started college, just when I thought my life was amazing and things could not possibly get any better, she made a Christmas Album!! Do you have any idea how excited I was about this? And it was GOOOOD! Her Ave Maria gives me chills and the way she adapted some of her other songs to sound all "Holiday inspired" was magical! I still listen to it every Christmas and love it more and more each year.

The next few albums she made were less than perfect for me, so I stuck to those three favorites for a while. Long enough for the rest of the world to decide she was no good and for my friends to start thinking I was crazy for listening to her "old" stuff. I had officially become a closet Jewel fan, but I did not mind at all. Then I went to Colorado for a summer and met another girl who loved her as much as I did. I cannot remember her name for the life of me, but she was tall, she had red hair, and she was from Michigan so she had a northern-y accent which I adored. She was really sassy too, so we became very good friends. Somewhere around July, we found out Jewel was coming to Red Rocks, only a couple hours away from our camp. It was general admission, so we got there super early and ended up sitting in the fourth row. If you've ever been to Red Rocks, you know that any show there is nearly a spiritual experience, but to see Jewel live was unbelieveable. My nameless friend and I just sang along and I got teary eyed at a few points in the show and we left there feeling completely and totally serene. It was amazing!

So, for all this time, I've been thinking that three albums and a concert were going to have to last me for the rest of my life. I looked forward to sharing her music with my kids, especially her "Spirit" album with my daughter. I imagined it would help her deal with emotions and "growing up feelings" like it did for me. Then, before I found out I was pregnant, I passed the music aisle at Target and spotted Jewel's face. I did a double-take and stopped dead in my tracks. She had a NEW album....called "Lullaby!" A whole CD of Jewel singing lullabies for babies! I could not beleive it. It was like she knew that I was ready for more music and she made this one album just for me! I've been obsessed with baby music ever since I made a mixed CD for Meredith when precious Annabelle was born two and a half years ago, and since then I've amassed quite a collection on iTunes. I've made two more baby CD's; one for my cousin's son Nolan, and one for my brother's son Charlie. I LOVE baby music, but I promised myself that this Jewel CD was for me, so I wasn't going to buy it until I knew I was pregnant. We'd been trying for a few months and I thought that would be a good little present to myself if it ever actually happened.

That was on a Tuesday. Four days later I took a positive pregnancy test.

I listened to my new CD non-stop for a whole weekend. It is wonderful. Her version of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star is so precious, and she has lots of original lullabies that I absolutely love. One of them is called "Forever and A Day." It has a line about Dali, Sylvain's favorite artist, so I pretty much figured she wrote it just for us. It reminds me of her "Spirit" album because it's soft and slow and lyrical and beautiful and I LOVE IT!! Once again, the perfect time for a perfect CD from my perfectly favorite musician.

They say you should play one song, the same song, every day for your baby while it's developing, so that when it comes out into the real world, it can hear something familiar. They say it helps to soothe them and sometimes helps them fall asleep. I'm so glad I have this CD, because now my baby can learn my favorite music before it's even born, and we can use Jewel's songs to rock us to sleep each night. "Forever and a Day" is officially our Family Song, and I could not be happier.

Thank you, Jewel!

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