I wanna learn a love song

A long road trip is an amazing way to study your spousal relationship.  Even after 30 years of togetherness,  there can be so much difference on music tastes,  or styles of listening,  that the initial planning might possess a nightmarish tinge. Separate listening devices might be a necessity along with jointly approved audio material.

But 30 years is a long time. Over three decades there will be musical landmarks that won’t be easily forgotten.  For example, I won’t ever forget dancing with Melinda to “These Dreams” by Heart the first night we really met. “Desperadoes Waiting for a Train” will always be special sobe v it was the only song Zach would song along with (chorus only) until get got over his speech impediment. And, I am sure unsurprisingly to regular readers, Melinda and I will rock the hell out of a duet of “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights.”

There are also several songs by Harry Chapin beyond the three that made it on to the regular FM (a type of free radio broadcast) play lists. “I wanna learn a love song” is one of those.  “A better place to be” was a frequent, and likely inappropriate, bedtime song for the boys,  often followed by John Prine’s “Sam Stone,” Pete Seeger’s “Talking Ben Tre Blues,” Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land,” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky. ”

I love music and how it is intertwined through the events of my life. Our lives.  I remember when I first became aware of Prince.  His wasn’t the music I was most interested in, but I sure was impressed by how hauntingly beautiful it was.   Impressed also by what he wrote for others. I have memories of “When Doves Cry” and “Manic Monday” that are clear, specific,  and forever private.

Tomorrow is the last leg of this nearly 4000 miles of travel. It is time to put the audio books away as we did tonight and crank some tunes. It will be a range of tunes from the early sixties to now.  Love songs. Fighting songs. Anti-war songs.  Fornicating songs. Drinking songs. Novelty songs.  Story songs. Songs that defy categories because they just are.

Songs one of us loves and the other doesn’t care for. They will be sung, if not well, passionately.

She said, “I wanna learn a love song
Full of happy things”
She said, “I wannalearn a love song
Won’t you let me hear you sing?”

She said, “I wanna learn a love song
Wanna hear you play”
She said, “I, I wanna learn a love song
Before you go away”

– Harry Chapin

Be nice. It won't hurt either of us.

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