Life stories and the music that inspired them

I strongly believe in my heart that everyone has a story to tell, something that they experienced that touched the lives of others.

If we only took the time to listen, especially to senior citizens, we could learn so much. We could be inspired to emulate the ways of kindness from people we never had the chance to meet personally, to open our eyes to a different way of expounding upon the gifts that God has given us: a kind word, an unexpected smile, a hand reaching out to help a stranger, a chance encounter with someone who could end up being a friend for life, or better yet, the love of a lifetime!

Many of our memories are triggered by music, songs that in and of themselves may have been little more than hit records but, for us personally, those songs take us back to a time in our lives that will live on in our souls forever.

Music has a way of painting the canvas of our lives.

The same song will mean something different and unique to each individual who listens to it, based on what we were doing, who we were with or even just thinking about, how we were feeling, and even the location we were in when we first heard the song.

It’s not just songs with lyrics that have a profound effect on us, but instrumental tunes as well. The song could have been performed live, played on the radio or television, in the car or inside a store, music on hold on the telephone…the opportunities for exposure to the melody that touched our lives are endless.

Every time I hear the song “I Started to Joke”, by the Bee Gees, I go back to the PAL (Police Athletic League) Club in uptown Harrisburg in 1968, when a chaperon at the event coerced me into dancing with a girl named Diane whom I previously didn’t know.

(Above Link:  The Bee Gees – I Started a Joke)

This was the first time in my life I had ever danced with anyone, and what an appropriate song! The dance was more of a walking shuffle in a circle around the room.

Six years later marked the next dancing experience that is burned into my memory. The year was 1974, my junior prom in high school. The song was “Colour My World” by Chicago, and I was dancing with a classmate I didn’t even take to the prom because the girl I took to the prom really didn’t want to be there with me. Nice girl, but I wasn’t her first choice in prom dates. I never did go to my senior prom, nor really learned how to dance.

(Above Link:  Chicago – Colour My World)

Music has a way of touching our emotions, possibly even reawakening the consciousness of those who may have lost touch with reality in today’s world. I’ve seen music change the focus of people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. When a familiar song is played, they become calmer and sing along, tapping their hands or feet. Something cognitively appears to change.

My goal for this blog through The York Dispatch is to let you tell your stories, something about your life that is forever linked to an experience that is related to a song.

Email me at with your stories, so I can interview you to bring your story to life in this blog and, as a result, inspire others to share the impact that music has had on their lives as well.

Some stories will include my deeper research into the current events of the world when the song was released.

Thanks for reading,