I need to impress upon you the craziness in which I was raised. The churches had rules that I knew were absolutely horrendous and that my parents did not agree with. These rules we kept while only in public, mostly. The one that my family adhered to was no contemporary music. Never was I allowed to see the brand new channel MTV nor could I listen to my radio. In my early years I could have Christian children’s music and Disney music. I withered inside. As I grew to be 10, I got my own small radio alarm clock and I was allowed to listen to the oldies station. In the early 1980’s I was listening to the Beatles and Stones, the Monkeys and Supremes. I loved this music but I was out of step with everyone around me. When I went to the mall or pizza place with my family the wonderful sounds I was denied would sneak into my mind and fill me with curiosity. I’d think, “What was that wonderful sound? Why can’t I listen to it?”
Michael Jackson, Wham, and Duran Duran swirled in the background and were ever out of my reach. I felt like I just wanted to hear and understand the people around me. I wanted so badly to know more of these sounds. Snatches of musical hook and lyric phrases drove my curiosity. And yet, I knew my mother would be angry. I knew that punishment would come.
I stayed in this state, content with the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s but I learned that liking this music as weird and uncool. Nobody but me liked Jethro Tull and Smokey Robinson. No one in my class ever heard of the Kinks or the Bryds. I was an outsider. When they wanted to speak of their music, I knew nothing of it. They mocked and belittled me. I faithfully obeyed. Until….
I was given a car. It had its own little radio and I thought, “I’m old enough to drive, I’m old enough to listen to whatever I damn well please.” It was then the 1990’s Green Day and Collective Soul filled my ears and made me feel alive. Pearl Jam spoke to my pain. I danced to House of Pain and I moved to Crystal Waters. The sounds I had missed from the 1980’s started to slowly move into my mind and I could comment on songs and artists I started to learn. Ever since then, I have had an insatiable desire to learn the music, know my culture, and live in the now. I found that the music was more than passing entertainment, music is a passion in my heart and fills me with emotion and joy. Removing it from my ears, damaged a part of me that was built up by collecting the sounds that helped me feel. Music soothes and excites my mind and keeps me happy. Often, I just love to sit and soak up sounds. When friends post music on Facebook, I feel like a child scooping up pieces of candy. It seems odd, but I feel connected to the place I live in and the culture that surrounds me.
Fundamentalism is a way to separate people from what makes them feel alive. When you remove that which is loved, the victim starts to die a little inside. So, swing by Hashtag Church Crimes on Facebook and #ChurchCrimes here and drop me a link to your favorite song. I will reply with what is inspiring me right now.