Friday, April 15, 2016

I Know That Song By Heart

In our earliest days, Hubby and I spent hours and hours driving around with The Police or The Eagles playing on the cassette player in my car over and over. As I became more and more comfortable with him, I became less and less shy about singing along with the music. I am a singer-alonger from way back and I know all the words of an absurd number of songs. I sometimes wonder how much more room I would for useful things in my brain if I weren't carrying around all those pop lyrics.

When it came time to get married--only a few months after we started dating--we decided that rather than the traditional "Wedding March," I would walk down the aisle to Ben E. King's "Stand By Me." The song was originally recorded and released before either of us was born, but it was enjoying renewed popularity at the time because of its place on the soundtrack of the movie Stand By Me, which had been released the year before.

At the wedding, which was in my grandmother's yard, we did not have a sound system and relied instead on the stereo in the best man's Mercury Cougar, parked at the edge of the yard. Our friend Webb was in charge of shutting off the music for the start of the ceremony.Webb waited so long to turn off the song that the Justice of the Peace who performed the ceremony actually had to ask us if someone was going to turn off the music.

In retrospect, assigning such a task to Webb, who was almost certainly stoned at the time of the wedding, was probably not wise, but the wedding itself was something of a dicey venture. We were eighteen and nineteen and had known each other only six months on the day that we pledged the rest of our lives to each other. 

At the time, "Stand By Me" was the perfect song for us as we set off together into all of the great unknowns of marriage. And even as recently as a couple of years ago, Hubby has turned to me when the song came on the radio and said, "This song still gives me the chills." 

The truth is we have not always been all that great at standing by each other, but somehow, despite all the stumbles, we are still here trying. I think if we were to renew our vows, the song playing at that ceremony would be an entirely different one. Something along the lines of Martina McBride's "Wild Angels," with its lyrics about how keeping love alive in these troubled times is a miracle in itself. I'm not a believer in literal angels, but I love the idea of impish helpers trying to hold on for the wild ride that has been our twenty-nine years together.

M is for Marriage


  1. I used to know song lyrics. But either my hearing is going or these new kids mumble when they sing :).
    Congratulations on 29 years! That is something.
    I listened to Wild Angles. It seems like the perfect song for a vow renewal.

  2. Thanks, Lynda. The very first time I heard the Wild Angels song it hit me how perfect it was. Not sure we will ever go through with a vow renewal, but I've been working on the soundtrack anyway. :)