The melodies of memory lane

cowgirl sass, julie carter, ranching

Storms never last, do they baby? That is a lyric that is very likely tickling your memory banks. The lyrics belongs to Waylon Jennings and Jessie Coulter. But the memories are mine.

There are many ways to take nostalgic trips through the recesses of your mind. Some work faster and better than others, but it’s a journey we all need to take from time to time. Flipping through old photo albums is a surefire way to bring back flashes of the past when people were younger, thinner, and married to somebody else.

I also think there is something better for the journey than being faced with pictorial proof of how different things are now. That vehicle is music.

Music is a venue of travel into yesteryear that seems to evoke more emotion and less reality than old photos. An old familiar melody has a way of quickly reaching inside our hearts and souls and touching feelings that, long ago, were pushed behind us as we dove headlong into life.

Lyrics might tell a story that was your story and in doing so, they speak for you. A song might bring recall of parents dancing in the kitchen to the melody as it played on the radio or at an old country dance that gathered people from the countryside to socialize in hard times.

So many of mine come with memories of my dad sitting in his chair with a guitar in his hands and yodeling on his mind.

Musical memories are never better than when they are shared remembrances. They don’t have to be specific but memories of an era can bring people to common ground. People that didn’t share directly in your life 30-40 years ago, very likely heard the same music you did.

Circumstances may vary but the emotions that erupt do not. Nothing will turn back the hands of time like an evening with some heart-tugging, boot-scootin’, make-me-think-I-can-sing music to put you over the top. I had a friend that once said, “now that’s music you can fall in love to.”

When the fiddle bow strikes, the guitar strings hum and melodic voices fall into a lyrical tour of fine old country music, today ceases to exist. For a space of time, the room becomes a world of its own in a place a long time ago. Whether you are swaying to Lefty Frizzell’s “Waltz of the Angels” or hearing the alluring Bob Wills’ “Faded Love,” something begins to happen to your heart.

Traveling down the melody lane, you arrive at a place in the recesses of your mind that everyone should visit. Whether it is the lyrics, the melody or both, something begins to chip away at the shellacked veneer that day-to-day living paints over us for survival.

The musical map carries you forward through decades of “classic country” that becomes a slide show of loving, laughing, crying, and dying. Waylon’s words are immortal in many lives and certainly in mine.

“Storms never last do they baby. Bad times all pass with the wind. Your hand in mine stills the thunder. And you make the sun want to shine.”

I’m very glad I got the chance for him to remind me of that. Now I’m reminding you.

Julie, armed with an arsenal of memories, can be reached for comment at jcarternm@gmail.com.