Sunday, September 25, 2011

The mourning period

As many of you may know, REM announced this week that they are officially calling it quits after over 30 years of great music.  For those of you who don’t know REM is one of Will’s top 4 (or maybe top 2?) favorite bands**, so our house has been filled with REM tunes since their sad proclamation on Thursday.  It’s a strange feeling to hear all of these songs drifting through our kitchen when you know that the men behind the music are no longer creating together.  I am at best an amateur REM listener, but I know how much they have meant to Will since his high school days and find myself grieving along with him.

[**Update:  After reading my post, Will gently reminded me that REM is actually his favorite band.  I hesitated in updating this status simply because it sounded a bit like Frances telling me who is her favorite Disney Princess.  But alas, I am one for an accurate blog.  So "favorite band" it is.]

Will loves music and this is one of the things I love most about him.  Our children are so blessed to grow up in a home filled with music of almost every genre—because that’s my Will.  He is as opened minded about his music as he is about everything else.  But he has a very special place for REM and I can’t disagree with him.  Will and I went to one of their concerts early on in our marriage (or maybe we were engaged?  Or just dating?  In any event, it was pre-children which is really the only baseline that matters anymore).  In a word, REM was phenomenal.  They played songs that I knew every word to (i.e. the radio hits that us fair-weather fans know) as though it was the first time they had ever performed them, but also catered to the die-hard fans with their less known songs (but no less extraordinary).  They expressed sincere passion for their stage show and as a former (dance) performer I was blown away and inspired.

Will and I are both hitting our mid-30s and slowly coming to terms with the fact that we are drifting into the older half of the generations.  We are replacing the baby boomers who mourned the dismantling of the Beatles and now have an inkling of the sadness our parents must have felt when their heroes (music or otherwise) stepped down from their respective roles simply because it was “time.”  You can’t help but ask, “WHY?  But surely you’re not really DONE with your passion??”  I’d like to hope that our sadness revolves around the fact that our children won’t be able to experience a new REM album the way Will did; instead they will only be able to refer to the band as “classic music.”  But admittedly I think some of that sadness is just about getting older and the realization that more and more of these “last moments” are going to happen.  I know we are not old and we (hopefully) are not even half-way through our lives; maybe that’s what makes these small but forever changes in our time that much harder.  We will be watching our children’s music idols stride into the positions of our icons stepping down and I will do my best not to be the crotchety woman voicing my distaste in the background.  And knowing Will, he will join right in with the next generation’s music and never miss a beat.

As a tribute to REM and even more so to my wonderful husband, below is a video of Will’s favorite REM song “Find the River.”  This is one of the few songs that will immediately calm both children down in their fussiest of states and I think you’ll understand why when you hear it.

There is nothing better than hearing poetry through music.
Happy Sunday everyone!

(Please excuse any commercial that may play before the actual music.  Blah.  I promise it's worth the 15-second wait.)

1 comment:

  1. Lucy, my favorite was "Sweetness Follows" -- my high school yearbook quote was "Live your life filled with joy and wonder." But "Find the River" is another great song! I love the idea of using songs from a band like REM with your kids :)