Not all the time, not even always when I want it, my brain provides a soundtrack to my life. I am a 38 year old working mother, wife, all round responsible human being. My brain is about 23, I think. Which places her in 1999. She’s a bit of a loose cannon, a little unreliable, easily distracted by shiny things and prone to procrastination and wearing too much black while giggling in alcoves.
I was running in a half marathon tonight (well, half of one thanks to some terrible weather), and my brain (which was quietly amused that my life has come to this, when exercise was just something I did while dancing for so many years) and I had carefully chosen a running playlist. The songs which really took me away while I ran soaking wet through a Brisbane storm were Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” (I was so very in love with John Cusack in “Say Anything. He was and still is my idea of the perfect romantic hero. Flawed, devoted, slightly broken), Van Morrison’s “Into The Mystic” (that song is a musical glass of wine at sunset) and Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” (yep, the one from 50 Shades. Sexy as hell, that song). There was some Mark Ronson and Tijuana Cartel in there that made me pick up my feet, but they didn’t transport.
I’m helpless against Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” – it’s Stav and my song. The first time we heard it together, we were at a music festival with thousands of other people, but we were in our own world. We’d not been together long, but he was already John Cusack in Say Anything, all of the ballads Nick Cave wrote (I’d eventually walk down the aisle to The Ship Song), he’s the familiarity of Barenaked Ladies’ The Old Apartment, and he’ll always be the magnetism of Damien Rice’s “The Blower’s Daughter”.
When I’m angry, I hear Nine Inch Nails. Or sometimes, incongruously, They Might Be Giants. Which is a good thing. It’s hard to be full of rage when “Birdhouse in Your Soul” is in your head. Or, even better, “Your Racist Friend”. Which also takes me straight back to my first house after I left home – good friends, too much tofu, a cat who enjoyed leaving possum parts strewn through the house and my first taste of what being a grown up looks like.
When I need to come up with a soothing song in a hurry for Rors, its either “Castle On A Cloud” from Les Mis, “Patience” or “Sweet Child of Mine” by GnR or that really creepy song about a cradle falling from a tree and killing the baby. What the hell is all that about?
There are more tracks, of course. More triggers, more ways for my 23 year old brain to act out. Am I alone in this? Do other people have errant jukeboxes in their heads?