Soundtrack of My Life
Zachary Smith English 1100 Soundtrack of my life Music is one of the greatest and most influential devices that we as humans deal with on a day to day basis. It plays such an important role in our lives and helps build character without us ever thinking twice about it. In today’s society there are so many types and genres of music that you can find a song for any type of mood that you’re in. Music has the power to bring thousands of people from opposite walks of life together.
When I stop and think about the songs that bring up the best memories it creates a wide spectrum of genres. Ranging from Garth Brooks the “Thunder Rolls” to classical Ave Maria, to Bone Thugz N Harmony and Sweetish Rock band by the name of Volbeat. The list of songs to come not only have personal stories behind each and every one of them, but they also tell a timeline from my earliest memories as a child growing up with three older brothers, to the highs and lows of being a teenager in high school, and to spending a year in Afghanistan. Like read about memories? Read also Flashbulb memory!
Being the youngest of 4 boys growing up I didn’t get to make a whole lot of decisions for myself, and to be honest I didn’t really care I just rolled along with whatever Jake, Kyle, and Nate wanted to do. Growing up in the country and living on a farm we naturally became conditioned to listening to country music. At that time Garth Brooks was the country artist hot on the scene. I can remember watching some of his music videos on TV and thinking that he was the coolest guy ever. One of my greatest memories with my brothers is Garth Brooks had a live concert on TV and all of us boys decided to put on a concert of our own.
We all ran to the garage and grabbed instruments that could be used as guitars and drum sticks and then raced through the house, meanwhile ignoring moms yelling of “no running in the house,” and then back down stairs as fast as we could for the start of the concert. As the concert went on my brothers and I were jamming away on our fake musical instruments when the song “Thunder Rolls” came on. I can vividly remember watching Garth Brooks walking on stage, and at the start of the song it was pouring down rain and lightning flashes were oing off everywhere and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. As a kid I sat there awestruck with amazement watching his every movement believing he was in an actual thunderstorm. Seeing Garth Brooks standing there soaking wet from head to toe has left a forever image in mind that I will always associate and think of when I listen to his music. Growing up as a young boy I could remember that whenever I would be in the car or somewhere near a radio station, mom would always have country music playing and I believe that’s where I get my love for country music from.
On the flip side with dad, he introduced me to the world rock. Great artist such as Guns N Roses, Lynyrd Skynard, and AC/DC. The song from the classic rock genre of music that has really stuck with me is “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynard. “Free Bird” was my getaway song, the song that put me at ease whenever I needed to relax from the stressful life of young boy, because mom didn’t pack my lunch right or I couldn’t go play with my friends. As we all know, these are troubling times in a young boys life and “Free Bird” was always there to bring me back down to earth.
In the short 10 to 15 years that I have been able to really comprehend what music is, there have been very few songs that have really given me goose bumps. Once again a country artist by the name of Toby Keith came out with a song in 2003 entitled “American Soldier. ” As every young boy does, they think and will argue about having the coolest dad in the world, but no, really I do. I can remember sitting in my parents’ bedroom late on Sunday nights and just wait for my super hero dad come walking in, in his black and green army uniform with his dark as night glistening combat boots.
Seeing him walk through that doorway would be the highlight of my weekend. In Toby Keith’s song he describes the “American Soldier” by saying ” I can’t call in sick on Mondays when the weekends been to strong, I just work straight through the holidays and sometimes all night long, You can bet that I stand ready when the wolf growls at the door, hey I’m solid, hey I’m steady, I’m true down to the core. ” To me those lyrics perfectly portray what I see in my dad, so every time I hear that song I can’t help but think about him and get goose bumps again.
By the time high school rolled around I had made it through my embarrassing boy band phase and found myself listening to the likes of NAS, Kanye West, Outkast, and my absolute favorite Bone Thugz N Harmony. Every day after school let out my brother Nate and I would meet up at his green 94′ Ford Ranger with pins in the hood, dents in the dumpers, and scrapes in the siding, as we headed to another day of soccer practice. While on the way we would blast our Bone Thugz and pathetically attempt to try and rap along.
We used the lyrical talent of artist like Outkast, Kanye, and Bone Thugz to get is ready for another sweat pouring, muscle aching, tiresome practice. Just to turn around and to do the exact same routine again the next day. For many young adults, college can be a confusing time in their lives. My first go around at college Lil Wayne was the new biggest coolest artist on the scene and rap was becoming ever more popular. Instead of flocking toward the rap music like most college kids did at the time, I moved in a different direction.
A direction that you normally don’t find among the young college scene, and that was toward classical, opera, and piano music. Even till this day I can’t pin point exactly what it is about classical, opera and piano music that intrigues me so much. I think that part of my attraction to this style of music is that I find it very relaxing and mind calming. There have been numerous covers of “Ave Maria”, and my favorite would have to be done by Franz Schubert. This is where the start of my new appreciation of music began.
It wasn’t until I listened to Franz Schubert singing “Ave Maria” that I really listened carefully and opened my eyes to the pure God given talent and beauty of her voice and I found that immensely more satisfying to listen to instead of something that would of been created in a studio. Now I currently enjoy listening to musicians like Michael Buble’ and Norah Jones and have gained an appreciation for the artists who use their true vocal talents. Furthermore, during my first stint in college I joined the military and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012.
The life of a soldier is pretty single and strait forward. You wake up and go to work. Whatever you want to do before and after work is up to you, so like most soldiers I used some of my free time to go to the gym and workout. Everyone has that genre of music or artist that will get them pumped up and ready, like most soldiers, I get wound up by loud, fast pace music that gets that red fluid inside me boiling. Through a fellow soldier I was introduced to a Swedish metal group called Volbeat, which I surprisingly enjoyed because it is the complete opposite style of music that I enjoy.
For the remainder of the deployment when I visited the gym, Volbeat and Avenge Sevenfold served as my constant to get me through my workouts. No one knows what our futures will hold. We have no idea what kind of trials and triumphs lie awaiting us. One thing that we can bank on is music. Music is one of the very few constants that pass by from generation to generation. A world without music would be a creature that I would never like to see. When we scour the caverns of our brain some of our greatest memories are associated with music.
I’m a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason because it shapes the type of person we are today. The same thing applies with music. Looking back over my life, there was a phase for each type of genres of music that I listened to. In my 23 years, my musical interest have ranged from country, to boy band, to rock, to classical and metal and I don’t think I would be the exact way I am today without having all of those music genres in my life. In 23 years I have created so many great memories through music and I can only hope that God blesses me with another 23 years to make more memories.