Thursday, April 18, 2019

On Repeat

My 7-year-old daughter is in her bedroom, listening to music. I don't recognize the song, but she's playing it on repeat. I hear her start to sing along... with gusto.  Because it's 2019, and I almost always have a mini-computer (that also makes telephone calls) within arm's reach, I google the words she's singing.  It turns out that she's singing a song from "Tangled: The Series," which is a cartoon on the Disney Channel that she doesn't even watch anymore.

I hear her sing it a couple more times... then she moves on to something else.

And I have a flashback.

It's late 1995/early 1996, and I'm listening to my new Meat Loaf CD.  Is Meat Loaf appropriate for middle-schoolers?  I don't know, but I'm guessing it might have been on my Christmas list. Either way, it's the "Welcome to the Neighborhood" album.

But maybe that's not the best way to describe it.  I'm NOT listening to the album, I'm playing my new favorite song, track #10, over and over and over again - "If This is the Last Kiss (Let's Make It Last All Night)."  Again?  Appropriate for a middle-schooler?

I'm dancing around in my room, singing with the same gusto my daughter would emulate 23 years later, when I hear my Dad shouting from downstairs.


I don't remember exactly what happened next.  I think I just turned it WAY down.

I've repeated this pattern several times in my life.  Find a new song, fall in love with the new song, play it over and over until I can sing all the words (and all the instrumental parts, ha!), and then I move on almost as quickly as I became consumed with it.

I read an article last year that called this behavior "extreme re-listening."  While the word extreme might come off a negative, I guess I don't see the problem.  Listening to music can be an intense, emotional, and personal experience.  And if you've found a song that you can connect with - put it on repeat.

I asked my daughter later that night about the song from "Tangled."  She said that she'd never heard it until earlier that day, but she really liked it.  "I guess I got a little obsessed, Mom," she said.

That's alright kid.  I promise not to shout at you for your "extreme re-listening" habit.  (But, let's not listen to any Meat Loaf lyrics for a few more years.)

Like this?  Then you'll love my essay "Mrs. Norton's Daughter" in WILL WORK FOR APPLES, the latest in the New York Times best-selling I JUST WANT TO PEE ALONE anthology series.  

Click here to get your copy today! 

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