This week share a favourite song or piece of music that is connected to a favourite genre of yours, or just share a favourite piece of music or song with us.
It is really difficult to choose a favorite music genre. I guess it would depend on my mood. If it’s for dancing at a wedding reception. Or keeping me company on a car ride. Or background when writing a blog post. Or cleaning my office. Or drowning out the highway noise outside my window. There is music to the rescue for any occasion!
The genre that rises to the top of my list most often: folk rock.
For today, I settled on a (relatively) recent musical discovery of an American singer/songwriter/guitarist who joined my list of favorites.
She has much in common with the favorites of my youth…Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Bonnie Raitt….
Although she originally appealed to a more country music audience, I happened upon her music about 20 years ago when I heard this song.
I was hooked.
I have seen her perform several times in the last decade. Lucky for me – and the audience – she included This Shirt on the set list every time.
Mary Chapin Carpenter
performing This Shirt
Originally released on her album “State of the Heart” in 1989.
One of my newest favorite singer/songwriter/guitarists – Mary Chapin Carpenter – has actually been making music for 30 years. Born in New Jersey, she spent the early part of her singing career in Washington DC before releasing her first album in 1987. The winner of 5 Grammy awards, she was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012.
I discovered her a few years ago at a local outdoor concert. I was blown away by her voice and personal catch-ya-off-guard lyrics. I couldn’t take my eyes – or ears – off her and the amazing band she performed with. Playing seamlessly together.
Her most successful album Come On Come On was released in 1992 and went quadruple platinum.
Walking Through Fire is from this album.
Walking Through Fire
by Mary Chapin Carpenter
When you set a match to your heart, fueling it with bitterness and doubt That’s the place that once it starts, no amount of tears can put out I know you’re scared, but no one’s spared when you play with matches
You got me walking through fire You got me walking through fire
Maybe you’ve been burned by lovers, maybe you’ve been scarred by the pain But baby, I’m not like the others, drawing moths to a flame Spite is like a spark, crackling in the dark, consuming all it catches
And you got me walking through fire You got me walking through fire to get to you Got me walking through fire (walking through fire) You got me walking through fire (walking through fire)
You can see the toll it’s taking, you can feel the faith it’s shaking You can hear the heart it’s breaking now
Baby, I’ve been burned by the fever, I’ve been scorched by desire But baby, I am not your deceiver or your eloquent liar Your jealous heart is tearing us apart, turning love to ashes
When you got me walking through fire You’ve got me walking through fire to get to you Got me walking through fire You’ve got me walking through fire
You’ve got me walking through fire (walking through fire) You’ve got me walking through fire (walking through fire) As the flames shoot higher You got me walking through fire (through fire), walking
And then, not expecting it, you become middle-aged and anonymous. No one notices you. You achieve a wonderful freedom. It is a positive thing. You can move about, unnoticed and invisible.”
But is this really a good thing? A positive thing? Not being seen or heard anymore? Content to be…hidden? What about our years of wisdom and experience…
I remember a fifth grade class assignment where we had to choose a superpower we’d wish for. And why. My choice: “being invisible.” I envisioned all kinds of adventure…and power. I could go anywhere. Be anything. Find out what was going on (because, after all, there must be something more interesting going on somewhere!).
But now? Decades later? Invisible is tantamount to just not being here…or anywhere…at all. Not really. After a certain age, you tend to disappear in the eyes of the younger set. Salespeople look through you, or just over your head. Questions are dodged or ignored all together. Their attention lost while you search for reading glasses.
Not everywhere and not all the time. But often enough to piss me off. And make me speak up a little louder. Whether I have the energy or not.
Mary Chapin Carpenter has a different take on the Middle Ages.
…We used to dread lives rendered ordinary we always said we’d own a grander story but the only kind worth telling somehow is the one about a jolt that makes you listen that jagged lightning bolt of recognition that love and kindness are all that matter now…
Mary Chapin Carpenter
If I could choose a superpower now, it would probably be flying. It would solve so many problems. And what fun!
What would be your superpower choice? And…do you think being “middle-aged” invites anonymity? And, if so, is this a positive? I am still considering the possibilities.