Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Music is a Powerful Thing

I usually listen to books on my mp3 player during my commute each day but this morning, I wasn't in the mood for a book so I just played songs. In addition to my books, I probably have a hundred or so songs on my player. I pressed random and it picked some incredible songs. One song in particular "Traveling Soldier" by the Dixie Chicks puts a lump in my throat each time I hear it. This morning was not different.
It's about a young girl who befriends a soldier shortly before he goes off to war. They fall in love but he is killed there. She vows to "never hold the hand of another guy." I can almost hear a young girl say those words. The song reaches deep inside of me because of what happened in real life to one of my friends.
Just after I graduated from Dora High, I enrolled in Jeff State Junior College and because I didn't have a car, I had to ride the bus. For the most part, it wasn't cool to arrive at college on the bus but fortunately there were a bunch of other's who were also "un-cool travelers" and we all became great friends.
The year was 1968 and the war in Southeast Asia was raging and it seemed like the southern states gave more than their share of young men. The fiancé of one of our friends, I'll call her Kathy, got his papers and she immediately went into depression.
We all did what we could to keep her spirits up, but she had a foreboding….a heavy heart that no amount of cheerful support could ease. As it turned out, her fears were justified because shortly after getting to Vietnam, he was killed.
Kathy was never the same again. Her youth and a piece of her soul died along with her fiancé and even now looking back it's hard to understand what it was all about. I lost touch with Kathy and I'm not sure if she "ever held the hand of another guy." I do know that seeing the anguish on her face is something I will never forget.
All of this came rushing back through my mind as a result of hearing "Traveling Soldier" on my player…….and sitting on interstate 65 this morning in rush hour traffic, I had tears rolling down my face.
Music is a powerful thing.

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