This week’s Tracks of My Years is written by the very lovely Gabrielle from Quarts and All. She is an Australian blogger who writes about being a mummy of four. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
Let’s see what Tracks Gabrielle
Music: It allows me to escape to any place. The future, the past, a feeling. Anywhere. And this escape has saved me many, many times. I enjoyed escaping to the past while putting together the song list of the mixed tape of life and I am so grateful for the opportunity.
I was brought up in a musical household. Neither of my parents were musicians, but they were musical. There were always musical instruments around the house and my three sisters and I played any number of instruments to varying levels; piano, guitar, ukulele, mandolin, flute etc. I remember Dad forever trying to perfect the 12 bar blues on his guitar, introducing us to new music like Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and rotating old records on the gramophone. And we all sang. Often. As a young family, the six of us went on long camping road trips, sometimes for months at a time. Whether the drive was one hour or 11, singing as a family was a way we passed the time, and the memories of my sisters and I singing are some of my most treasured. We would sing anything from the Johns (Denver and Williamson), to Don McLean, The Beach Boys, The Seekers, and whatever else filled my parents’ collection. Memories of The Beach Boys are the most frequent from these car trips; mainly singing rounds and harmonies of I Get Around.
As a young child, I spent a lot of time shadowing my dad. I was his right-hand girl. My little sister is only 16 months younger than I am which may have instigated my spending less time with Mum and more with Dad. From as early as I can remember I was the daughter who helped Dad chop the firewood, fix the cars, sharpen the knives, paint the house etc. I can remember a strange feeling as I grew up and spent less time at home and therefore with Dad. It wasn’t until I was older that I gave any thought to how Dad might have felt watching me, as well as my three sisters, prepare to leave home and build our own lives. This John Williamson song, Cydi, reminds me of me and my dad.
At 18 I was shocked to learn I was pregnant. What a journey that was! When my baby was one, an extremely significant person in my life was killed. Not only did I have to process this loss, I watched others much closer to this person attempt to come to terms with such a tragedy. This sparked a questioning in me, and over the course of the next year this led to a realisation that there was an awful lot about my life that I didn’t like, and that life is too short not to make a change. It was listening to Michael Jackson’s Man in The Mirror one day on the way to uni and I took a new sentiment from the song; a pretty narcissistic one. That it was time to start recognising my own needs, realise they weren’t being met, and change my ways!
Brandi Carlile’s The Story is just, well, a necessity on any playlist. I can’t remember when I heard it for the first time. It is my all-time favourite song. When I listen to it and just listen, it reminds me that I have a complex, meaningful and purposeful story and it’s that story that makes me who I am. Every facet of me is a constantly developing epic narrative. When I belt this song out, whether alone or surrounded by friends, it is empowering and reminds me of all the amazing people who know me best and who helped compose the complications and resolutions of this manuscript.
I have two songs that make me think of my husband and how much I adore him, am inspired by him, respect him, and am challenged by him. The first is Ween’s Gabrielle. Our first ever social event was at his share house. After awkwardly introducing myself to the group of girls in the front room, I moved through the kitchen into the smoke-filled pool room, attempting to avoid an asthma attack from both the smoke and my butterflies. I was instantly calmed when my now husband and a couple of his mates burst into their own rendition of this song… Which at the time I had never heard. But hey, they were singing about putting me above everything and loving me until the day they die. What’s not to like?! The other is Lior’s This Old Love. This is the song that played as I walked down the aisle of the State Library balcony on our wedding day. We chose this song because we not only knew our love story would be full of ebbs and flows, we knew that this meant our love would constantly grow and take on new directions. We weren’t about two becoming one We were about maintaining our individuality and helping each other be the best versions of ourselves and creating an amazing life together.
My final track is Slow Down by Nicole Nordeman. In my current phase of life where my four children consume the vast majority of my time and energy, this song is both heart wrenching and uplifting in its reminder to savour every moment. This is particularly apparent as our eldest child moves further into his teens and a new kind of trying, and our youngest in the depths of toddlerhood. I can’t explain the emotion I feel when I listen to this song. It reminds me just how proud of my children I am, how confident I am that they will grow into phenomenal adults who change the world for the better, And how if I think too long about how intense my love for them is, it’s almost unbearable.
There you have it. The tracks of my years.
What do you think of Gabrielle’s Tracks? I think they are great. The Story is a song you always see me talking about – I love Sara Ramirez’s version that was featured on Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve never heard Slow Down before today and I’ll be honest and admit it had me a little emotional.