{try this} tuesday | take back the song

on 05-26-2015

Take Back The Song


There’s no need to explain. Really.


I know you don’t have anything against “Piano Man.” Maybe you even used to sing along when you heard it on the radio.


But then, by some cruel twist of  Muzak fate, “Piano Man” became the theme song for your root canal. So now, a decade later, hearing about Davy who’s still in the Navy still makes you wince.


How about when “Start Me Up” accompanied that bout of projectile vomiting during pregame layups back in 1985? (Home court, of course.) Even though you recovered by halftime and your team won by a landslide, track one on Tattoo You was transformed into a Rolling Stones Voldemort,  a “Song-That-Must-Not-Be-Named.”

And then there are the ones that seem to slice through your soul.  The songs that seem obsessed with following you  . . . everywhere — constant reminders of people and memories you’re trying hard to forget.

time doesn't heal all tunes

I’ve had to shake a song or two — the MASH theme triggering a crescendo of pre-piano lesson dread,  “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers transporting me back to a bad (bad, bad) day at work, and two heartbreakers I feared were beyond salvaging — “Atlantic City” and “Band on the Run.”

 Songs are sticky, and while the soundtrack of our lives will have tracks that lift us up, it’s bound to include a few that bring us down. And unfortunately, time doesn’t heal all tunes. A song can ambush you for ages if you don’t take action.

One of these suggestions just might allow you to take back a song and let the music play:

Feel and deal on Memory Lane.




Ever wonder if R.E.M. is trying to tell you something?


Sure, “Fall On Me” reminds you of that BBQ at your neighbor’s house four years ago, the one when you found out your best friend wasn’t really your friend after all. Maybe you pretended you were okay so she never knew how much her betrayal hurt, and then that pretending didn’t stop once you were alone. You never let yourself feel anything — angry, betrayed, confused, foolish, sad.


What if you let yourself feel those things now?  “Fall on Me” might not be as heavy without all those emotion weighing it down, and you may even begin to feel lighter, too.





Are you really going to let a song catch you off guard and turn your day upside down for the rest of your life? No, you’re not.Paseando por Varadero


You’re going to play the power out of it. Maybe you’ll play it out on the beach, surrounded by a group of friends. Or maybe you’re going to drive around alone with the windows down and the volume up.


Your method doesn’t matter as long as you listen to it so many times that it’s transformed into “a song” instead of “that song.” Got it?

Switch & ditch



Could taking back a song really be as simple as out with the old and in with the new? Most definitely. Choose something — anything —  you’d rather think about when you hear it. That something is what you’re going to think of every single time.


The key is having the new thought ready to summon at a moment’s notice. When you’re prepared to switch and ditch, you’ll be ready to trade the YUCK for some of that YUM.

Tune into the present.




If you anchor yourself in the here and now, you prevent the past from rocking your boat. Take a deep breath. Revel in your surroundings.


Whatever that song evoked, that was then.  You are here  . . .  now. What song is it you want to hear?

P.S. I’ve been living in a Jason Isbell world lately, and his “Songs That She Sang in the Shower,” reminded me that this blog post has been patiently waiting to be written for quite some time. Give it a listen.

On a lark, on a whim,

I said, “There’s two kinds of men in this world and you’re neither of them”

And his fist cut the smoke

I had an eighth of a second to wonder if he got the joke

In the car headed home

She asked if I had considered the prospect of living alone

With a steak held to my eye

I had to summon the confidence needed to hear her goodbye,

And another brief chapter without any answers blew by

And the songs that she sang in the shower are stuck in my head

Like ‘Bring Out Your Dead,’ ‘Breakfast In Bed’

And experience robs me of hope that she’ll make it back home

So I’m stuck on my own

I’m stuck on my own


In a room by myself

Looks like I’m here with the guy that I judge worse than anyone else

So I pace, and I pray, and I repeat the mantras that might keep me clean for the day

And the songs that she sang in the shower all ring in my ears

Like ‘Wish You Were Here,” How I wish you were here

And experience robs me of hope that you’ll ever return,

So I breathe and I burn

I breathe and I burn

And the church bells are ringing for those who are easy to please

And the frost on the ground probably envies the frost on the trees

And the songs that she sang in the shower are stuck in my mind

Like ‘Yesterday’s Wine,’ Like ‘Yesterday’s Wine’

And experience tells me that I’ll never hear them again

Without thinking of then, without thinking of then

                                                                                – Jason Isbell


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