I’ve posted before about the power of books and music to not just transport us and teach us but to save us. It’s in part why I write. And while I don’t write music, or even play an instrument (barring an unfortunate pre-adolescent attempt to learn to play the trombone), I do hear a certain series of sounds, a rhythm as I write my words.
But back to music. I heard a song on the radio the other day that reminded me of the power of music. So for Throwback Thursday, I thought I’d share the song and how it saved me.
The song was “Groove me Bay.” The version I heard the other day on NPR was the original by King Floyd (1971). But the one that saved me was the later remake by Fern Kinney.
The song gave me hope, and while hope is not a strategy it is sometimes all we have. And it was definitely all I had then. Let’s look at the lyrics that were most meaningful to me.
You’ve become a sweet taste in my mouth, now
And I want to be your spouse.
Yep I wanted to get married. And gay as I was, I only ever dreamed of marrying a man. I believed one day, somehow, I would. Those lyrics reminded me of that determination and kept me believing.
So that we can live happily in a great big ol’ roomy house
Yep, we’d get married and adopt some kids and a dog and move to Connecticut to a big old farmhouse like Lucy Ricardo’s in Westport.
We don’t need no company
No other man, no other girl
Can enter into our world not as long as you groove me baby
And finally a promise of safety—at a time when I needed desperately to believe I’d one day be safe, and loved. Even if coming out, falling in love with another boy, caused the world to fall away from us, we’d still have each other and we would keep each other safe.
And now, some three decades after I first heard Fern Kinney sing “Groove me, Baby” I can look back at that time and remember the hope the song gave that boy who grew up to be me. And I can look at the man that boy became, the man who married one of the best men he knows, and bought a big ol’ roomy house…
Awww sookie, sookie now