The Ruttle Report - The Songs That Tell Your Story

There isn’t really a lot to love about social media these days.

Everything is political, or politically correct, or whining and crying about being too much of one and not enough of the other.  But sometimes, Facebook gets it right by asking people to play a simple game designed at asking ourselves the tough questions.

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One such time-killing game I played a couple of years ago was The Music Ask.  It asks you to list 30 songs that you identify the most with, and the responses can be based on pure emotions, or they may just be songs that you really enjoy.  One may ask, “A song you like with a color in the title”, and I replied with ‘Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain’ by Willie Nelson.  Others may take you to an emotional or spiritual place, like asking, “A song that makes you happy”, to which I replied with ‘Lookin’ Out My Backdoor’ by CCR, or even, “A song that has many meanings to you”, and I replied with ‘Midnight Rider’ by the Allman Brothers Band.

They’re essentially the songs that tell your story, provided you answer truthfully and honestly.

Here are some other questions and my corresponding song responses, along with perhaps my explanation for listing them.

A song that reminds you of summertime – ‘Small Town, Saturday Night’ by Hal Ketchum.  I remember hearing this song on the radio a lot during the summers when I was a kid growing up in Conquest.  It’d be on when we had a radio outside with us during a roaring bonfire, it’d be on when my family and I would be driving up north to spend a few days at Candle Lake, and it’d be on at probably a thousand other instances during my childhood.  I also connect with it because, well, sometimes I’d be bored in the summer on a Saturday night in my small town.

A song to drive to – ‘Turn the Page’ by Bob Seger.  It’s a story about living on the road, going from one destination to the next, with little to no time for reflection.  My job takes me on the road at times and I log a lot of miles, and this song just speaks to me in that regard.

A song from your preteen years – ‘Superman’s Dead’ by Our Lady Peace.  Growing into my teenage years, I was getting serious into rock music, and I found myself drawn to Canadian artists, so Our Lady Peace’s anthem hit me hard.

A song that you would sing a duet with on karaoke – ‘Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys’ by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.  I grew up a country boy who appreciated country music, and I still do today.  Waylon and Willie’s melodic warning to mothers asking them to make sure they ‘don’t let ‘em play guitars and drive them old trucks, let ‘em be doctors and lawyers and such’ is just so darn catchy and simple that you can’t help but love it.

A song from the year that you were born – ‘The Power of Love’ by Huey Lewis and The News.  What can I say, 1985 was a pretty good year.  The year of the Nintendo video game console, the year this iconic song was featured in the classic movie ‘Back to the Future’, and the year yours truly was born.  Don’t need no credit card to ride this train!

A song by an artist no longer living – ‘Learning to Fly’ by Tom Petty.  I really enjoy most of Petty’s catalog of music, but this one really speaks to me.  I remember hearing it for the first time back in 2005 when I was living out in Victoria and going to film school, and to me, being so far away from home and trying to make a go of it was kind of my own way of ‘learning to fly’.  To this day, when I hear that song, I instantly think of those eight months I spent on the West Coast.

A song that breaks your heart – ‘Hallelujah’ by Jeff Buckley.  This iconic song has been covered left and right by all sorts of artists about a million times it seems, but for my money, it’s Jeff Buckley’s interpretation that really puts the true heart and soul of it on full, heartbreaking display.  When you think of the sad, tragic way that Buckley’s life ended – he drowned while swimming in the Mississippi River to kill time before his bandmates arrived from New York – it just packs an extra punch.

These kinds of surveys are the things that actually make social media fun because it lets you discover perhaps a whole new side of yourself, as well as those closest to you.  There’s something almost therapeutic about answering those types of questions with chosen songs and artists.

Music is supposed to be a great healer of the soul, isn’t it?

For this week, that’s been the Ruttle Report.

© The Outlook

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