Anniversary Playlist

Posted on February 10, 2017


My 33rd wedding anniversary is a week away.  We will be traveling so I thought I would try to get an anniversary post out in advance.  These tend to be when I am most self-disclosing and self-indulging.  My life goals were fairly simple and have not changed appreciably over the last four decades.  All I wanted was a wife, 2.7 kids, a house in the suburbs, and gainful employment.  Many people find that when they get what they want, it was never as great as they had hoped.  This has not been my experience.  I got what I wanted and it has been everything I could had hoped for and more.  Of course, the key is having a great wife.  I have a great wife.  I cannot claim any particularly great wisdom in my selection process.  We did not know each other long enough before getting married for either of us to have made a really informed decision.[1]  Praise God; we both ended up happy with our choice.  I would have had no idea what a treasure I was getting.

For me, life always has a soundtrack to it.  I can often tell you when a song was a hit because I remember what was happening in my life at the time (or conversely, I could recall the timing of life events based upon what music I was listening to at the time).  I have often had cause to point out that musicians are not sages.  Having said that, there are wonderful moments when they capture things beautifully in their lyrics.  There are songs that you hear that make you say, “Yes, that’s it exactly.”  In reflection of that, here is my anniversary playlist (some of which you may never have heard).

One Hundred Ways (James Ingram) – In the wee hours of the morning on October 6, 1985, I was driving home from the hospital.  My daughter had been born a few hours earlier.  On the radio, James Ingram was singing, “Compliment what she does.  Send her roses just because.  If it’s violins she loves, let them play.  Dedicate her favorite song and hold her close all night long.  Love her today.  Find 100 ways.”  I thought that is really good advice for marriage.  Do whatever is going to make your mate feel loved and valued.

Julip (Punch Brothers) – I am not sure what it says about me that my favorite love song starts and ends with “I died happy in my sleep.  Our children around and you looking down.  Heaven’s a julip on the porch.  You and me rocking.”  What it means to me is that the good life is being with my wife.  “You were the girl that I would meet/For drinks in the backyard/A beautiful daughter/Lifetimes of summer/And love ever after.”

I Will Be Here (Stephen Curtis Chapman) – Stephen seemed to catch the promise of marriage on a very deep level.  “I will be here.  You can cry on my shoulder.  When the mirror tells us we’re older, I will hold you.  And I will be here to watch you grow in beauty, and tell you all the things you are to me.  We’ll be together.”

Thinking Out Loud (Ed Sheeran)  – Ed was only 23 when he wrote this song promising that he would be just in love at 70 as we was at 23.  I was 23 when we got married.  I am not 70 yet, but I know what it is to be more in love with your mate as the years go by.

Once Again (Jenny and Tyler) – “I see you dressed so radiant in that gown of white.  We speak those sacred words and lock our eyes.  We’re surrounded but alone, the world is spinning slow.  We become each other’s own under the light.  Skies stretch wide and far, you take my heart I take your hand.  And I’m staring out in wonder once again.”

Everyday (Jill Phillips) – “A night full of stars and the moon on water, reflects perfectly clear.  We walk to the car, turn on “secret garden” and roll down the windows to hear.  Down to the shore where the tide is rising, feel it run over our feet.  We start to move and I’m realizing now I am living a dream.  I can’t believe, can’t believe that we’re here, but I won’t complain, won’t complain.  Cause I could go on for a million more years if we danced like this every day.”

One Thousand Years (Sting) – “But if there was a single truth, a single light, a single thought, a singular touch of grace.  Then following this single point, this single flame, this single haunted memory of your face.  I still love you.  I still want you.”

The Wood Song (Indigo Girls) – It’s a tough call between this one and The Power of Two from the same album.  Both are songs about weathering life together.  “Now I see we’re in the boat in two by twos, only the heart that we have for a tool we could use.  And the very close quarters are hard to get used to.  Love weighs the hull down with its weight.  No way construction of this tricky plan was built by other than a greater hand, with a love that passes all our understanding watching closely over the journey.”

Let’s Stay Together (Al Green) – A little old school soul.  “Let’s stay together.  Loving you whether times are good or bad, happy or sad.”

Breathless (Stairwell) – Granted this is a song about the beginning of a relationship, rather than a mature one.  “After the night is done, we start to whisper our dreams and hopes that keep the stars awake.”

That’s the playlist today.  I imagine if I give it some more thought, I could come up with others that should be on it.  I am open to suggestions of songs that speak to mature views of love and commitment.  Being married is a wonderful thing.

[1] As Paul Simon sang, “two people were married; the act was outrageous.”