The earth moves as music plays

Miriam BaierI felt the earth move under my feet when I heard Carole King was coming Wednesday to Bellefontaine.

Well, that is an exaggeration, but a flood of bittersweet memories stemming from the music on her iconic Tapestry album released in 1971 that includes I Feel the Earth Move did flood over me.

I first came across that album flipping through my brother John’s collection at his house during one of many visits with my parents.

While they played euchre with him and my sister-in-law, I nearly wore out the vinyl as I played it over and over, learning the lyrics and appreciating them and the melodies. My brother was 15 years older than me and I admired his taste in music.

Wild-haired musician Carole King seemed to me — a child who came of age in the 70s — to represent freedom and success and holding your own in a male-driven world. She seemed approachable. Over the years as I learned more about her and saw her on various television venues, I tagged her to be someone I would like to know. She was more than her music and she evolved with the times, not resting on the laurels from her early successes.

Both my dad and my brother are gone now, and I miss them and their card games and playing that album.

Music does that; takes you right back — right now — to a time, a place, a feeling, a memory without trying. It is a great talent to have the ability to create something that stands the test of time to be so powerful for someone so many years later. Will the music created today have that lasting power?

Will people still listen 40 years from now to Snoop Dogg and The Pussycat Dolls singing about wanting to loosen up some buttons, baby? I don’t pretend to be a music connoisseur. I have eclectic tastes that have no rhyme or reason. I don’t particularly care for the Beatles (I like Stones’ music much better). I’m not a big fan of the Boss or Eric Clapton.

I don’t dispute they all are great musicians who paved the way for countless others. I also didn’t want to climb the stairway to heaven with Led Zeppelin when they first wrote about it and I don’t now. It’s tragic that Eric Clapton’s young son died and it’s really nice Eric could pay tribute to him with a song, but I don’t really care for Tears in Heaven. When Eric Clapton sings, I feel as if he is sure what he offers is just what I want and need if only I were smart enough to realize it.

Carole compared her life to a tapestry in that album’s title cut: “A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold.”

Music also is fleeting, but when we least expect it, something sparks that switch in our brains, and often our hearts, and our life is accompanied if only for awhile by that special melody, and maybe the earth does move under our feet.

And that’s a good thing.