How Music Drives Us

Into the night, through the morning hours

Terry Barr
Three Imaginary Girls

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Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

Sitting at a wooden table in my daughter’s den, drinking coffee, reading about Country Soul in the American South, I hear her music alarm soundtrack for the morning kick in. It’s a Taylor Swift mix, leading off with “Love Story” and winding through “You Belong With Me,” and so many others that I exhaust my recognition too early to be a true Swiftie.

I can hear my wife in bed upstairs reading to our granddaughter, Pippa, who has answered our most immediate prayers by sleeping straight through the night for the past two nights. They’re also watching Farsi videos for children so that Pippa can learn the other language of her family before she knows that there is such a thing as “language.” Like her mom, she’ll be fluent and one day will sit with her child or grandchild remembering the sounds, the syllables, the music of growing up comfortably and secure in a world that still might choose to maintain or re-inaugurate forms of segregation that are damaging to us whether we can translate those ways or not.

I’ll let them come downstairs before I crank up music that suits a Saturday morning breakfast routine. I can’t remember if it’s waffles or pancakes she likes, but whatever we make will be cast against the sounds of Joan Jett, whom two-year old Pippa has been rocking to since birth. Jett isn’t…

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Terry Barr
Three Imaginary Girls

I write about music, culture, equality, and my Alabama past in The Riff, The Memoirist, Prism and Pen, Counter Arts, and am an editor for Plethora of Pop.