My relationship with my husband had a soundtrack. Most of it was the amazing music to which he introduced me, including everything Greg Dulli. It was the hard-driving, sexually charged album "Gentlemen" by The Afghan Whigs, one of his all time favorite albums, which I'm guessing would have surprised a lot of people who thought they knew Joe. It was the Gutter Twins cover of "Live With Me" by Massive Attack, which debuted right around the time when Joe and I first started talking about doing just that. Thrown in for good measure, it included a few sappy songs of my choosing like "I Love You Always Forever" by Donna Lewis which I used to sing at him while we were in the car together in college and "I Will Be Here For You" by Steven Curtis Chapman to which we walked down the "aisle" on our wedding day.
It's funny how "our soundtrack" comes creeping back in at random times. On January 5th, one month after Joe passed I walked into a clothing store and after being inside for about a minute that damn Donna Lewis song came blaring through the speakers. At a bar with Joe's brother the jukebox only had one Afghan Whigs song and of course it was "Debonair" from "Gentlemen". Today as I was driving from Ithaca to Elmira I heard the Gutter Twins song in shuffle mode on my iPhone and then thought of the Steven Curtis Chapman song. That, of course, made me want to pull up the slideshow I had set to that song on our anniversary the year he was diagnosed and since you are now on this musical journey with me... Here is the video I made for him on our 2nd wedding anniversary using "I Will Be Here For You".
Today, on what would have been his 37th birthday, Joe introduced a new song to our soundtrack. Amazing that he can still do that, but he did. Shortly after Domani was born Joe created a playlist on his iPad which he used to put the little guy to sleep. The playlist includes The Beach Boys, Wilco, Hope Sandoval, Jose Gonzalez and the Twilight Singers (to name a few - you can find the full list at the end of this blog). From a very early age Domani has been listening to these songs and I have been letting them go on in the background not paying much attention. Until today.
Domani was finally calming down a bit in my arms and we were listening to the playlist on shuffle. On came a song that I'm sure I never paid attention to before: "I Must Be in a Good Place Now" by Vetiver. It was beautiful and the words were even more touching. Somehow I could picture Joe singing it to the two of us and it warmed my heart on what was a very difficult day. Somehow he knew we needed that song added to our soundtrack.
Here are the lyrics to "I Must Be in a Good Place Now":
Wild apple trees blooming all around
I must be in a good place now
Sunshine coming through
Rainbow colored sky
Paints pretty pictures in my mind
Oh what a good day to go fishing
And catch the sunset in the hills
Dream of my yesterdays and tomorrow
And hope that you'll be with me still.
Saw a butterfly and I named it after you
Your name has such a pleasant sound
Love is all around and all I see is you
I must be in a good place now
I must be in a good place now.
Today I'm thankful for the gift of music that my Joe has given me. Domani will learn to appreciate lots of good music as he grows, thanks in large part to his father. And we will have a special image of our Joe "smiling next to us" with "love all around" for many years to come.
The playlist Joe titled "Domani" has 17 songs and runs 52 minutes:
Our Prayer by The Beach Boys
My Darling by Wilco
And Your Dream Comes True by The Beach Boys
Surfer Girl by The Beach Boys
In My Room by The Beach Boys
California Stars by Billy Bragg & Wilco
Sun it Rises by Fleet Foxes
White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes
Sparkly by Hope Sandoval and The Warm Inventions
Clear Day by Hope Sandoval and The Warm Inventions
Heartbeats by Jose Gonzalez
Crosses by Jose Gonzalez
From the Morning by Nick Drake
New Slang by The Shins
Summertime by The Twilight Singers
I Must Be in a Good Place Now by Vetiver
We're Going to Be Friends by The White Stripes
I'm planning on finding some comfort falling asleep to those songs tonight.