There are few things in life that I’ve experienced that I might describe as amazing. On that short list of amazing things is the ability of a song to act as a time machine and transport us back to our childhood, a major life event, or a time long forgotten.
Whenever I hear Donnie Hathaway’s “This Christmas” or The Temptations “Silent Night,” it transports me to my childhood which was a gift filled with love, great food, and lots and lots of laughter. My Christmas season can officially begin once I hear those songs.
New Edition’s “With You All the Way” transports me to 1987 — the year I graduated from high school with some of the coolest, kindest, funniest people I’ll ever meet. That was our class song. Another song that reminds me of that 1984 – 1987 time period is a song called “The Horse” by Cliff Nobles & Co. I was in the band, and we played that song at every football game. If you want to see a bunch of teens and their parents get fired up, just play that song. If you’ve ever heard that song, you’re probably bobbing your head right now.
One of my favorite songs of all time didn’t become my favorite because the singer made it so. In fact, I hadn’t even heard the original until a few minutes ago. I heard this song for the first time back in 1988 while in Basic Military Training School (BMTS). The name of the song is “No Other Word for Grace but Amazing,” and it’s by The Talleys. My friend Mary Hardin sang it one night while we were cleaning the communal showers (as we did every night). She had the prettiest teenage voice I’d ever heard–sort of a cross between Anita Baker and Karen Carpenter — smooth as silk. Each night we’d sing something, anything because the acoustics in that shower made us sound amazing. She would sing the lead, and I would always harmonize. We were a good team. Whether we were on kitchen patrol, laundry duty, or running in the Texas heat, we were always together.
A few years ago we found each other on Facebook. Now, that’s amazing! We didn’t have any mutual friends, so I’m not even sure how that happened. I guess it’s Facebook magic. All I know is that I’m grateful to be reunited because it feels so good. Yes, that was intentional — Peaches and Herb’s “Reunited” is yet another of my favorites.
In honor of our friendship and our service to this great nation, here’s one more song that we sang daily — complete with ruffles and flourishes.