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Complicated Melody

Music serves to soothe. When I am having a hard day at school or when I argue with my roommate it helps me to back away from my “stinkin’ thinkin’.” I self-talk when upset and will be carried away with my thoughts. When carried away I will speak from my current state of mind and wind up having to apologize for things that I did not take the time to think about later. When I am trying to clear my head, I will listen to anything from Mozart to Michael Jackson to James Taylor. My goal in using music is to slow down my mind so that I can focus and protect the feelings of those who encounter me. Music also connects to my feelings and allows me to connect with those who are not in my life for the time being. One person that I remember often through music is my Dad.
He passed away 9 years ago and not a day goes by when I do not think of him. My dad loved music as much as I do. Some of his favorite musicians were Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Otis Redding and even Too $hort! (My Dad used to drive around in his green Volvo playing “The Ghetto.” Everyone in the neighborhood heard him coming.” When he passed away, it was sudden. There was no opportunity to say goodbye. There was no time for me to mourn as I was suddenly thrust into the position of being “the strong one.” I had to answer questions for people, discuss things with relatives, help pick out coffins, get his uniform together, and keep my Mom from jumping off a cliff. In addition to this, I had just left my husband and was renting an apartment away from my home and raising my son and teenaged niece. Suffice it to say, my life was a whirlwind of activity. My Dad had two funerals. One Sacramento and one in Mobile, Alabama. I spent some time there upset because I was not able to sing at my Dad’s funeral, as no one knew that I could sing. My cousin sang “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” and it was beautiful. I was sad because I did not speak up when I could have so I could sing. Realizing that it was my own doing, I accepted my fate, bid farewell to the family and came home.
I stayed “the strong one” until I heard Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed” while driving. I remembered how much my dad loved to snap his fingers and sing along with Donny and Stevie with the stereo turned up to “10.” I remembered what I missed about him and fell to tears. For me, it was a healing experience because I had been working so hard to hold it together for the sake of keeping everyone else from falling apart. At least that is what I thought. It turns out that I was avoiding tears because I felt they would confirm that he was gone and I would have to move on without him. What I discovered that day was that music is something that brought my Dad and me closer together than any of my siblings. We had our music and that was ours alone. A song my Dad never got to hear, but reminds me of him every time I hear or sing it, is “Complicated Melody” by India Arie. I would have enjoyed singing it at his funeral. My favorite part of the song is “if he were an animal, he’d be an ass. ‘Cuz he’s so stubborn sometimes.” So many parts of this song describe him. His favorite color is green, he is stubborn as a mule, and he loved to cut a rug with my mom when the oldies would come on the stereo. He will always be a miraculous wonder to me and I will never forget our connection through music. Coping through music has allowed me to grow stronger continue to preserve his memory.

“Complicated Melody”

If he were a color
He’d be a deep dark forest green
If he were a car
He’d be a long stretch limousine
With room for all of humanity inside
Cause he is so giving
And he is so wise
If he were a number
He’d be a five cause he has such a brilliant mind
If were an animal
He’d be an ass cause he’s so stubborn sometimes

But if he were a song
He’d be a complicated melody
That complicated fellow he
I almost can not sing it on key

But he means the world to me

If he were a building
He’d be a beautiful cathedral
Cause he’s so traditionally spiritual
If he were a dance
He’d be complicated like the tango
Exotic like a mango

But if he were a song
He’d be a complicated melody
That complicated fellow he
I almost can not sing it on key

But he means the world me

He ain’t the reason for the sun and the moon
He is the reason for this here tune

Cause he means the world to me (ooh ooh)
Said he means the world to me
Me me me yeah
He means the world to me yeah

Complicated melody that complicated fellow
He’s a complicated melody
I almost can not sing it on key



About ramblingsingleparentgoddess

a single parent comments on life and the pursuit of sleep. politics and current issues fall into play on the daily. read up

One response to “Complicated Melody

  1. what a gorgeous song! I had to look it up.. BEAUTIFUL! Sorry you’re missing your dad. I know its hard to miss someone that left so unexpectedly. ❤

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