I was born in the summer of ‘69—the summer of love (Woodstock Music Festival) and human beings taking their first moon walk. And so, I celebrate 50 years on this planet. I suppose this is an accomplishment because many people don’t make it to their 5th decade. Still… I’m how old?!
I always celebrate my birthdays with travel and hanging out in nature, but this year is tough. My Mom passed away last Summer and this is the first birthday I won’t receive a phone call from her, and I deeply grieve her loss—she was my best friend.
Yet, life inexorably goes on. Although I did not feel like going on, on I went, literally doubled over with grief—I could not stand up straight for over two months after Mom left us. If you’ve lost a loved one, I know you understand.
I read a great deal about grief during that time, and this quote rang true:
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
by Robert Frost
And so, since I’m still here, mostly due to my Mom, I decided a groovy 1969 playlist from a more carefree age is in order for the festivities ahead—a road trip to Seattle, a summer solstice party in the amazing outdoor living space my husband designed, and a family BBQ on a favourite lake from my childhood because fortunately, my Dad and brothers are still here too. With the themes ‘Flower Power’ and ‘Make Love, Not War,’ the feel-good tunes of a kinder era could not be more fitting for our vulnerable world today.
On a side note, the Big 5-0 happens to fall on several interesting ‘national’ holidays this year: National Chocolate Ice Cream Day, National Donut Day, VCR Day, and National Wear a Jockstrap to Work Day—I’m not sure what this day is all about, but I am positive I don’t want to know. As for VCR Day, my parents had one of those and I’m pretty sure they paid way too much for it. But donuts and ice cream—that’s something we can all celebrate!
Why not journey with me, back to a cooler place in time…
- Here Comes the Sun
- Get Back
- Come Together
- Hey Jude
- All You Need is Love
- Yellow Submarine and Octopus’s Garden—I love these silly songs—do you remember a Sesame Street skit to this? Check it out here: Octopus’s Garden
Creedence Clearwater Revival:
- Proud Mary
- Down on the Corner
- Gimme Shelter
- You Can’t Always Get What You Want
- Paint it Black
- Honky Tonk Woman
Simon & Garfunkel:
- The Boxer
- The Sounds of Silence
More groovy, chart-topping tunes from ’69:
- Led Zepelin: Whole Lotta Love
- Neil Diamond: Sweet Caroline
- Johnny Cash: A Boy Named Sue (my Dad’s favourite, so I had to include this fun one)
- Plastic Ono Band: Give Peace a Chance (and I thought this one was John Lennon’s alone)
- The 5th Dimension: The Age of Aquarius
- The Ventures: Theme from Hawaii 5-0 (yeah, the original series)
- Otis Redding: (Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay
- The Beach Boys: Good Vibrations
- Petula Clark: Downtown
- Chubby Checker: Let’s Twist Again
- Nancy Sinatra: These Boots
- The Isley Brother’s: It’s Your Thing
- Bob Dylan: Lay Lady Lay
- Steam: Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye
- The Archies: Sugar Sugar
- The Zombies: Time of the Season
- The Monkees: Daydream Believer
- David Bowie: Space Oddity
- Frank Sinatra: My Way
I’m sure I’ve missed countless more great tunes—what would you add to the list?
Undeniably, music has the power to change our mood in an instant. Travel to the ‘Summer of Love,’ a time there was so much change, hope, wonderful Moms, and generally cool stuff going on in the world. And remember to give peace a chance.
My beautiful Mom, Jessie, and me. Always in My Heart.