RSS Feed

Tag Archives: music

Prince Saved My Life

Posted on

Prince Rogers Nelson, that purple-loving pint-sized bundle of musical virtuosity, died today. As with the rest of the world I mourn his passing. His music was the soundtrack to my first year of college. My college friend, Amy, and I would sit in my room at our small Southern liberal arts women’s college listening to his albums over and over and over – dapurplerain_124pyxurzncing and singing and feeling ever so naughty (have you ever READ some of his lyrics? Sex. Sex. Sex.) Together, she and I must have seen his movie Purple Rain about 20 times in the theatre. Amy even had her hair cut in that curly asymmetrical style he rocked in the movie. I practically lived in a black cape, like the one his love interest in the film wore. For two girls who felt out-of-place in that small Southern town, he gave us some weird sort of strength. Well, at least for me there was a reason for the strength he gave me.

You see, a few weeks before I left for college and met Amy, Prince indirectly saved my life.

As I have written before, in my senior year of high school I was in a terrible, horrible, emotionally abusive relationship. He kept me under his thumb by making threats as to what he would do to himself if I ever left. And because of some odd sense of responsibility for his well-being, I put up with it all and I stayed. I felt so small. So helpless. So powerless. But, that’s how those kinds of relationships work, isn’t it? There is always one with all the power and one with none.

But, despite all the emotional turmoil he put me through on a daily basis, he hadn’t hit me. That’s what I told myself on a daily basis to justify his behavior. It could be worse. He could have hit me.

In late July 1984, just a few short weeks before I was to leave for college, Purple Rain hit the theaters. Opening weekend, the abusive jerk and I went to see it (I had to pay because, well, I had to pay for everything because the idiot couldn’t hold a job, but I digress). He didn’t want to go, but I somehow convinced him, and as long as I was paying, he grudgingly agreed.  I loved the movie. Oh, sure, the acting isn’t the best. And the story is weak. But, the music. THE MUSIC! Amazing. BTW – the abusive jerk hated it. Quelle suprise.

About half way through the movie, there is a scene when “The Kid” (Prince himself) slaps his girlfriend, Apollonia, to the ground.

A shock ran through me. I had an epiphany. Right there, in the middle of the movie, I turned to my abuser and said, “If you ever hit me, even once, I will leave you. I promise I will.” Of course, he said he wouldn’t. And a small part of me wanted to believe him. Really. I did.

It wasn’t long – a week maybe – until he backhanded me, sent me backwards into a bathtub where I whacked the back of my head, and passed out for a moment. When my vision cleared, I climbed out of the tub, gathered my things, and walked out the door. Never to look back again.

You see, I made a promise – to myself and to him – that I would never let that happen. So, I left.

Even now, thirty-two years later, I am positive that if I had not made that promise and if I had not walked out, I probably would have died in that relationship.

I am still not sure what gave me the courage to look at my abuser in the middle of that movie and draw my line in the sand, but I did.

Maybe I was caught up in the music.

So, thank you, Prince. Thank you for the music. Thank you for the memories. But, most of all, thank you for saving my life.

Rest in peace, our sweet Prince. See you in that world of never ending happiness – the after world.

Read the rest of this entry

The Jukebox Here at Happy Monkey Land

Posted on

Daily Prompt: Playlist of the Week.

Tell us how your week went by putting together a playlist of  five songs that represent it.

Let’s just start with the fact that having me cull through all my music to choose just five is REALLY HARD!!!  But, here it goes…

Monday started as it has for the past couple of weeks – with my having morning duty…

So, I thought this was appropriate.


Things at school are a bit frustrating right now.  So, I felt a bit of Rage Against the Machine…  (Please excuse the language…but it matches my feeling)


And for the indecent proposal I received, I was definitely Tempted…


Friday night I was a shakin’…


I heard this song about 97,000 times this week.  I think the gods are telling me something about Stubborn Love… It’s better to feel pain than nothing at all.  The opposite of love is indifference…


And a bonus… (just get through her intro… song starts at 1:24)

Words, words, words

Posted on

In my everyday life outside of Happy Monkeyland, I teach.  Thirty-one 4th graders – all subjects.  Including, writing.  The process and the craft of writing.  And like all good writing teachers, I teach them about brainstorming and rough drafts and editing, etc, etc.  I tell them to PLAN their writing.  Afterall, isn’t that what all good writers do?  Sure they do.  Right?

Ironically, that is not how I approach the writing process.  Not one little bit.

I can have an idea in my head, kinda bouncing around, but not be able to write a word.  If I try to force it, I won’t be happy with the outcome – if there is a finished product.  Frequently it is an idea I hadn’t even thought about, a piece will just pop into my head.  When the words are finally ready to come out, they flow forth fully formed.  Like Athena being born out of Zeus, fully formed and ready to rumble.  The words don’t really care what I am doing, when they are ready I had better be ready, or else they will move on and I will be unable to find them again.  Nor do they care where I am, I had better take pencil to paper (my preferred tools), or they will run away as quickly as they came.  Often it happens in the middle of church.  I have pages and pages tucked into my choir folder.

This is one of those pieces that fell out of my head and onto the paper while sitting in the choir well.  Have no fear – it is not recent.  It is perhaps a few years old.  I just came upon it.

It is the Music

When all is a pit of emptiness,

It is the music that fills me.

When all is floating away,

It is the music that grounds me.

When all is a cavern of deep despair,

It is the music that lifts me.

When all is crumbling ruins,

It is the music that strengthens me.

When all is dead and dying,

It is the music that enlivens me.

And when all is in pieces,

It is the music that makes me whole.