Today my post has been inspired by a question that Win Charles asks many of her guests on her podcast called Ask Win. That question is as follows: â€œIf you could have coffee with anyone, living or dead, who would that person be and why?â€ My answer is as follows:
If I could have coffee with anyone living or dead, that person would be the late, great, country artist by the name of Dan Seals. I provide a little background about him in a previous post found at the following link:
â€œThe Road Not Takenâ€ by Robert Lewis Stevenson and â€œThe Bankerâ€ by Dan Seals: how a poem speaks to my writing process, and a song adds fuel to my creative fire
Before I explain my reasons for wanting to sit down and have a conversation over coffee, let me explain how I became a fan. Â It all started when I first heard his music on my transistor radio back in the early 80s. My mother ordered several eight-track apes when I was a Chile, one of which was a Dan Seals tape. I practically wore the tape out in her car on summer days, sitting in the shade with the door open while she worked in the office of the welding shop that she and my dad now own. Songs like â€œBopâ€, â€œEverything That Glitters is not Goldâ€, â€œAddictedâ€, â€œMeet me in Montanaâ€, and all the greats that were played on the radio back in the 80s and early 90s were the ones I remember most. That is until some around either 1986 or 1987, when I received my own Cassette.
After listening to my motherâ€™s eight-track tape for a while, I asked my parents to get me a Dan Seals tape of my own. Thatâ€™s when I received the album On the Front Line, which I kept in my tape player and took with me to school, on fishing trips with my parents, and everywhere I possibly could. Thatâ€™s when I became a true fan girl. I kept that tape for several years, until it started to get old and worn. When a cassette wares down, it takes a toll on the sound quality. I received my first stereo with a CD player for Christmas back in 1996, which is where the next part of my story continues.
Although I am an eclectic music lover, finding new artists that I enjoy and listening to other songs that bring back good memories from my childhood, I still came back to Danâ€™s music at different times in my life. Letâ€™s jump to 2009, when I separated from my first husband for a while, so I could get my head together. My brother downloaded several songs and created a CD for me, until I could purchase my own. This was the time that the music became a source of comfort for me during my internal struggles with my emotions. When I went back to try to work things out with my first husband, I purchased On the Front Line on CD. However, eighteen months after my daughter was born, I got a divorce, after suffering from verbal and emotional abuse. During my healing process, I found songs on YouTube that Iâ€™d never heard before, which led me to purchase more of Danâ€™s CDs.
The songs that mean so much to me
One day, after taking my daughter back to our exchange point, so she could have visitation with her dad, I needed some music to pick me up. Weâ€™d had a trying conversation and I left feeling down in the dumps. I searched on YouTube for a song to lift my spirits. I listened to a song by England Dan and John Ford Coley called You Canâ€™t Dance.
I will agree it distracted me for about five minutes, but once the song was over, the high faded quickly. I kept searching and searching until I stumbled on a song called Beyond the Tears. This song is a love song, but I felt as if they were singing that song for me. It spoke to my troubled soul and stopped me in my tracks. To me, the message within the depths of the song was that if I could see beyond my own pain and tears, Iâ€™d find unspeakable joy waiting for me on the other side. It was at that moment that I learned to let go and let God work a miracle in my life. This song can be found by visiting:
A Good Rain is another song that I found to be a source of healing and inspiration.Â This song was the inspiration for part of my novel entitled A Journey of Faith. Even though the song is about a farmer whoâ€™s struggling to pay the bills and his land is dry, the course resonated with me deeply. To hear this song in its entirety, visit the following link.
Now that Iâ€™ve told you a brief story of how I became such a fan girl, hereâ€™s what Iâ€™d like to discuss with Dan Seals over coffee. First of all, Iâ€™d tell him my story of the pain Iâ€™d been through. Then Iâ€™d say â€œThank you for sharing your music with the world, because your music has been a source of comfort and healing for me during these tough times in my life.â€ I would explain how his music has inspired me to start writing again after I was told Iâ€™d never be successful as an author.
Iâ€™d thank him for inadvertently teaching me how to truly listen to a piece of music with my entire being, instead of simply listening to it for pure entertainment alone. This is the reason so many songs resonate with me. Although their lyrics have nothing to do with the trials Iâ€™ve faced in my life, the instrumentation and the feeling of peace, in many cases, are the elements of a song that speak most to me. For example, the lyrics of a song can be sad, yet the accompaniment is soothing and peaceful. I listen to all the elements of a song before I judge it to be either good or bad.
My questions for Dan
In all the interviews Iâ€™ve heard via YouTube videos, there is one question Iâ€™ve never heard anyone ask him. That question is: â€œWhat was your Aha moment? I mean what was the one thing that made you think that you were born to be a musician?â€ Iâ€™d ask this question, because itâ€™s a big part of the creative process. After hearing his answer, Iâ€™d follow that up by asking if there was a person or group of people in his life who encouraged and influenced his musical career. If he were up for it, Iâ€™d ask him to describe his creative process. Finally, Iâ€™d ask if he had any questions for me.
There is one final thing Iâ€™d ask. Iâ€™d ask if heâ€™d like me to sing with him. Iâ€™d explain that I love to sing in my church choir and that I love to learn and follow the harmony lines in many of his songs. If heâ€™s up for it, Iâ€™d ask him to choose the song heâ€™d like me to sing with him. This would be a lovely ending to a fabulous conversation. You never know though, he might sing a song for me and ask me to return the favor. If I were blessed with such an opportunity, Iâ€™d sing â€œMorning Is Brokenâ€, an old Gaelic hymn that was recorded by Cat Stevens, among others. This is one of my favorite hymns of all time. I have a piano arrangement recorded on CD that I use when I sing the song at church; however, if asked, I can sing without accompaniment.
Now that Iâ€™ve shared my answer to this question with you, I want to ask you the deep question of the day. If there was one person, youâ€™d like to have coffee or a meal with, living or dead, who would that person be?Â Why? There are two ways to share your answer. You can either answer the question in the comments below, or you can post your thoughts on your own blog, with a pingback to this post.