I grew up loving Canadian singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot (even if the lyrics of some songs, like “Sundown,” did make me wonder what ol’ Gord was smoking back in the 70s). One of the first albums I ever copied onto cassette tape for greater ease and convenience had a selection of Lightfoot songs on one side, and Nana Mouskouri (shut UP, mockers!) on the other side. I have even seen the man perform live, many long years ago.
So, in other news, Jason and I have been married for nearly fourteen years, and dating for about five years before that, and we both love music. Some tastes we share — there’s lots of music we both enjoy — while others we don’t. Jason has no use for the country music I like, for example, and folk music is much more to my taste, while he’s always preferred the heavier rock. But we’re both passionate enough about music that we’ve spent a good deal of the last 19 years listening to music, buying CDs, going to concerts, talking about music, making up (in the old days) mix tapes of our favourites, and (in the news days) playlists for the iPod. Music is, I’d have to say, a fairly major obsession for both of us and a pretty big talking point in our relationship.
So you can perhaps imagine my surprise when, a couple of weeks ago, Jason said to me in bed one night: “One artist we don’t have on the iPod that I’d like to download some songs by … but you might not like this …”
“Who?” I said, expecting to hear the name of Obscure 80s Metal Band #347.
So, it turns out we both like Gordon Lightfoot, and somehow in the last 19 years, this has never come up.
Next thing you know, Jason’s gone on iTunes, downloaded a bunch of Lightfoot songs, and we’re both listening and singing along to Gordon Lightfoot. And amazed that we somehow never knew this about each other.
It’s so cool in the early stages of a relationship, when you know almost nothing about each other and everything is a discovery. “What? You like ballet too? And wrestling? And jam??!? We’re meant for each other!!!!”
But, conversely, it’s also kinda neat when you’ve been together for years and you know each other’s tastes and preferences as well as your own. It’s comfortable and familiar. But sometimes you might wonder … do we have that capacity to surprise each other anymore? You might think, to paraphrase the great Gord himself, that “If you could read my mind, love … it’d be pretty much like re-reading one of your favourite books, where you know exactly how everything will turn out.”
But no! We can still surprise each other! A shared enjoyment of 70s Canadian folky-pop music can pop up after 19 years to add one more strand to the tangled web that connects us. I’m rather excited now about what surprises might still be in store in the next 20 years.
But (to quote another 70s song, one Lightfoot definitely did not write) … if we each discover that the other likes pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and answering personal ads … all bets are off.
(Seriously, haven’t you always wondered about the Pina Colada song? How long had these people been together — long enough be bored with each other, but not long enough to know each other’s favourite drinks??? Please. There’s keeping a little mystery in the relationship — which is what we apparently do — and then there’s just being plain unobservant).