DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
May 21 2012

Don’t Know What You Got Til It’s Gone

by Jnai W

I’m a music lover and, as a result, I’ve got an internal jukebox in my brain (or, for DCPLive’s Generation Y readers, an internal iPod Shuffle). Sometimes random phrases, words and nouns trigger memories of a forgotten song or musical artist. Usually it’s something innocuous like the Tropicana billboard in a MARTA station (“Southern Hospitality Doesn’t Apply During Rush Hour Traffic,” screams the sign) that will cause me to think about the song “Southern Hospitality” by Ludacris. I’m silently rapping lyrics like “When I get on the floor/throw them bows” before I even realize why. That’s bizarre, right?

Just yesterday, my internal jukebox flips over to “Dim All The Lights” before I realize that it’s because I’m looking at a picture of Donna Summer—and that the reason I’m seeing this picture is because the R&B/Disco icon has just succumbed to cancer. My delight at remembering a song I haven’t thought about in years instantly turns to disappointment upon learning of her death.  Shortly afterward “Dim All The Lights” gave way to Joni Mitchell‘s “Big Yellow Taxi”. Before I was fully conscious of why I was thinking of this song, I’d just read a Donna Summer fan’s distraught posting in the comments section of the web article I was reading: “Dont kno whatchu got til its gone. R.I.P Donna Summer.”

That really started me to thinking of other musical artists I’d taken a break from appreciating until they were no longer with us. 2012 is still young—it’s not exactly halfway gone yet—but it has already seen the loss of artists I’ve always loved,  like the aforementioned Donna Summer,  Whitney Houston, Adam Yauch (a.k.a MCA) of the Beastie Boys and, as I’ve just read as I’m writing this blog post, Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees. My Internal Jukebox has just set itself to “How Deep Is Your Love”.

Lest this become the Somber Post About People Who Are No Longer With Us,  I’d like to invite you guys to take a break from what you’re doing—even if it’s just reading this entry—and remember something, some place or someone that’s been off of your radar for a while. Let’s not wait til they’ve passed away. Who’s your internal jukebox, photo album or movie reel turned on to?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tosh Norfair May 23, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Each time I have a conversation with friends, some incident or phrase seems to set off a lyric in my head. Which leads me to wanting hear that song once again. After reading this blog, I now want to listen to Crystal Waters (She’s’ Homeless) or Snap (I Got the Power).

Jimmy L May 30, 2012 at 10:00 PM

R.I.P. Doc Watson!

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