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An Ode to the Music of My Childhood

Rosa Pyo

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Lately I‰’ve been feeling nostalgia. Maybe it‰’s because we are more than a month into the New Year. Maybe it‰’s because its my first year of college. Maybe it’s just because and there is no rhyme or reason to these kind of things. We just feel how we feel sometimes and that‰’s okay.

Last week I went and ate dinner with my cousin and sister and during the car ride to a funky Chinese Korean restaurant (ChiKo), my cousin played a very old school cd filled with early 2000 music. As we drove to the soft pit patter of the rain, she talked about how she wish she had roots to something, like a band or a football team, that her parents instilled at her when she was younger. Which had me thinking of all the songs my parents played when I was a kid. My own tribalism, the things I had loyalty to.

As a Korean-American kid it was a weird combination of Korean love ballads my father sang when drunk and Italian Opera my mother sang while cleaning, cooking, and breathing. Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, The Beatles, and Michael Jackson were played throughout the house from a small black record player, my mother‰’s greatest American loves. We were integrated, yet never forgiving of our Korean roots. It was my mother singing “o mio babbino caro‰” to my sister and I, with us and our stupid foolish tongues trying to sing along. My father and all my aunts and uncles singing Korean folk songs during late night karaoke on Christmas Eve. All those feelings of much love and warmth so attached to music.

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I still remember listened my first Beatles song to next to my mother. Let it Be which I literally sang to the bees outside my house with my best friend as a way for sting prevention. I remember listening to Yesterday physically looking up to my mother and her beaming shining face singing the lyrics “All my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they‰’re here to stay‰” and thinking something of the lines of wow.

Yes, maybe the loyalties I‰’ve had as a kid have severed and yes, some of these songs are very questionable but this is less about taste and more about raw connection. I still listen to the Michael Jackson, The Beatles, & Whitney Houston and will defend those three with a dying achin heart, but perhaps the music I listened to a kid has transitioned to something greater; An appreciation for strong females, a love of love ballads, a pull towards powerful instrumental filled music. The list goes on and on and on.

So, maybe this article is a little less about the music I listened to as a kid and more as an ode to a childhood I miss and a sudden new found appreciation to my parents. Whatever the case may be, thanks Omma and Appa.

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An Ode to the Music of My Childhood