You, You Light Up My Life

After years of therapy I still have not quite gotten over the fact that many of my teenage formidable years were spent in the 1970’s when Disco roamed the earth. Music was not necessarily a big thing in my life. Much of that is probably due to the fact that I lived in Idaho which is not necessarily the music capital of the world. The fact of the matter was that we lived in the second largest city in the state of Idaho and it was serviced by 3 FMradio stations; all of them classic country music meaning rarely did you hear a country song dating past the 1960’s. It was unbearable. For the first few times driving after I got my driver’s license I would take my car to the mechanic for repair because the radio was making horrific sounds. They could not find anything wrong with the radio and finally the mechanic solved the problem. “Son your radio is not broken. That noise you are hearing is country music.” Well you could have fooled me, when that “music” played the radio sounded busted. I remember when I was a sophomore in high school and one of the three radio stations decided to switch formats and play Top-40. There was dancing in the streets and scenes reminiscent of V-J Day that ended the second World War. There was of course a caveat. The station only played Top-40 during daylight hours. As soon as the sun went down they went back to country music. It was like a bad vampire movie. Kids rushed to their cars and stereos as the last rays of light faded for the day to turn them off before the shrieking sounds of cow-tipping, booze-drinking, woman-cheating, dog-killing cowboy tunes filled the airways. You would have thought that all would be good now that we finally had a Top-40 radio station even if it was just part time but that wasn’t the case.


Timing they say is everything and the youth in Idaho had none. Instead of hearing classic songs from such bands as Fleetwood Mac, The Doobie Brothers, or Bachman Turner Overdrive (don’t laugh, at one time they were revered as a super-band); the first Top-40 countdown I ever heard ended with the number one song being, “You Light Up My Life” by Debbie Boone. After all waiting my whole life to hear something besides country music the first #1 single I get to listen to is sung by a poofy-haired daughter of a 1950’s Gospel singer. This had to be some kind of cruel joke by the Country Western Gods. Ok funny joke now please put on some real music. But no this was the never-ending joke. “You Light Up My Life” stayed at the top of the charts for 10 weeks straight. That song became bigger than the national anthem that summer. Not only that but the song won a Grammy for Song of the Year in 1977 and Debbie Boone won a Grammy as Best New Artist. I had nearly come to the conclusion that my radio was permanently damaged and would never play right again. To this day, when that song comes on the radio or on television I am hearkened back to the summer of 1977 when I considered tearing the dash of my parents car apart to destroy the radio because it was obviously possessed by some evil country spirit. You may be asking yourself, what possible reason would I have for bringing up what appears to be a very painful childhood memory?

I have no idea other than the fact that I awoke this morning with that tune stuck in my head and it is literally slowly driving me insane. I tried rubbing my ears hoping to massage the horrible melody out of my brain but that didn’t work. I tried cranking up Notorious B.I.G. thinking that rap could destroy anything but that didn’t work. I briefly considered playing Muskrat Love by Captain and Tennille thinking that the only way to get rid of a bad 1970’s song was with another bad 1970’s song but I was afraid that I would then have Muskrat Love stuck in my head and I didn’t think I could stand that. No I decided the best plan of action was to get to the root cause of “You Light Up My Life”. If I could figure out what caused it to become engrained in my head then maybe I could reverse the polarity and send it back to the dark suppressed regions of my brain and restore order to the universe. I first went to Google where I researched “You Light Up My Life” to see if I could find any clues. I quickly realized that the Internet is a cesspool of evil. There are actually web sites dedicated to this song and to Debby Boone. What kind of sick planet do we live on? There is even some Gomer who has a You Tube version of the song with Japanese subtitles. Honestly haven’t the Japanese suffered enough? First we drop an atomic bomb on their country and then we send them Debby Boone. That has to be against the Geneva Convention listed under cruel and unusual punishment. And still the melody haunts me. An odd side effect is that it has also given me a craving for Jimmy Dean Sausage. I was determined to get to the bottom of this and finally rid myself of this song. It took the innocence of a small child to finally figure out this mystery. My son Dakota happened to be looking at the calendar and noticed that the Diamondbacks had an off day yesterday. Off days during Spring Training are fairly rare so this one caught his eye. He then noticed that the Diamondbacks were in Peoria where they were to play the Seattle Mariners. The game time is 7:05 PM. This is the only remaining night game the Diamondbacks play this spring outside of the game at Chase Field on March 28. This of course means that the Arizona Diamondbacks will be playing under the lights tonight a Peoria Sports Complex and hence would be lighting up the lives of baseball fans everywhere. The explanation was so simple; I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. Now if I can just get rid of that stinking Muskrat Love that has invaded my subconscious.


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