When you spend 25-50 hours in a week in your car, your radio becomes your constant companion. I don’t have a ‘playlist’ but I do have Sirius XM. I can move seamlessly from sports talk, to MSNBC, to classical, jazz and old time ‘rock ‘n roll’. What’s on the radio– I guess I should call it the ‘sound system’, can be background music, sort of like my dentist office, to the focus of the ride. I can be listening to Rachel Maddow or ‘Big Al and D. Mac’ (nicknamed ‘Dumb and Dumber’ by the world’s best church admin) but when I pull up to pick up a ride, I quickly look for music 🎶 fitting my mood or the time of day. Occasionally riders will make a request and I provide entertainment as I scramble to see if I have a clue. I suck at ‘Hip-hop’. Last Friday night I defaulted to ‘Classic Rewind’ which seems to cover about 40 years of appeal. I picked up two couples in ‘Cap Hill’. They piled in the car and they were already in full-on “whoopppeee mode”. We set the destination, which was about seven minutes away and headed out. Faintly we heard the sounds of the beginning of “Bohemian Rhapsody” just starting. “Hey, can you turn it up?” “Sure” I replied.
In the past week I have done a bit of research on this classic by the British rock group, Queen. The song is 42 years old, which means I was about the age of the kids in my car when it came out. My research also showed that in 2012 it was voted in the UK as the most popular song of the last 60 years—move over Beatles and Mick Jagger. “Hey Mark, even louder!!!” They were singing along not missing a word:
(Galileo.) Galileo. (Galileo). Galileo. Galileo figaro magnifico
I’m just a poor boy, nobody loves me
He’s just a poor boy, from a poor family
“LOUDER Mark!!!” I was up to #37 on the volume. They could actually sing. My familiarity with the song lands in the movie “Wayne’s World”, which I remember watching at least 10 times with my four kids. Being a Dad to four teens was almost like running a ‘group home’.
The song then transitioned into a 2nd Queen song, “We are the Champions of the World”. I have hyper-memories about this song that come from the 1998 Bronco Super Bowl victory over the Packers. “We are the Champions of the World” rang out again and again for days.
The timing was perfect. We pulled up in front of the bar on Larimer St. just as we were hitting the finale’…’Of the World’. My car was the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ –move over Mickey Mouse. For seven minutes this ride was sheer joy. When they left I told them that I felt like I should have paid them. When people sing together they connect in ways that transcend everything else.
Last night I joined a choir again. For the next few months I am the Interim Senior Pastor of the First Christian Church of Greeley, Colorado. I got to sing last night with a community. I disagree with Queen; some things really matter.
Onward and Upward,