Monday, February 6, 2012

Have you ever felt .... "Stranded" ?

As I mentioned last Thursday, my posts for the entire month of February will be spent celebrating the 5-year anniversary of my heart transplant. That goes for Music Mondays, too. Now, you might be asking, "Sheepdog, how you gonna do that with Music Mondays ?" Well, hang on 'cause I'm about to tell ya.

I was a teenager in the '80s - you know, back when the really good music was made. I was also the "black sheep" of the family when it came to musical tastes. While everyone else in the house was listening to that "yee-haw" country stuff, I was rockin'. If anyone asked me who my five favorite bands were, I'd say they were Motley Crue, .38 Special, Heart, Vixen, and Cinderella. It was hard to narrow it down to five, though, because there were so many good ones. To only pick five, I had to leave out bands like Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, Journey, Foreigner, Poison, and ZZ Top. In fact, of my "top five," the only band that I own less than three of their records is Vixen, and that's only because the original lineup stayed together for only two.

About six months ago, a friend of mine was telling me how much she enjoyed Music Mondays, and I mentioned I was thinking about running another series of them like the Queensryche series last May.  She suggested I put together one for my 5-year heart transplant anniversary, and, in her opinion, the perfect band for it would be Heart. I thought, "Perfect !!" So, February's Music Monday's will be "Heart Month."

If I had to pick my favorite Heart record, it would probably be 1990's Brigade, and today's video is of one of the singles on that record. Every song on Brigade flows well and just sounds good. It's not too hard rock, and it's not too wimpy and soft, either. There are fast songs and slow ones, but they all have a nice melody, and it's just fun music to listen, too.

The song and video I picked for today is "Stranded." It's embedded below in this blog post, or you can watch it by clicking here. It's got a nice mix of musical styles in it. It starts off as a ballad, then you get to the chorus and the tempo picks up and it gets a little "rocky." Then, it slows back down into a ballad, and it's back and forth like that the entire song. I like it. It's a song about relationships, as most of Heart's music is. However, as I watched today's video and listened to the lyrics it took on a bit of a different meaning for me.

The song got me to thinking about the word "stranded" in regards to what I'm celebrating this month. In particular, the words of the chorus really hit home :

"Don't leave me like this,
don't leave me stranded.
If you walk away now,
you'll leave me empty handed.
Don't leave me like this,
don't leave me stranded."

I remember when I literally felt "stranded" - sick as I dog and there was nothing I could do about it but pray and wait. I was always short of breath, cold, and have little to no energy. I was literally "stranded" in a chronic illness - end-stage congestive heart failure. I was fortunate, though, that I was surrounded by family and friends who always supported me and helped out when needed. None of them left me "stranded."

Now, I'm so thankful to be able to breathe freely and have the energy to do the things I enjoy. I think a lot about where I was, and where I am now. I know that I am so fortunate and blessed to have received a "second chance." I basically won the lottery five years ago, and I don't take it for granted. I hope and pray every day that each of my 112,000+ fellow Americans who are currently "stranded" on the waiting list will one day hit the "second chance" lottery, too.

Enjoy today's video. 

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