It was the first time you heard a particular note, drum beat or electronically created sound that made your ears tingle, your heart skip a beat and resonated with your soul. This is “My Song” – a series where the music that makes the person is spotlighted. James Bullock writes about a song that eventually opened his young mind to the music around him.
During the first two weeks removed from school for summer vacation, I was taken care of during the day by Mrs. Coleman – who I affectionately called “Big Ma”. As Big Ma was moving around her home, preparing for the day ahead, I flipped through the channels to see if something caught my eye. Little did I know that it wouldn’t be something simple like a cartoon, but a stop-motion animated music video. My hand stopped tapping buttons, my eyes glued on the flickering screen featuring a ghoulish character seemingly suffering from seizures. The horrific, somewhat terrifying images didn’t frighten me in the same way as “The Nightmare on Elm Street” movie or the like.
As a matter of fact, I found myself oddly drawn in and mesmerized by the sights; barely understanding anything being sung by the individual – let alone being knowledgeable of the song’s message. By the video’s end I sat in front of Big Ma’s TV, awed. Every day for the next week I sat and waited for the clock to reach the proverbial bewitching hour to see if I could not only get a glimpse of what I witnessed days earlier, but also to see this disturbing work in its entirety. My mission ended unsuccessfully and soon my conscious mind forgot about the video. It would take several years before I rediscovered the song and the band responsible for filling me with intrigue – essentially continuing a musical journey that I unknowingly started years prior.