‘Round Here

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‘Round here, we’re carving out our names, ‘Round here we all look the same, ‘Round here we talk just like lions, but we sacrifice like lambs…..

Those lines were from the song ‘Round Here by the Counting Crows. I first heard it about 20 years ago. It mirrored the circumstances I was in. A time when I just arrived ’round here. A time when I began to carve out my future and my name. But in that pursuit, I left my beloved country and sacrificed almost everything.

Music is intertwined in our lives. From the time our ears were open, from the time of our birth, or even when we were still inside the womb, and up to our dying days, we listen to music.

Many of the songs we learned to treasure may not be because we love them initially, but  maybe because of the situations or events that are associated with them, when we first heard them.

For instance, when I listened to songs of Tears for Fears, or Duran Duran, or Spandau Ballet, it brings back memories of my high school and college days.

One specific song, a remake of “Crying in the Rain” by Aha, reminds me of that particular day when I was walking across our university’s soccer field. My PE teacher forced me to drop out from his class for a “mistake” that I did not commit. I was close to tears, and of course it was raining. But maybe that’s a separate story I’ll write someday.

Then when I listened to Hootie and the Blowfish, or Counting Crows, or the Cranberries, this make me think of the time when I transition from the Philippines to the US. It was also during that time that I listened and learned to like the Eraserheads, a Filipino rock group, as it became my sort of connection to the country that I left behind.

I listen to music most of the times. Especially when I am alone.

Once a month, I go to an outreach clinic, somewhere outside the city of Des Moines, that is considered rural Iowa. Even though the travel takes me about an hour and half, I really don’t mind the drive at all. The drive is easy with no traffic, passing through serene Iowa landscape of prairies and farm fields. This gives me a time alone to think while I listened to the music of my choosing.

Today, I picked Counting Crows as my music for my long drive.

One of their songs, Omaha, goes like this, “Omaha, somewhere in the middle of America.” It was interesting that when I first heard that song, I have no idea where Omaha is. But now I know exactly where it is. It is about 2 hours away where I am driving to.

My car is traveling at 70 miles per hour. My thoughts at 100 miles/hour.

The rain is pouring while my wipers beat in rhythm as the Counting Crows sings, “I am the rain king…” While the memories are also pouring.


(*All songs mentioned of the Counting Crows were from their debut album August and Everything After)


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