After Mom read my blog about books, she said "What about Abba? and John Denver? and 'Dirty Laundry?' " In other words, she and Dad did let my sisters and I listen to secular music. I stand corrected. We had one tape, which contained "Take a Chance on Me" and "Chiquitita" by Abba, a couple of John Denver songs, and that old hit, "Dirty Laundry," which I remember singing cheerfully as a child "Kickemony up, kickemony down" because I didn't know how the lyric really went.

For that matter, I've always had trouble understanding song lyrics. When I was very small, Mom used to listen to this beautiful, achingly sad song about someone who died the other night. At least that's what I thought, until I saw the lyric years later: "El Shaddai, El Shaddai, El Elyon na Adonai." To be fair, four-year-olds can't be expected to understand Hebrew, but I have the same problem with English. I could swear today that Elton John sings "Hold me close, I'm trying to dance here/Down the head lice on the highway" ("Tiny Dancer") but I know that can't be right.

Anyways, we did listen to secular music as children... just not very much. That tape pretty much made it up till I turned sixteen and Dad started listening to country music in the car. I thought country music the greatest thing ever. That is, until I moved out here and discovered Bryan Adams and Sheryl Crow and Lifehouse and all their friends.

Now, I have a fairly eclectic taste in music--I like some of almost anything but girl hip-hop and free jazz. But people will still talk about bands like INXS and I'll say "I don't know any of their songs." Oh well. Worse things could be said about a person.

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