• Life Coach Lory

Name Your Tune

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

piano keys with delicate hands playing what is probably a wonderful tune
Sing, or play, like no one is listening

True confession. I am a car belter. You did not misread that. I did not mean to say seat belter, though I am one of those, too. I am a car belter, meaning one who belts in the car. Non-musical theater goers might not know that belters are singers with HUGE, booming voices. Think Ethel Merman, with bright red lipstick, a wide open mouth and enough sound to fill up Carnegie Hall without a microphone. A belter is actually a very technical musical term for a very specific type of singer and I do not fit that criteria, but when I say belter I just mean loud singer. And that's what I am - when I'm in the safety and comfort of my own car. I'm too rushed in the shower to sing. So I save it for the car. And while I'm in the car I'm usually in the mood for one of MY songs. Not a song I wrote, but I song that I feel was written just for me. My theme song.

I think there is a bit of beauty in having your very own theme song. A song that has a melody that soothes you, or inspires you. A song that includes words that are meaningful to you for whatever reason. A song that you absolutely must sing along to each and every time you hear it because it makes you feel so good to hear it. "They are playing my song" has new meaning when you believe it to be true.

I have several theme songs but one stands out and has persisted through time. Sharing it is not my way of promoting it, though it can be yours, too. Just don't tell me. Those of you who know me might be able to identify why I love this song. And while I don't hear it often, or even own it for my own personal enjoyment, it persists.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show TV Theme Song*. Bet you didn't see that coming. I love hockey fights, too, so any attempts you had at boxing me in are obviously failing.

I was walking home alone, with my Chinese Food take-out in my hand. I was alone in New York City, my husband traveling for business. I was heading back to our dinky little sublet in Chelsea, a little apprehensive as it was getting dark and quite cold. Just a few days earlier, I had a big audition for a television commercial that I had already forgotten about it, knowing that I was not selected. (That is self-preservation in the acting world, to audition and forget about it immediately since most auditions do not turn out to be anything more than practice for the next audition.) But my cell phone rang and over the din of 7th Avenue I heard the casting director congratulate me on getting the part. I hung up and was absolutely ecstatic. I immediately threw my hat into the air, just like Mary Tyler Moore does in the opening credits. And those good New Yorkers didn't blink an eye, but simply marched right around me, hardly wondering why this girl was twirling on the sidewalk, face to the sky, hat now in the street. I felt amazing in that moment. And somewhere in the recesses of my memory that song had come to mind and led me to toss my hat. Which actually turned out to be a disaster shortly after because a taxi ran over it and I had quite a time getting it out of the gutter and back in decent condition. But it was worth it. I think the song reminded me to just go for it. It reminded me then and reminds me now that I have the power to do whatever I want. I just have to go and do it.

I watched the The Mary Tyler Moore Show maybe 5 times. I didn't particularly like it. I don't identify at all with the lead character or the time period for that matter. But that cheesy little song gets me every time. The simple lyrics are so empowering to me. Not only does it immediately remind me of being in NYC and chasing a dream and living on my own terms, it reminds me that I have the capabilities to direct my own life. I feel more empowered after I hear it and less cynical about whatever comes next. That's what a theme song is supposed to do for you.

Everyone should have one. It doesn't cost anything. And if it inspires you or comforts you, brings a smile to your face or reminds you of a great experience, why not embrace that? And sing it. Or as I do, whenever I get the chance, in the car with my seat belt fastened, BELT it baby.

*Just in case you aren't familiar, here is a link to MY song, and the lyrics that I replay in my head when I need them.

Who can turn the world on with her smile?

Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?

Well it's you girl, and you should know it

With each glance and every little movement you show it

Love is all around, no need to waste it

You can have the town, why don't you take it

You're gonna make it after all

You're gonna make it after all

How will you make it on your own?

This world is awfully big, girl this time you're all alone

But it's time you started living

It's time you let someone else do some giving

Love is all around, no need to waste it

You can have the town, why don't you take it

You might just make it after all

You might just make it after all