This morning, as I was getting dressed and ready for another day of job hunting and interviewing, I heard part of a program on NPR about Lilith Fair. It brought back a flood of memories and I have been thinking and remembering about the 90’s music I loved and the three years of Lilith Fair I attended. There are so many feelings, and songs, to unpack. I
This week’s Song of the Day selections will be women of the 90’s themed, as there is way more than one day’s worth to listen to, and reconnect with. Starting off with Sarah McLachlan, of course, the momma to all things Lilith Fair.
I first heard Sarah’s music in the backroom of Tower Records. I was unboxing and labeling CD Singles and one of the other buyers put on Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. I’d heard “Possession” on the radio a few times, and had read about her in an issue of Spin magazine (if my memory is correct), but I’d not really listened to her until that morning.
In the days, months, and a few years that followed, Sarah’s music became part of my regular soundtrack. Songs of hers made their way into mixtapes and love letters, conversations in mailing lists in those early internet times, and kept me breathing through recovering from an eating disorder, and all that came with that. She led me to more women in music, her and Tori Amos both. Friendships were forged to her songs, crushes, too, and plans and visits, and yes, three years of Lilith Fair.
Today’s song is the one that has been spinning in my head since I caught a bit of that Lilith Fair piece this morning – “Building a Mystery”, from Sarah’s 1997 album, Surfacing. As I press play, and the song fills my living room, I drift back to the cool San Diego grass under my bare feet, arm-and-arm with friends who had become family, my young daughter dancing with a pair of glow sticks in each hand, as Sarah sang this out into that summer evening.
“‘Cause you’re working,
building a mystery.
Holding on and holding it in.
Yeah, you’re working,
building a mystery,
and choosing so carefully.”