Music has always been important to Joe-Henry. When he was a baby, he'd scream and cry on our two hour drive from Grandma's to home because a) we were leaving Disneyland and headed for the bootcamp that was home, or b) the sun was in his eyes and I'd sing "You are my sunshine" over and over the entire ride because the cd player wasn't working and it was the only song I could remember while being screamed at.
It must have been then that putting songs on repeat became the thing that calmed him, because ever since he's wanted to listen to music at night. Not a whole album - that's too distracting,he wants to listen to the same song, over and over. Nothing new to make him stay awake and think, just the same lyrics and melody, like ocean waves, lulling him to his dreams.
Lately he'll grab my old iphone and put a song on repeat. Usually it's a calm, soothing song, something from Alexi Murdoch, say, or Shawn Colvin. But last night, he chose this song. And I found myself staying in his room after he'd gone to sleep, remembering my freshman year in college.