Performed by: Amanda Shires
DJ: Laura French, attorney and TheMomLawyer
So my dear friend, collaborator, cheerleader, dreamer, doer, marketing wizard, and all-around bad ass human being asked me to write a blog about music lyrics. Kelley and I share a love for the depth, meaning, and importance of lyrics. We LOVE live music, all types. WE love to blast music while driving our Jeeps. We both attended Auburn University, and now live in the Greater Athens(1), Georgia area. One of us is a Bulldog, who found her way at Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications after transferring to UGA. One of us is a Tiger, who recently found her way in Athens, after moving away from her childhood hometown.
Since I live near Athens, I considered the obvious choices of a song from R.E.M. or the B52s. I decided to pick the song that fits for me, for right now. And, I can tie the artist and words to Athens. My song is Amanda Shires’ “She Let Go of Her Kite.”
I first saw Amanda Shires at the 2012 Kilkenny Roots(2) music festival in Ireland. After throwing our bags in the hotel room, we dashed to Ryan’s Bar to hear Amanda in the back room. Kilkenny and Athens are known for their live music scene, and record stores. It is worth your while to visit these great music cities.
Hearing Amanda’s music in Kilkenny led me to discover her future husband, Jason Isbell, and his music. That’s right – I knew and loved her music FIRST. And yes, for those in the know, Jason is the former front man for Athens’ own Drive-By Truckers. Sometimes Amanda lets Jason play on stage with her.
Music is in the ear of the listener. It can set or reflect your mood, blow your mind, open you up, set you on a new course, encourage you to set things right or free. Amanda Shires recorded “She Let Go of Her Kite” before she was a wife or mother. Yet, if there is a message for today’s American woman, wife, or mother, it is found in her song. This song is about saying “enough,” whether through a whisper or a roar. Amanda sings about a woman letting go of the weight, the kite. How ironic that weight can float away like a kite – float, like a kite.
I’ve let a lot float away when we moved to the Athens area – primarily, the need to stay in the mold I had created, and others expected. The reel was empty in my hand; I started over. I try to say “enough” daily. It is liberating as hell! Letting go of my kite has opened up room for new business partners, ideas, and products; brand new friendships with amazing people; creative women and men who make my life richer every day (met at the gym, coffeehouse, restaurant, and home improvement store); yoga of every variety imaginable. NONE of these things would have come into my life, had I not let go of my kite, and moved to Athens.
A geographic move is a dramatic example of letting a kite go, but listen to Amanda’s words, and consider what you could let float away. Ask yourself the questions posed by her lyrics: Can you stand still and watch the air float through? What will you do when the tether breaks? When can you stop trying to fix the fray? Try letting go of your kite; it just might bring you to an amazing college town, even if it isn’t home to your college. To this I say: Athens, I love you and Forever War Eagle!!
Laura French is an attorney, TheMomLawyer, and former employee of Turtles’ Records and Tapes. She wishes she had kept her green vest.
(1)Yes, I do not live in Athens-Clarke County. Yes, I know people who live in ACC are sometimes irritated when residents of adjoining counties say they live “in Athens.” I get, and respect, that. To these readers I say: this is a love letter to Athens, Georgia. I hope you get, and respect, that.
(2)My other dear friend won a trip for two, from Smithwick’s Beer, to a music festival, in Ireland, with castles. Yeah, you’re right: it doesn’t get much better than riding shotgun for this kind of trip! If you can, get to Kilkenny.
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