The scent of eucalyptus exudes off the barely lit candle sitting on my desk. The scent fills the room and prompts me to think as I wait for my computer to start. The time is 7:34 pm. The outside is dark, the house is quiet. I am alone. As I sit and ponder about what I am going to say in my interview, I start to think about my assumptions going into this interview. I have this preconception that my sister does not enjoy music the way I do, because she didn’t have emotional ties to music growing up, as I did and have a passion for music to this day. I am curious about the ties I am going to discover in this interview. My inner dialogue breaks as I get a notification from zoom that a new participant has joined my meeting. The candle crackles and is a fourth melted. I start the interview. 

As I begin to ask my first question, I can’t help but notice how my sister has changed her demeanor for this interview. She seems very concentrated and professional. This is not the way I want to carry through this interview so I begin to laugh and crack jokes to change the atmosphere of the conversation. I begin with asking her how she’s been. She says that everything is great and that her transition to college has been fine thus far. She seems to be more comfortable, as the softness in her voice seems to have left. I ask her about whether she had been listening to any music recently to which she says that she has. She has been listening to a lot of Christmas music, mainly because it is in season. Other than this kind of music, she hasn’t really been listening to music. To which I respond by saying that her music streaming service isn’t being put much to use, in a joking manner. 

We get on the topic of nursery rhymes/lullabies and she brings up the fact that when she was little she received a nursery rhyme book filled with a ton of nursery rhymes and lullabies. The book even included a CD with all the lullaby songs from the book on it. She expresses the impact this CD had on her musical life by saying:

 “I received a nursery rhyme book from a very close friend. Their parents actually gave me one for my birthday and I would play that thing non stop. Like every single day. I know everyone in the house was tired of me playing that. And I really liked it and I would say it was a big part of my growing up.”

 I ask her to touch on it a bit more as I’m curious as to whether it was the music that prompted her obsession to keep listening to it or was it another reason. She says: 

“I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much. It was because it was something I would do myself rather than like when you know your little and your parents just keep wanting to make you like something you most likely won’t so when I had that freedom, I had my own I enjoyed it. I think it’s the same now, I tend to enjoy music and things in general more when I make my own decision to do it.”

 It became clear to me that the role lullabies had on her life was serious. The fact that she sought out this music herself was the reason itself besides liking the music of course, to why she kept listening to these lullaby songs. Because to her, it gave her a sense of independence. There wasn’t an underlying emotional connection to the lullabies that made her play the songs repetitively , rather it was the fact that listening to these lullabies on her own command made her feel as her own individual self. She also did so because she was influenced by myself and our older sister. She goes on by saying :

“I think it was just something I enjoyed but also it was my first CD ever. I remember I would see you and our older sister. You had your own cd player and would play your own music. So I kind of wanted to be like you guys so I would play it on my own and I really enjoyed it. But I think also because it was the only one I had, the only CD I had, that’s also why.”

The candle fires bright and is 3 quarters of the way melted. As we start to wrap up the interview, so many things start to race on my mind as a lot of things said by my sister in the interview challenge my assumptions about what the role lullabies might have meant for her musical journey in life growing up in relation to mine. Though lullabies to her had no emotional connection because she wasn’t exposed to them via anybody really, it still could have been that the influence my older sister and I had on her could have prompted her to listen to this music on an emotional level. This still doesn’t explain why she doesn’t enjoy music as much though today. If she did have an emotional connection to these lullaby songs, then it wouldn’t explain why she doesn’t enjoy or listen to as much music on her own accord now. You would think for someone to have listened to lullaby songs on their own accord, would grow up to become very musical, which she states multiple times in the interview that she is not.

Perhaps I am just toying with this idea that can’t be proven, however it is worth exploring.

I close the interview by playing her favorite lullaby that I recollect her always listening to when she was a child. It was “The Wheels on the Bus”. She said she didn’t feel much listening to the song. Mainly because she has heard it a lot since and the memories of the song have blurred with time. 

The wick floats in the wax and we wrap up the interview. She sighs out of relief that the interview is over and can finally be her more comfortable self around me. I close off by thanking her for taking her time to share her experience of lullabies with me. We wave goodbye to each other and the day ends.