As I was driving home from work today, a piece of music began to play from the classical station. I listened, and I began to cry.
There I was, weeping on the 101 Freeway with backed-up traffic for the holiday weekend.
Presidents’ Day weekend.
Whoa! Now, why did he cut in front of me like that?
I turned up the volume.
A gentle clarinet, and then sweet horns, flutes, and strings swelling to carry home cars, concrete, sirens, road rage, hot weather, homeless, Southern California, sunsets, and me — a surreal mix.
What is this music that is affecting me so?
The announcer purred. “That was ‘The People’s House’ by John Williams, from his Oscar-nominated soundtrack for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln.”
Off the freeway, down to a red light. I reached for a scrap of paper and searched for a pencil.
So much trash in this compartment.
People’s House. Hurry up! Watch the light! Write it down or you’ll forget! Lincoln. Soundtrack. Williams.
Soon after I got home, I bought the track from iTunes for a dollar and some change. I listened to it repeatedly as I wrote this post — so uplifting, and yet it also evokes in me a certain longing, a yearning for something fresh, something better. And the sound of the trumpet that graces the End.
I think that’s why I cried on the freeway this holiday weekend going home.
Have you heard this music before or seen the movie?