For the reader who is not a Jimmy Buffett fan, “Living and Dying in 3/4 Time” is the name of an album (or vinyl, in today’s lingo), as well as part of the lyrics of the song “Nautical Wheelers” (from the album titled, “A1A”). The expression, living and dying in 3/4 time has meaning to me beyond the words in the song. I perceive the expression to be about living life to its fullest, including dancing at every opportunity that presents itself, once a day at a minimum; having fun times; enjoying time with family and friends; seeing the sights; and whatever makes a person happy. Life is too short to waste it by spending time with mean people, or doing things I don’t want to do, or going places I don’t want to go; instead, I prefer to use my time wisely, including at work and in my personal life. I am not advocating merely waltzing through life, even though a waltz is literally in 3/4 time; rather, I am suggesting that we dream the dreams that may one day come true, including planning for future happiness. I am a true Florida “girl” who hears a Jimmy Buffett song and plans on “hangin’ on to a line on a sailboat” while living my life in my time.
For Melissa and me, music often takes us away to other places. Sometimes literally, when we travel to a concert in another city, state, or country. More often, figuratively as we contemplate the lyrics and music that move us. Jimmy Buffett, especially for those of us who don’t mind sand between the toes on a regular basis, holds a special place with his music with so many songs that bring smiles to our faces. And, hearing the words “living and dying in 3/4 time” is one of those for sure. So it, therefore, is a well turned phrase that captures the essence of how music is a positive force. Listening to music can improve moods, invigorate the brain or body, and is one of those simple pleasures of life too easily not fully appreciated. There is also much evidence of the health benefit to the brain created by music. Of course, not all music conveys the same benefits, depending on whether or not the listener appreciates a specific genre or artist. But, it is fascinating how music can reach people with dementia, with autism, and other “brain diseases” in ways that nothing else can. So, for those of us not suffering in these ways it can do even more, in 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, 7/8, or 11/12, and beyond – depending of course, on who is beating the drum.