Wendy Jane’s Weekend Sounds – Reader’s Choice Contest Winner: Fast Car by Tracy Chapman

30 Mar

Thanks to all of you who nominated woman artists and songs for the final selection of WJSS Weekend Sounds honoring Women’s History Month.

The nominees were all listed and this morning, Darla’s sleepover friend, Sophia, the only one besides me awake at the time, selected the winner.

And, the winner is……

Sophia holding the winning entry: Fast Car by Tracey Chapman

Sophia holding the winning entry: Fast Car by Tracy Chapman

Fast Car by Tracy Chapman.  This entry was submitted by Kelly Quinn. (Only showing Sophia’s hands here, since she wasn’t happy with her “wake-up face” look:)

Other entries included:

Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush – Tyler Grimes

Cancao do Mar by Amelia Rodriguez – Martinha Javid

Miss Otis Regrets by Ella Fitzgerald – Jane Strisik Busker

Elizabeth Cotten –  Ryan Stevenson

Mchell N’degecello – Sarah Grossman

Chaka Khan –  Davey Jay Clay

Mississippi Goddam  by Nina Simone – Gini Laffey

I Got Life by Nina Simone – David Hayes

All the rest were submitted by Kelly Quinn (she said when she found out her entry won, that perhaps the deck was loaded:)

Legend Of A Cowgirl by Imani Coppola

This Woman’s Work by Kate Bush

Piece Of My Heart by Janis Joplin

Natural Woman by Carole King

The Weakness In Me by Joan Armatrading

I’m A Woman by Peggy Lee

Case Of You by Joni Mitchell

I met Kelly Quinn on Facebook through mutual friends. Like me, Kelly’s from Waterbury–the H2O, the “Dirty Water”, the “Dirty,” but I didn’t know her growing up because she’s a little younger than me, and went to rival high school, Kennedy.  I was a Wilby girl. (Read more about growing up in Waterbury here in my past post, Keeping It (Un)Real In The “Dirty Water”).

Kelly is a beautiful woman with a beautiful spirit.  She is super funny, in that fearless, not shy kind of way, where she can just say whatever she wants to say, be who she is, and not care what others think.  She’s lived the way I always strive to live–in her embracing of diversity, of all of humanity–knowing that’s what makes life rich.  On top of that, she is intelligent, soulful, willful, and generous, caring and compassionate beyond belief.  Kelly, a case manager, is the mother of a wonderful teenage boy, Austin–I know, because I was lucky enough to meet him last summer.  Kelly is also the captain of the H2O Angels.  The team raises money for the American Cancer Society through Relay For Life.  Kelly says, “I started the team after losing my Mom, Dad, and (friend) Vin to cancer and watching my baby niece Quinn fight at only 7 months! (I fought it too).”

Kelly Quinn

Kelly Quinn

It’s interesting to me today, knowing the connection of Kelly’s experiences with cancer, to the song that happened to be picked today.

Like Kelly’s loss, I lost my Mom to brain cancer when I was 26.  I even mention Fast Car in the memoir writing I’m working on–the scene with Fast Car is part of a section of work that captures the year my mother became ill and passed away.  The excerpt reads…

You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere

                                      Fast Car by Tracy Chapman


That song was heard a lot on the radio at this time, and I remember hearing it in the car one day when Michael gave me a ride to visit my mother at Cornell Hospital. Michael, my on-again, off-again boyfriend had come back into the picture when I told him about my mother’s terminal illness. The song playing felt right. The slow tune about a fast car, the ticket to anywhere but where I was right now, the fast stuck in the languid smoothness of Tracy’s voice, me moving fast, but stuck in bitter honey; in the slow-motion of catastrophe.


When I shared my song connection with Kelly, she related to me that her song memory with her Mom was Enya’s Sail Away.  Kelly said she played the song for her mother over and over again, and how if she now hears even one note of that song, it makes “the bubble that resides in my chest burst a little..”

I felt blessed to have that exchange with Kelly.  People can tend to negate the connections on social media, the “virtual friendships” as false, as less than our face-to-face relationships.

Yet, I have made such beautiful, profound connections here on WJSS and on Facebook and Twitter.  My heart is so full today, it’s almost as if that bubble that resides in my chest may burst, which to not go off on another tangent, but here is another example of the way we connect in these spaces:

I write daily poems made from my friends’ Status Updates on Facebook.  Today Kelly picked up on one of the lines in the poem which read: bubble of love time, contributed by my friend, Martinha Javid.  Kelly shared the poem and gave her inspired take on that line, and how she wanted to create her own love bubble where she, and all of us, create our own love bubbles where we surround ourselves with love, and create a space (real or spiritual) where only love is.

Connections between friends, old and new, started flying in a flurry of comments–Kelly suggested I become a friend of hers that she thought I might enjoy knowing.  Marthina got to see how her one line, taken out of context, started an inspiring thought and action for today.

Thank you all for sharing in this week’s song pick, and for being the catalysts that feed my soul, and inspire me on a daily basis.  And, now, here is Tracy Chapman with Fast Car, here to inspire us all.


SOURCE:  www.youtube.com, Fast Car by Tracy Chapman posted by rocknbaires

13 Responses to “Wendy Jane’s Weekend Sounds – Reader’s Choice Contest Winner: Fast Car by Tracy Chapman”

  1. Soldier March 30, 2014 at 2:06 pm #


    • Wendy Jane March 30, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      Thank you! It was really overwhelming, all the feeling that were coming up with writing this today. Thanks for reading.

  2. Soldier March 30, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    One love

    • Wendy Jane March 30, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      it’s the only way, right? 🙂

  3. Sherry Gordon March 30, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    Dear Wendy Jane,
    Hi, there, Wendy Jane! What a great contest this was which you and the wonderful others conducted! I like the people listed as well! I truly enjoyed reading about your super experiences and the diversity you had growing up in Waterbury, Connecticut! I could really relate to your superb experiences. At that time era where I grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio which was your time era, too, there were many students who were white, but there was a smaller black student body at my school. I am so pleased and so happy that there were many wonderful Jewish students at my high school and they are my dear friends! I remember being so proud of Cleveland Heights and my high school and at the time my high school and Cleveland Heights had a lot of spectacular Jewish people. Now where I live in Iowa City, Iowa my dear friend and her dear husband are Jewish. He is a Rabbi! They are such dear and marvelous people! I cherish them so, so very much! Wendy Jane, you and your fine and excellent website are such a splendid blessing! I just love your website, and your fantastic writings and sharings! Thank-you, thank-you so, so much! Very sincerely always, Sherry Gordon

    • Wendy Jane March 30, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

      Hi Sherry!

      Great to hear from you here. It’s so interesting for me to hear about your experience growing up in Cleveland Heights around the same time as me, and of your Jewish friends. As we both know there is quite a history of Black/Jewish relations–complex, yet good. I did get your note, and we will have to talk more soon, since I’d love to hear more about your experiences and connections while growing up in Cleveland Heights, and now in Iowa City. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

  4. Kelly March 30, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

    I am honored by your words and my spirit recognizes your loss. Do you remember thinking, during that year, that you wouldn’t make it through? Did you think that if you somehow managed to survive, that you would have lost some necessary part of yourself and would be unrecognizable? I know that car ride, I know that wish. I know the bubble and shadows that can sometimes mar the sunniest day.
    Thank you for sharing this. It is never easy to be exposed.

    • Wendy Jane March 30, 2014 at 7:38 pm #


      And now I’m crying with the gift of your beautiful words here. Yes, I remember that–not wanting to get off the couch and go back to “real life.” Thank you for letting me “expose” you on today’s blog post, and thank you for knowing the car ride, and letting me know you know. Thank you for your “love bubble” spirit that lifts me up, as it does the many friends lives you always manage to touch in the most positive ways.

  5. Sherry Gordon March 31, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    Dear Wendy Jane,
    Hi, there, Wendy Jane! I, too, am so honored and blessed by both you and Kelly! I can sure relate as well! My dear mother died of a heart attack when I was 28 in November 1990! I was so, so heartbroken! And it was 3 days before her birthday when she passed away! I can so, so relate to you and Kelly and how heartbroken it is so lose our dear parents, especially since we all were so young and in our 20s when they died! I cried almost every day for three or four years after Mother died! Then I think my healing over her loss started to gradually sink in! I so appreciate you and Kelly sharing from your very heart over these losses! Thank-you, thank-you so, so very much! Your super writings and blessings are just so great! Have a magnificent Monday! Very Sincerely Always, Sherry Gordon

    • Wendy Jane March 31, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

      Hello Sherry,

      I am so sorry for your loss. I can feel what a tremendous loss it was for you, so thank you for sharing that with me, and for your kind words and sentiments for Kelly and me. There is nothing like a mother’s love.

      I hope you had a wonderful day!

  6. Vickie March 30, 2016 at 8:46 am #

    That was beautiful!

    • Wendy Jane March 30, 2016 at 4:37 pm #

      Thank you so very much, Vickie. I’m not sure how this showed up again on my FB feed, but was bittersweet, really mostly sweet, to connect with it again.

      Thanks for all of your support.


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