I Hear Thunder
I believe this is the first time that I’ve taken a prompt and let it morph into a BMT mixtape.
What I “do” is so unorthodox that I am self-publishing since I don’t see how this can possibly fit the submission requirements. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed filtering the prompt of “Thunder” (from Stella J. McKenna and the team at The Writing Cooperative) through my musical lens.
Without further adieu, my interpretation of thunder — the powerful, the terrifying, the rumbling, and the rolling — through a selection of hand-picked tunes. As always, live performances, unexpected picks, and crowd favorites make an appearance.
The wall of sound provided by Queen, Annie Lennox, and David Bowie on “Under Pressure” reminds me of the tropical storms of my childhood and teen years in North Florida.
The torrential rain pounding relentlessly. Wind swirling. Tall pine trees swaying precariously. The delicate azalea branches yielding to the heavy drops. Booming thunder ebbing and flowing.
Even Mr. Bowie’s green is reminiscent of the ominous colored sky as the storm arrives. When the sky is tinged green, the storm is imminent!
This live performance by Garbage brings hurricane strength force!
Angry thunder. Blinding lightning. Power outages. The wind twists centuries-old live oak trees into corkscrews.
“Only When It Rains” brings the cacophony, the drama, the damage.
And that break from 3:00–3:20?
Anyone who’s been through a hurricane knows that silence means it’s about to get very, very scary.
There’s a break when the hurricane eye passes through, then the storm finishes its job.
Big Country delivers the slow-building “The Storm.” And ironically, Stuart Adamson is on fire!
This isn’t my familiar home of the Deep South.
It feels mythical. A storm that sweeps across the Scottish Highlands.
Foggy, rugged, and remote.
This thunder has an intensity, too, but it rumbles and tumbles along.
Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” might be the ultimate tease.
It slinks along at its own pace.
This is the storm you know is coming, but you keep waiting and waiting as it inches closer.
And finally. Finally!
Pounding thunder and violent lightning are on top of each other.
And just like that, the storm is over.
An assist from Eric Clapton and Greg Phillanganes makes this a very special live performance from the height of Phil Collins’ chart-topping days. His drumming is not to be missed!
I hit the jackpot with this find! I’ve been a big fan of John Grant’s uber spiky “Pale Green Ghosts” for a while now. But I’d never heard this live performance with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
This interpretation amps up the ominous, moody vibe. (Just in time for Halloween, no?)
A sudden storm out of a thriller!
Dark, impending doom. The thunder comes out of nowhere, scaring the bejeezus out of our heroine.
Slashes of light from the lightning beam fleetingly over a menacing villain.
A piercing scream. Then darkness.
Oh, this might be everyone’s favorite type of thunder!
Richard Ashcroft’s bright “Music is Power” is like a summer shower. Low, gentle thunder combines with sprinkling raindrops. Nonthreatening heat lightning far off in the distance.
Soft and sexy. The perfect excuse to linger in bed.
Not to be outdone by the summer shower, how about the evening drizzle with soft thunder a la London or NYC?
Nobody captures that jazzy, sultry, smoky sex appeal better than Julie London.
I stumbled upon this rare live cut of “Soon It’s Gonna Rain” sliding into “That Rainy Day is Here.”
This might be bizarre, but I wish I could live as Julie London circa 1965 for 24 hours. Just to know what it feels like to be that glamorous and talented. There’s no one quite like her!
If nothing else, hearing her interpretation of “That Rainy Day is Here” makes me want to jet to London with my Burberry trench nearby. I just need a beau!
Until her 40’s, Bonnie’s worst nightmare included writing and sharing personal stories publicly. At her friends’ suggestion, she bemusedly started Bonnie’s Mixed Tape on Medium in 2017. She remains shocked that anyone reads her stories and that P.S. I Love You, the Writing Cooperative, and the Ascent have published her work.
Bonnie loves all types of music, but really, really, really loves the 80s!
Thank you for reading this story
I know you are busy and have lots of ways you could be spending your time. You using your time to read my work means the world to me — my sincerest thanks!