Monday, January 31, 2011


It was July of 2003, I was barely twenty years old and I had made the move out to Los Angeles to go to music school, but just for the summer. Back in Arizona however, remained my boyfriend, "Dave Ray CPA" (thats what I call him, he finds it embarrassing, not to mention, me telling this story on my blog) he made trips back and forth every other weekend to visit me... trying our hand at a long distance relationship. They say "absence makes the heart grow fonder... or wander", we were put to the test. Rewind a bit, I remember the day that I told him that I was going to California, that I needed to figure some things out, that I needed music back in my life. "Music?" he inquired with somewhat of a puzzled look? We had been together for nearly eight months at that point, and I had failed to mention to him that I kinda, well... sing... kinda. And I guess that was because I really wasn't so sure at the time myself... I associated singing with the the experience of heartbreak and my deepest insecurity, so I had walked away from music, closed that door... so I thought. Truth was I was walking around with this big vacant space in my soul, I had some unfinished business to take care of... And here we are nearly eight years later, still taking care of that business. Unbelievable actually. Anywho, if I recall correctly, it was towards the end of the summer, I had written a few songs, started playing the piano and singing simultaneously and all the sudden my whole world revolved around music, and I knew, despite what I told my boyfriend, that I wasn't going back home. There was one particular weekend that he came out to visit, and I finally sat down at the piano and played him one of my own new original songs "the way things used to be", my hands shook I was nervous. This was a new Brooke to Dave, a new Brooke to me. Weeks went by, we continued to date, 400 miles between us. The summer was turning to fall, I told him I had to stay, he said he knew. What did that mean for us? It was a Friday night and I went to go pick him up at the LAX airport, and we drove down to Marina del Ray, my favorite beach, the one I went to every friday after school. We got out of the car and sat on the sand. The next part is gonna sound completely cheezy, but it actually was maybe one of the sweetest things that my non-emotional, hockey playing, number crunching, canadian man has ever done, He sang me a song, acapella... "To make you feel my love", the garth brooks version. He said he practiced it in the bathroom stall at work that day. amazing. He prefaced it by saying "i'm nervous cause I can't carry a tune in a bucket", I would disagree, he carried the tune just fine. then he told me quite simply that he believed in me, I needed that. It really wasn't cheesy at all. A few months later we got engaged, he moved to California, we danced to "to make you feel my love" at our wedding and the rest is history. I am artsy fartsy and he's an accountant, we are different, but that night he stepped out of his box and expressed his feelings (manly feelings I might add) in a way that I could understand... music.

originally written and recorded by Bob Dylan. Famously covered by Garth Brooks for the Hope Floats soundtrack. Adele also does a pretty darn solid version... there is a slew of em out there. None of them though, quite as good as Dave Ray CPA.

bummer, I can't find the Bob Dylan version anywhere, or a good Garth video on you tube, so enjoy Adele...

Remind me to tell you the story about my mom and "show and tell"... classic. That would be my runner up for this category.

how about you?


  1. 1. i'm 90% positive that is not garth brooks singing.
    2. i love the story i did long distance for about 6 months and then he left on his mission and will be home in 3! what what? so stoked.
    3. i also love the chris allen version
    4. you should probably make your own version too

  2. hahahaahaha!!! you are so right nicole, definitely not garth singing, I must have copy and pasted the wrong video code, thought I checked, oops! hilarious, and excited about your boyfriend. and thanks for the reminder, forgot about Kris Allen...

  3. This officially made me weepy. :) I need to go to bed...

  4. What a beautiful story! You two make such a lovely couple. The artist and the accountant...
    "Make You Feel My Love" is one of my favourite romantic songs. Kelly Clarkson does a great cover version as well.
    "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Elvis Presley reminds me of my mother and our shared adoration for the King. :)

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  6. one of my all-time favorite songs! it's so sweet and sincere and honest. i love this thirty day challenge, too! i first saw it on your blog and then decided i had to do it, too. it's been really fun and even though i'm only on day four [i guess technically day five], i've already learned a lot about myself and about my music tastes. thanks for sharing and inspiring me to do the same!

  7. Brooke, what a beautiful story...
    I remember every week, he standing in the audience while you were singing in American Idol. I thought is beautiful.

  8. “Wild Thing” by the Troggs. My Son sang this song on a stage at his wedding reception to his new Bride. He sang lead and played the electric guitar along with his mocked up band of friends that included my younger son on Drums. At times he actually played the guitar with riffs behind his back (watched too much Stevie Ray Vaughan). It was a very memorable occasion as his bride swooned over him like a rock groupie.

  9. The Five Keys - Out of Sight, Out of Mind - Makes me think of my best friend in the world, Stella. We used to go to oldies concerts in NYC and we saw Rudy West and The Five Keys and for weeks after, every time I spoke to her or saw her, I would start off by singing the opening lines. To this day it reminds me of her every time I hear it. She now lives in Arizona and even though I speak to her almost every day, it just isn't the same as seeing her regularly.

  10. Cute story, Brooke. You should check out my beautiful red-headed daughter's version:

  11. Two songs, same person:
    Maria McKee's "Breathe": the minor chords, urgent rhythm, and the ghostly riffs recall the feelings of a love that was as perfect as it was wrong- the deep, all-consuming and ultimately destructive kind that draws two people together like light into a black hole: "My breath fills your lungs, your heart beats my blood."

    Then, after it meets it's inevitable end, a song called "Smile" brings it all back- "I miss you, my friend..."

  12. Great story! Since married couples start to take on each other's qualities, I'll assume that Dave now sings more freely and you can do your own taxes:-)
    In terms of the song challenge: In college, us Communications majors used to do a magazine-format TV show that aired on public access. Every May for the last show of the school year, we would have the whole crew come onto the set to goof around and wave as the credits rolled. It was my job to pick the songs we used for that segment so I always chose something about remembering how great those times together were. The songs we used and that remind me of those days are Rod Stewart's "Forever Young," 10,000 Maniacs "These Are Days," Billy Joel's "This is the Time," and Glenn Frey's "You're a Part of Me, I'm a Part of You." Happily, these memories exist on video tape so I can go back and reminisce once in a while.

  13. That is a beautiful story, Brooke! I am so glad you did not give up music-yeah! I appreciate all that you share of yourself with your fans.
    Mine would be 'The Letterman' catalog-the first concert my husband and I went to together was The Letterman in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. We also liked "Young Girl" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. This was in the early 70's.
    I am really having fun doing this song challenge. (From Nantucketbreeze-Susie))

  14. I met your husband at your season's finale afterparty. He was so nice and you could see how proud of you he was that night.He was just beaming It was so sweet!

  15. Brooke, this was an amazing story!(this is the same Jessie who suggested the 30-day song challenge, by the way!) I'm actually in a 600-mile long distance relationship now, so it was wonderful and touching to hear that you guys made it! :) you and dave are adorable, and seem so meant for each other. what a beautiful song, for two beautiful people. :)

  16. There are several songs that come to mind:
    1) "Live like you were dying" Tim McGraw
    2) "Please Remember Me" Tim McGraw
    3) "Arlington" Trace Adkins

    And there are others which I cannot recall at this time.

  17. so, is it okay if I walk into his office right now and say "HI, dave ray the CPA?" What a nice story! I can't picture him singing, how sweet! you guys are a great couple, and he's a fun guy to work with.

  18. love Adele! Train's song "If its love" reminds me of my wife!

  19. This story makes me tear up a bit--what a sweet thing for him to do! I love that he practiced all day and he sang it for you. I'm sure that was a huge deal to him. I will try really hard not to bring it up to him if it embarrasses him so much! Very sweet, Dave. :)

  20. This is a big category for me. Many many songs have people attached to them. "Our Love is Here to Stay " by - Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong - Reminds me of my Daddy, who taught me how to the love of music.
    Runner ups:
    "Grandpa Tell Me Bout the Good Old Days " by The Judds - I learned to cook listening to the Judds in my Grandma's kitchen as a little, little girl.
    "Some Days You Gotta Dance" by Dixie Chicks - College Dorm-mates. We would stand on a coffee table before we headed out on friday nights singing this at the top of our lungs
    "City of Black & White" by Mat Kearney - Driving down a British country road with my brother, on our Brother/Sister Trip.
    ...could go on and on

  21. That's a great version of that song. What a soulful voice she has. Like Etta James.

    Great story too. I know our loved ones can't support us all the time, in everything we do... sometimes it's just us against the world, proving that we WANT what we want, but it's nice to have a cool accountant's support when it matters and be able to go back to that beach when it seems tough.

    You were right to follow the music. It gives other people inspiration to go after THEIR dreams.