Barbara H. McNeely

Author & Publisher

Month: May 2017

Lessons of an Opening Heart

Lessons of An Opening Heart

Lessons of An Opening Heart


It is here! My book is now published and is available through Amazon as a print book or an ebook! Here’s a preview:

Who is Magic DeeJay?

Who Is Magic DeeJay?

Who Is Magic DeeJay?

In my book, Lessons of an Opening Heart, I talk about Magic DeeJay. I thought that it would be obvious what I was talking about from the context. But even my husband didn’t quite get it. And my editor, Jan, thought I must be talking about an internet radio station. I decided it was better to just describe him as “the music I hear in my head” in the book and write in more detail here. Much of what I write here is taken from a speech I gave in Toastmasters in February of 2017.

I have always loved music, from as far back as I can remember. I got my first radio – a transistor radio – before I was ten. I listened to that radio as often as possible, sometimes listening with it under my pillow when I went to bed. I remember when The Beatles were in their first concert in Houston and I stayed up late listening as the radio played the playlist from the concert. I knew the words to every song on the radio in those days. And I have been adding lyrics and melodies to my collection in my head ever since. Sometimes it’s surprising that I have room for any important information up there.

Years ago I realized that I could readily access a song just by hearing a word or phrase. If someone mentions a day of the week or a city, I just might come up with a song or two that mentions them. Sometimes, I’ll just come up with a partial lyric with no idea what the song is. Other times, things will get a little confused. Like the time we were driving from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Santa Fe and I was singing “Do You Know the Way to Santa Fe?” My husband pointed out that the song was actually about San Jose! Oops, but isn’t that interesting? My favorite is the city of Walla Walla, which is mentioned in a song. If you remember the song The Witch Doctor then you might recall this line: Oo Ee Oo Ah Ah Ting Tang Walla Walla Bing Bang!

It was following my open-heart surgery that I began calling this talent “Magic DeeJay.” In the week before surgery, while I was running around getting ‘ready’ for surgery, the words of Gloria Gaynor were running through my head – “I Will Survive.” It was on replay for four days. The night before surgery was when I first really started thinking about what was going to happen. But the song in my head was by Elton John – “Someone Saved My Life Tonight.”

It was November of 2015 that I realized that my talent extended beyond lyrics. Part of recovery from surgery included cardiac rehab – a program of monitored workouts. Three times a week for twelve weeks I went to cardiac rehab. At the end of those twelve weeks, they have what they call graduation. No real ceremony, but you do get a nice certificate. And so, on the morning of November 4th of 2015, Magic DeeJay was playing “Pomp & Circumstance” in my head.

In the Spring of 2016, I decided that the one year anniversary called for a celebration. It was, in a sense, a birthday for me. But my husband and his friend would be in Africa on that date. (And our anniversary, I might add.) So I planned to have Sunday brunch with a friend on May 22nd. I even gave myself permission to over-indulge in food since on the same day the year before, I was not allowed to eat anything. And when I woke up that Sunday morning, Kool & the Gang were singing Celebration.

And that is how I decided that there must be a Magic DeeJay working in my subconscious. And almost always, Magic DeeJay is playing a song in my head.

I have since learned that other people have similar talents. So tell me, do you have songs playing in your head?

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