Thank you for the music…
I was in the car today, driving home from work, the usual story. Stressed out, snappy, a million thoughts running through my head. “Shit I forgot to send that email”. “Fuck, I forgot the map to that meeting tomorrow arrrrrrrrrrgh!”
Then a song on the radio burst into my annoying inner chatter and in a split second, from inside my little car I was transported immediately back to April 2004. I was right there in a specific moment, the feelings fluttered in my stomach as I relived a specific conversation and even the smell of the room! My mundane thoughts and stress paled into the distance and I haven’t given them another thought.
What gives a song that power? Is it the band, the genre, the voice, the beat or production? I mean I challenge anyone over thirty to not sing like they were channelling Bowie should “Rebel Rebel” catch you out on the airwaves!
But I digress. I think all of the above factors make a great song but what makes that strong personal connection are the ultimately the lyrics. The words. Those words at a certain point in time cut through to your soul and that song then becomes yours.
“I played that at my Dads funeral”. “Turn it up, this song is my favourite!” “My sister loves this”. “It’s going to be our wedding song”. We have all said or heard the above from mates or colleagues. Even drunken random’s at the local pub , will rudely interrupt your evening and shout “This? Now this song is pure genius!”.
THAT song is sometimes a precious memory carefully chosen. We trawl through record collections and our I-tunes libraries for hours searching for the right song that expresses what we can’t or won’t say face to face. The words of a special song suddenly become a short three minute peek into your innermost personal wants and desires. Bands become your messengers and unwittingly The Goo Goo dolls become your Cyrano De Bergerac. When you send THAT song to someone and they hear it, it’s your gift to them forever whether you want to receive it or not! Whether it be given by a soul mate, a past love that got away or a weirdo stalker, when THAT song comes to you, it comes with their stamp on it that can never be shaken.
Ten years down the track and THAT song will reappear from nowhere, in a shop, in the car, you could even be in the arms of another and you will think of that person. Whether they were good or bad in your life for a second at least you remember them clearly. Your soul may soar, your heart may shatter or you will break out into a cold sweat thinking they are coming after you! Whatever your emotion it’s the power of the song and the lyrics written that create an instant unexpected replay of one of your life moments.
Each of these songs becomes the personal soundtrack to your life, explaining who you were and who these people were to you. I set a challenge to all who read this blog. Over the next six months or even a year, whenever you hear one of these songs, not just any song that makes your feet move but one that takes you out of the now and into the past, make a note of it. Each song becomes a rediscovered page in your diary which was thought long forgotten. When you have a playlist take a look. It was confronting and revealing for me to see who I was, the decisions I made and how I have changed in positive and maybe not so positive ways.
Once you have that playlist together, keep it safe and now and again when you are stuck in a rut, in a time of indecision or frustration, sit back, relax and listen to them. You have been in ruts before, had breakups and make ups, loss and gain so have a listen to them and know that quietly inside yourself everything is going to be ok. You will also have one hell of a personal album!
One thing though. Don’t share it with anyone. It’s too personal. It’s your diary after all.