Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blogger: Music Of The Heart

Why do we listen to music? What is it that we like about it so much? 

For me, music has the same rhythm as my heartbeat and no matter what kind of song I listen to, it adapts to me. And for me it is almost always about the lyrics first and song second*. But it does work the other way around as well. Something quite interesting I have experienced, and as I was told this happens to a lot of people as well, is that when I am in a certain mood I somehow, call it fate, come across a song which lyrics' are 99.9% adequate to my state of mind. This is by far fascinating for me, and today it has happened again. But before I jump ahead to that, I'd like to show you a couple of examples. *(That's another reason why I don't really listen to lyrical songs, only if I know them from somewhere, like a movie score). 
We all have weak moments in our lives, when we feel that we need to do something or depression is going to take over us. Moments where everything is bad and you just can't get a break from life. That is when I like to get out my 80's songs, because let's face it, those are the best ones! My favorite song in all of the world is It's My Life from Talk Talk. (Yes, there are a couple of more songs with this title, like Bon Jovi's or Dr. Alban's, and this very song was remastered by No Doubt with lead singer Gwen Stefani. That is a very good version too, but I am old fashioned!) The lyrics take you on the second you hear them and you can't help but shout:

"It's my life, don't you forget
It's my life, it never ends"

The music itself is very important as well. A song can have good lyrics but be very, very bad at the instrumental part at the same time. I feel quite sorry those times, but still as long as I can shout the words I feel fine. Now you have heard what kind of music I hide behind when I feel like the world is treating me bad, but what do I listen to when I am happy?
I have found many times that when I feel sad, I just need something to lift my mood as soon as possible. Those times I put my earphones in and start to dance in the dark. I do, this is a ritual of mine, I sweat out my problems. Exercise helps you relax, therefore I dance my way through a problem. In these cases I have 2 kinds of songs I like to listen to, the first one is one whose lyrics do not appeal to any situation but the music is just so damn good! The second one is when I try to come up with new choreography, and I need a base that even those with two left feet can hear.

"Ask me all the questions you need, I don't tell lies my conscience don't bleed
You get all the time I can give, as long as you respect my freedom to live!"
Infidelity by Simply Red

"Hey now, hey now! 
What's the matter with ya?
Girls just want to have now, come on!"
Hey Now (Girls just want to have fun) by Cyndi Lauper

I really admire Cyndi Lauper, she had a great song in the 80's which was an international hit, singing about the fact that girls just want some fun! Isn't that cute? And then she recorded Hey Now in the 90's, singing about transvestites, singing about the fact that girls just want some fun! It became an international hit, once again! She is someone we can all learn from!

What do I listen to when I do want to remain sad and my poor heart aches? Well, I listen to the saddest song available on the planet:

"I can shine even in the darkness."
Gabriel by Lamb

We have heartaches, sorrow, we lose people close to us, we suffer the consequences of every act. And those times, those couple of really low points in our lives we like to hear it, that it's not our fault, it is just that others don't understand. 

"When everything seems to be broken,
yeah you bleed just to know you're alive."
Iris by Goo Goo Dolls

There are two more cases I can recall that I use to handle my problems with music, my eternal companion :). I very often listen to musicals. Often? That is an understatement. I have a dozen favorites and I know the lyrics and dialogues by heart for all of them. It might be the story, it might be again the lyrics, or simply the live performance but I am given chills and it is a feeling that I simply love. They speak to me, they understand me, I find, even a musical like Romeo&Juliet has a couple of lyrics that I find are adequate for my taste. Here are a couple of examples, first is when I feel really pessimistic, the second one is when I feel realistic and the third one is when I feel optimistic!

"We all deserve to die, even you Ms. Lovett, even I!"
Epiphany from Sweeney Todd
/performed by Johnny Depp/

"There's a moment you know you're f*cked
Not an inch more room to self destruct."
Totally f*ucked from Spring Awakening

"The world and I, we are still waiting,
Still hesitating, any dream will do."
/performed by Lea Mead/

To end this little fairy tale of mine I would like to talk to you about two songs that came out of nowhere exactly when I needed them. I have a talent for understanding lyrics in a song, of course, not always. But sometimes I get lucky, I hear out a couple of verses, I type into Google and song comes up on YouTube! That is awesome. One time, I was heading home from my friend's house, she was driving, and I was in a pretty bad shape. I did not want to neglect it but at the same time I needed something that made me energetic despite the ability to cry at will. We got into the car, the stereo turned on and I head the following words "I am in misery." I looked at the stereo, seriously? I asked myself. Do I have an official channel now that judges me as well? That is kinda cool, but still. I only got the last 10 seconds of the song, but as soon as I got home I looked for it in a hurry. And I found it. The music still pumps the adrenaline and yet the lyrics define my feelings:

"Why do you do what you do to me?
Why won't you answer me, answer me YEAH!
I am in misery, there ain't nobody who can comfort me!"
Misery by Maroon 5

The last example, is the one that happened this morning. You see I am writer and I have currently been checking a work of mine where the main character was based on an acquaintance of mine with whom I lost touch. It hurts me deeply that this has happened, but it is sanitary for me to get over it. Yet, after months of feeling perfectly fine, I started checking my work and I fell back down. It is not pretty. And what happened this morning? I was sitting in the so called "Freshman-Castle" on our campus, where I have all of my lectures, and as we waited for the lesson to begin the teacher popped in a song while he connected his computer together with the projector. I don't really believe in fate, or that things happen for a reason, but I've found it incredibly creepy that the song which we had to listen to for about a 1 minute, perfectly summarized how I feel, what is wrong with it, what my conclusion should be and the song itself is gorgeous. What are the chances of something like this actually happening? I mean honestly! I did not know this artist previously, he reminds me of a clash between Sting, Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel. I don't want to write down all of the lyrics, but this is really accurate to my life, if you are interested click here for the whole lyrics, but here is the song, my new favorite song:

"Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I'd done
And I don't want to live that way, reading into every word you say
You said that you could let it go
and I wouldn't catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know."
Somebody that I used to know by Gotye

So, how is music my companion?
When I want to feel good about love, I listen to The Proclaimers. When I don't know what is going on and I just need a break from reality, I listen to IAMX, London After Midnight, or The Smiths. When I want good rock, I either listen to Nickelback or Bon Jovi. When I want to dance I listen to Katy Perry or Kylie Minogue.
I hate R&B and rapping makes me sick from a certain amount on. Yeah, on my MP3 I have Britney Spears, Hilary Duff, Mr. President, Spice Girls, Vengaboys, S Club 7 and BB King. And I love it :). 

And if nothing works, then it is time to take out my La Roux discography! That always solves any and all of my problems!

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