Monday, June 24, 2013

M is for Music

I was pondering while checking e-mail, at a loss for a post for this week. None of the suggested prompts really called to me. When the idea finally did come, it smacked me upside the head Gibbs-style via my very eclectic playlist playing in the background. Music has always been important to me. I entered talent shows in elementary school. I made hours of mixed tapes when buying music wasn't in the family budget, which was pretty much always. Back when MTV actually played music videos, we made a contest of who could guess the next song the quickest. Which is also one of the last times I remember my sister and I getting along well, before boys were the primary focus.

Though I didn't realize it until much later, I believe it was music that drew me to go to church, to join the choir. It gave me a sense of belonging and a feeling of accomplishment. Eventually music wasn't enough of a reason to stay in a place that didn't reflect my true beliefs. The songs rang hollow. And the music I enjoyed wasn't acceptable as a reflection of what I was supposed to believe according to the church. Secular music was a big no no. So, instead of my faith deciding my music, I let my music express my "faith" without the church.

Once I let go of expectations and just went with my heart, the pure joy of song returned. Music not only can reflect my mood but also affect it as well. The right song can kill any bad mood. It can make me feel joy and sorrow, can bring peace or a need to fight for something in which I believe. It can recall special memories, like smells that remind us of home and family. Every time I hear "Imagine" by John Lennon, I think of my grandmother, can hear her funny way of singing it. When I hear "Paperback Writer" I always think of a good friend who is a writer (and a HUGE Beatles fan). Pretty much every classic rock song is a reminder of growing up in the 70's. Alternately, when I hear "Gone Too Soon" by Daughtry, I am immediately reminded of my niece, killed by a drunk driver, taken away too soon. This post was inspired by "If Everyone Cared" by Nickelback.

 If everyone cared and nobody cried
If everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
Then we'd see the day, when nobody died

The idea is so simple. And yet it is something we will probably never experience. Since ignoring whether a song is "spiritual" or not, I find a bit of magic in every song I add to my playlists; songs that make me smile, songs that make me feel empowered, songs that teach me about other cultures. Sometimes the singing is more important than the song itself. The ability to make music with my own voice is empowering in itself. And no matter how bad my day is the positive energy of my music can make it a bit better. The song that is playing as I end this post? "Gangnam Style" by PSY. It's fun and silly. And makes me laugh every time I hear it (and dance along).