For me music is divided in three categories, irregardless of genre: songs that make me feel, songs that sound right to my ears, and songs that do neither.
Today I want to write about some of the songs in the first category. I can react quite strongly to music and it can influence my mood profoundly. I guess that’s why it means so much to me. Music can lift me up, heal me, or let me wallow in misery when I need to.
Some songs feel like a deep breath of air to me that fill my chest with joy or determination. Some make me feel defiant or proud of the person I am. Some make me feel heartbreak where there is none. All of those I love, because emotions are the fabric of life. Without them you might as well not be alive.
I thought of this when I was watching Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron with my daughter. It is probably my favourite animated movie. If you have not seen it, watch it! It’s great, even if you don’t particularly like horses. Even my husband loves it and that’s saying something. It is full of wild emotions. Longing, hope, sadness, determination, love… greatly enhanced by a truly fantastic score by Hans Zimmer and songs by Bryan Adams. Now, I have never really cared that much for Bryan Adams, but some of these songs are spot on. None more so than the first song I want to discuss, which inspired this post in the first place.
‘Sound The Bugle’ – Bryan Adams
The perfect song about being broken and defeated and remembering the reasons you were fighting in the first place. It brings me close to tears every time. Such an emotive song and it was perfect in the movie. Even without the video this song pulls on my heartstrings. The juxtaposition of the feeling of defeat in the first half of the song to the hope and determination in the second half is so well done. It breaks my heart and manages to heal it in the duration of a song. It’s absolutely masterfully beautiful. I will never say a bad word about Bryan again.
‘Neon’ – Ash
Any excuse to talk about Ash, but there is a reason why I have so much love for them. Tim Wheeler is one of my favourite song writers, who has managed to weave his songs into my heart many many times, and to me this is one of his best. Now, this is definitely a not a well-known song. It was part of their A-Z series of 26 singles that they did in 2009-2010. It’s not a typical Ash song with its synthy beat, but there is something magical about it. The words just resonate with me for some reason. The first verse ‘Faint glimmer of the stars, the entrance of the night. Shadows fill my heart, the moon is on the rise. Yearning with desire to feel a spark inside. Illuminate this void, set the stars alight’. Somehow I know exactly what does words mean. Of course I cannot read Tim’s mind, but they mean something profound to me that I recognise, that searching for something meaningful, for the reason for being, then the realisation that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be at that moment. I’ve been there, I have felt that and on some days when I feel a little lost in this big old world, I listen to this song over and over again and somehow it makes everything ok. It makes me feel that spark inside! How does it do that? It’s magic!
‘Ready To Start’ – Arcade Fire
As soon as this song starts I perk up and my heartbreak quickens. There is something about the beat of this that just pulls me in immediately. Even when I am sitting perfectly still inside I am dancing like a loon to this, defiance rising curiously in my soul. The music in combination with the lyrics makes my heart soar in the most wonderful way. It makes me want to throw my hands in the air and sing along at the top of my voice. ‘If I was scared, I would. If I was pure, you know I would. If I was yours, but I’m not. Now I’m ready to start!’ God, this song is amazing. It does wonderful things to my brain.
Of course there are plenty more, but I will leave those for another time.
Let me know what songs make you feel!