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MUSIC! Tell me what it does for you.

Ahh that which feeds my soul (or whatever it is we have). 

I love reading. It feeds the mind, even books espousing ideas I find distasteful (or just plain disagree with) provide hints and wisps that perhaps we can one day find solutions to ensuring people want for less than yesterday. Books which provide a strong enough case to make me question my own convictions, those I really like. I love books, as the several hundred I have donated over the past three years (to the USO, most of them are guilty pleasure types of books) can attest (I read them first, over a bit longer of a period of time).

 Anyway, that is what I get from books. Music though now that is something different.

 Sure, some books make me feel, India’s Love Lyrics by Laurence Hope is a personal favorite.

 But not like music does. 

It is so easy to lose ourself in music. It not only can provide an escape but can magnify our feelings so many times over that what was unbearable becomes a sensation we might actually try to recall and find some solace in the painful twinge that remains years later.Who can’t listen to Dar Williams, Are You Out There and think back to teenage years and late nights listening to a DJ we found edgy and wondered how long “they” would let them get away with it. Who were they, why were we so scared/angry/distrustful of them? And what is it like now that we are them?

But when it was still “them” we had to look out for, tell me Leonard Cohen, Everybody Knows, doesn’t just capture the cynicism of teenage social understanding just perfectly. Even if we didn’t really understand the entire message, the moody-ness was just great.

But, did we really have the attention span for sociology with teenage love (lust?) never distant. Seether, Broken, think back to that high school crush who you lost in the dark that night, whose departure caused you such anguish you thought you not only would never feel love again but would welcome the nothingness of death. Of course it has to be the version featuring Amy Lee. Guys, now that you know the lead singer used to date Amy Lee you understand why he sounds so miserable don’t you. Three Days Grace, Pain, is a pretty close second for this, although much more of an angry feeling to it, a cry to avoid rejection hurt me, don’t leave me, this would have been the song for when we knew the end was near, but it just hadn’t happened yet.

But what about after it stopped hurting and you got angry at him for duping you right before prom, or her for dating the guy who you had hated ever since grade school (and she knew it too because you had confided that to her). Well in that case Scissor Sisters, I Can’t Decide. The delicious-ness of planned revenge. The sweet sensation from dreaming of getting justice for some perceived wrong. Luckily for everyone it usually ends there, and throwing some rocks, sometimes a bag of burning poo or a few rolls of TP.

Oh, unrequited love at the workplace/college, Jonathan Coulton, Drinking With You, put your mouse over that link, think of a person you worked/studied with who you wish you told them how you felt, but never did. Picture them, now click the link and close your eyes.

But we’ve grown past that, yes. Our tastes became more refined. Okay, who are we kidding. Just like a crack addict chasing that last high we miss the elation experienced in our first kiss. Yes, I still remember the girl’s name, first and last, name of the teacher of the class I met her in, name of the boy against whom I struggled to “win” her affections, the exact location of where that kiss happened. And in some strange way I still wonder what has become of her life.

A picnic bench in this park was our first kiss.

And just as we never again grasp that sense of elation so to do we never feel loss as deeply, or as sharply, as when we first lost a love that we weren’t ready to give up.

But of course it is more than that. It isn’t just that we lacked anything of sufficient intensity to compare it to. It is also that as time fades the memories it does so a little differently than a photograph. Rather than seeing the bright colors diminish in intensity we are left with only the bright colors, with only what we thought most important. The soft tones and greys are washed out so that all we are left with is the most intense impressions. Listen to Meat Loaf and Objects in the rearview mirror may appear closer than they are, tell me we don’t find the past more intense than everything that came after at least partially because we lose much of it, except the most important.

 Books, movies, poems, they offer but a pale comparison to the human voice set to music.

 Music lets us soar.

So, what songs do you love, and why? If the best you can manage is to tell me some piece of classical work you shall be mocked (Although Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Handel, Paganini, & Bach are DA BOMB!). Unless you are over 80 years of age you must admit to your guilty pleasures of Rock, Pop, Country, Hip Hop, Rap, Blues, Jazz.


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