Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Music: the soundtrack of our lives

Music. It’s the story of our lives. It defines our youth. It helps express feelings and words in a way that many of us cannot. We play it at all times: parties, weddings, funerals and even in stores as we shop. We play it loud and sing along in our cars. The music that people listen to is close to their hearts and they will defend anyone who trashes their music. I love music. I love most all genres. I grew up listening to my parents’ rock music of the 1960s and 1970s. As an early adolescent, I was a big fan of New Kids on the Block. By my teen years, I was listening to country music of the 1980s and 1990s. I found that people listen to music for many reasons. My top three are: pump up adrenaline for a work out, soothes the soul and help release anger and stress.

When I need to be energized and pumped up to either exercise or clean house, I play hard pounding rock music that will get my heart pumping. My husband’s favorite pump up songs are “Alive and Kickin’” by Simple Minds (1985) and “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor (1982). Eye of the Tiger is everyone’s go to work out or fight song. The intro alone gets one pumped and ready to go. One of my favorite pump up songs is “Lose Yourself” by Eminem (2003). This is the ultimate “do or die,” “you won’t know until you try” song. I play this song when I feel doubt and listening to the words and the pounding beat helps adrenaline run and I feel I can do anything and I’m motivated to put my plan into action, even if that plan is simply to clean house and do other chores. It’s a motivating song.

Music is also great to help soothe the soul. Music to cry to. Music to mediate to. Whatever it may be. Music that can ease the sadness that can overwhelms us. When I lost my second daughter in October 2013, I began searching for songs to help ease the pain that surrounded me. I found Daughtry’s “Gone Too Soon” (2011). While the entire song speaks to the grief that a parent feel when losing a child too soon, one particular line always soothes me because I feel that it was speaking directly to me. The line is “I’m always asking why this crazy world had to lose/Such a ray of light we never knew.” “Ray of light” is what speaks to me the most because my daughter’s name is Ziva Rae. Ziva is Hebrew or bright or radiant and Rae meaning light. It’s a song very dear to my heart.

Music can also help release anger when it builds up so much that you feel you need to do something. Instead of hitting something or someone, I put on hard pounding angry music. Listening to the music helps me calm down enough to think clearly. A song that is often mentioned when you just want to scream is “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette (1995). For me, “Welcome to my life” by Simple Plan (2004) is a great song when you’re angry and feel out place in the world. When I listen to this song, it reminds me that everyone has moments when they feel like they don’t fit in and when the world is just unfair. Another song I like to play is “Some kind of monster” by Metallica (2004). The first two minutes of the song are pure guitar riffs and long riffs intermingled in the whole song. It’s a great song to release anger to.

In conclusion, music reaches every aspect of our lives. It gets us pumped up for a workout, it can soothe the soul and it can help release anger and stress. Whatever your motivation for the music you chose to listen to, I remind everyone of one thing: do not make fun of someone else’s taste in music. Music speaks to us in a way that it will not for someone else. What you may hear in a song and enjoy the lyrics, someone else might not. Does that mean the music is a better or worse than something else no. Just like beauty is in the eye of the holder, music is in the ear of the listener. Music is a large part of our lives, our culture and our history. Enjoy!