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Monday, 20 April 2015

Music and Memories

There's a song by Kenny Chesney called, I Go Back. Essentially, it's about how memories are tied to certain things – sights, smells, tastes, or in the case of this song, music. The song came on the radio the other day and, as I'm prone to do, I got to thinking.

Music is a powerful thing. It's a magical thing. There are songs that make us smile, songs that make us cry, and songs that make us laugh uncontrollably. Music makes us feel. As an artist (writer, musician), music affects me differently than it might most people. Music is a form of expression for me. It is also a means of feeling like I am not alone in my happiness or sadness. It reminds me that someone else has been in my place. And that can mean the difference between having a good day or a bad day.

I am the type to cry at concerts, and associate certain songs with certain people and situations. Feels So Right by Alabama brings me back to the first time I danced with an ex-boyfriend. The relationship didn't last long, and he ended up cheating on me and kicking me to the curb, but that dance has always been a fond memory because of how I felt in the moment. Poisoning Pigeons in the Park by Tom Leher reminds me of a night I brought my friend, David, to karaoke (he sang it). He made the room laugh and impressed the patrons. I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor now takes me back to the failed flash mob myself and three others started while waiting for David and his girlfriend at the airport back in February. (It truly was a fail, and an epically hilarious one at that!) Those are songs that make me smile. In the same breadth, there are songs that bring me back to less than happier times – Stay by Sugarland, and Kerosene by Miranda Lambert remind me of the (several) ex-boyfriends who have cheated on me. There is even a song I cannot listen to at all anymore. Bob Carlisle's Butterfly Kisses is the one song I cannot listen to. It was the song that described my father and I, and was the song we danced to at my sister's wedding. It was our song. When I hear it, I have to leave the room or I will break down. There are songs that remind me of people I went to karaoke with, and will most likely always remind me of those people (regardless of how well they sing – or don't sing – those songs).

For me, music has been a means of expression, release, and healing. Music has been my saving grace, and I suspect that it always will be. Musical theatre is an escape for me; I relish the opportunity to sit in a theatre to watch a story unfold on stage told through song and dance. (I just wish I could afford to see more theatre.) Music is a beautiful medium, and it is a universal language. Music touches everyone, and there is a genre out there for everyone. (Several genres if you're anything like me!) I hope music continues to touch my life as remarkably as it has, and I hope it has done (and will continue to do) the same for you.