When I was blogging daily in 2011, WordPress encouraged bloggers by sending out topics of the day. I found most of the topics to be banal or lacking in substance so I rarely used them.[1] I have stayed on the mailing list and the topics have improved. Today’s topic: discuss the role that music plays in your life, is very relevant to me. I have blogged many times about artists I love through the category: Music from The Swamp. Music plays a huge role in my life.

Since I can remember, I have always listened to music. As a young child my mother listened to Jim Croce, Three Dog Night and the Lettermen. The first pop song I remember engaging with was ‘Seasons in the Sun’ by Terry Jack.[2] I would sit with my radio waiting with anticipation for them to play it again. My older brother taught me how to call into the request line. I was probably 6 or 7 at the time. The next music that I can remember resonating with me was Queen’s ‘We will rock you’ and ‘We are the Champions.’ I would stay up late so I could hear those songs on the Top 10 countdown every night.

As I moved into my teenage years, my tastes became a little darker. I listened to Supertramp’s Crime of the Century constantly. The lyrics really resonated with me. The songs ‘School’ and ‘Hide in your Shell’ were my go to songs as an angst ridden teenager living in an abusive home. I would lie in my bed and cover my head as I listened to these songs over and over again. I also related to my parents’ music. Really, just about any music worked for me.

Music soothes and calms me. I pour all of my anxiety and frustration into singing along. I tend to like my music loud. As a teenager I used to think that by the time I was 40 I would no longer listen to loud music. In actuality, what happened was that at 40 I could afford a better sound system so now my loud music sounds good. Now I am pretty sure I am going to be the one in the retirement facility who gets noise complaints.

Music speaks to my soul in a deep and profound way. I always wanted to be a back up singer in a band. I don’t sing well enough to carry the tune myself but I sing harmony very well. And, if I couldn’t be in the band, I wanted to be a groupie. I still have these desires but I have come to the realization that I am a music consumer and as along as I can sing in my house or in my car, I am happy.

I think part of the reason I am feeling so much better is because I started listening to music at home in early 2012. When I started listening to music again, I did it for another reason.[3] I quickly realized what I had been missing. I have no idea why I stopped listening to music at home but the tunes were back on now! I had continued to listen to music in my car but that was not enough. Now if I plan to be in my office for more than a few minutes the dock gets fired up and the music comes on.

I really believe that had I not discovered the healing properties of music at a young age, I may well not be here. So much of who I am and how I have coped with life has been shaped by music. There is so much music out there that just reaches in and soothes my soul; it calms me down and it energizes me. I sometimes wonder if music is my way to connect with my emotions as I am a pretty linear person in my day-to-day life.

I have also been told I am a musical imperialist so this post will not be complete without a musical interlude.

I discovered Passenger after watching an episode of Elementary. Now, Passenger used to be a band but the band broke up and now it is just one guy: Mike Rosenberg. Most of his stuff is quiet and introspective with acoustic guitar. He does not have a perfect voice. His lyrics are brilliant. One of my favourite lines from a song called ‘A Month of Sundays’ is: “Black kettles and black pots seem to fight an awful lot, and make the kitchen the most uncomfortable of rooms. Empty words don’t mean an awful lot and for me that’s all you’ve got.”

Feather on the Clyde was the first Passenger song I heard:

Month of Sundays:

Now, I would love to hear from all 12 of my readers: What music gets you going? What role does it play in your life? I am also totally up for some recommendations!

[1] I may have even written a post mocking the topics…

[2] Currently it is on the list of CBC’s On the Coast worst song ever contenders.

[3] We had an extremely annoying, demanding and manipulative person who lived with us from September 2011 until January 2012. Loud music was a cue to her not to bug me. It worked. I am not proud of this childish behavior.

3 thoughts on “Music my balm for life

  1. I seemed to discover passenger at the same time, only my favorite song of his is holes. Music is very important to me because it’s a part of my creative process. I love to paint with music playing in the background, I’ve never stopped listening. The poetry of the lyrics speaks right to my heart.

  2. Hi! You are firmly lodged in my favourites list not only because I appreciate your writing, but because you have shared some music I would likely never have discovered on my own. Great feeling to have singers and lyrics that connect.

    Think I wander along hearing snippets of this or that. Few keep my attention for long. Play things loud and often, then put aside for the next ‘new’ thing. However, some stay with me because they stay in my memory and my heart.

    In no particular order a few that are always nearby:

    Buddy Holly
    Patsy Cline
    Blind Boys of Alabama
    Ruthie Foster
    Janis Joplin

    I had Janis on an LP, then cassette, and finally cd’s. A fantastic set of all her recordings came in a lot of water damaged merchandise after the LA riots. They ended up at Liquidation World, and despite the cover being really a mess, all the contents survived. What a find!

    “I am not proud of this behaviour.” You have a way with words, beautiful! 👍

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