From the time I can remember, music has been around me. My young parents were music fans who had a radio on most of the time. My youngest formative years were spent with Elvis, Hank Sr. and Patsy Cline.
By grammar school it was “Top 40” of the 60’s that was a soundtrack for my life. Today to sort out roughly what year a song came out all I have to do is think about what memories the tune brings up. From what I recall I can tell you where I lived and what was going on with me around the time the song was a big hit.
Lacking good examples of healthy emotions from my family of origin, many of my deepest feelings were developed through music. Every meaningful relationship I have ever had is associated musically in my memory.
During my brooding late teens/early twenties of the 70’s, lyrics like James Taylor’s influenced me (I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend…).
Early memories of falling in love are associated with songs like Chicago’s “Beginnings” (When I’m with you, it doesn’t matter where we are, or what we’re doing. I’m with you, that’s all that matters…)
By the 80’s such feelings were better described by George Michael (If you are the desert, I’ll be the sea, If you ever hunger, hunger for me, whatever you ask for that’s what I’ll be…)
REM spoke about the type confusion I felt in the 90’s when success turned out to be mostly an empty achievement (That’s me in the corner, That’s me in the spotlight, Losing my religion…). Collective Soul’s “Shine” was another song for my quandaries then (Teach me how to speak, Teach me how to share, Teach me where to go, Tell me love will be there…).
In more recent times lyrics like Ha ha ha, bless your soul, You really think you’re in control? Well, I think you’re crazy… from Knarles Barkley or Confusion never stops, Closing walls and ticking clocks from Coldplay suggested change. Forgiveness and renewal had begun within me when Linkin Park’s words hit home (For what I’ve done, I start again, And whatever pain may come, Today this ends, I’m forgiving what I’ve done…).
Music exists in every culture, and infants have excellent musical abilities that cannot be explained by learning. Mothers everywhere sing to their infants because babies understand it. …certain cells in the right hemisphere respond more to melody than to language. Evidence suggests that long-term musical involvement reaps cognitive rewards–in language skills, reasoning and creativity–and boosts social adjustment. Music exercises the brain. Norman M. Weinberger
There is equipment that plays music in just about every room in my home. I can’t imagine life without it. Music has been companion, solace, teacher, compatriot, consoler and more. Whether they bring up a happy thought, a sad memory, a painful recollection or a delightful remembrance I am profoundly grateful for my close relationship with melody and rhythm. Music has been a friend that has never forsaken me.
Music expresses that which cannot be put into words
and that which cannot remain silent.