Have you ever heard a song that just makes you stop what you are doing and start dancing? Or a song that compels you to crank up the volume and belt out the lyrics at the top of your lungs? Do you wish your volume went to 11?
Whether it’s a great beat that appeals to your need to ‘dance it out’ or lyrics that beg to be belted out, music can be profoundly evocative and can draw out memories of a long-forgotten time. Socrates said “when the soul hears music, it drops its’ best guard.” I agree. It’s the experience of being transported by the beauty of a song. It’s suddenly finding yourself in tears, not knowing whether they are of joy or sadness. It’s the feeling of exhilaration and the sense of calm. We turn to music for joy and comfort. We need music because of its ability to move us.
Ask ten people to describe a scene and you’ll get ten different accounts. Ask a 100 people and you’ll get 100 different versions. Yet ask those same ten or 100 people to sing you a song and you’ll get one version. This is because our recall of music tends to be close to the original piece. Yes, we all listen with different interpretations and emotions; but we tend to remember the basic characteristics – tempo, rhythm and pitch — with remarkable accuracy. Think of how many songs you can sing right now; or back to the last time you heard a song on the radio that you hadn’t heard in years, yet sang along word-for-word. Basically, we’re hard-wired to respond to music.
I love music. Whether it’s my new favourite “gangsta chick’ Iggy Azalea singing Fancy or my longtime friend Iggy Pop with Candy, music has been there to provide a soundtrack to my life. Here’s some songs that would make the soundtrack:
- Hot House Flowers – Think of Beauty
- James Taylor – Fire and Rain
- Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
- Katy Perry – Roar
- Corey Hart – Never Surrender
- Alphaville – Forever Young
- The Cult – She Sell’s Sanctuary
- Allie X – Catch
- Deadmau5 – The Veldt
- Journey – Don’t Stop Believing
Think about the songs you’ve loved over the years. If you could only pick ten songs to be on your life’s soundtrack, which ones would best recount your life?