Whats your song?
As the best time of the year looms ever closer – Christmas, what else?! – I start to wonder why this time of year is so special for so many people. For some, the run up to Christmas is all about spending time with friends and family, perusing the markets for the best gifts to spread joy and love to those around you (incidentally, here’s a shameless ad to my blog of the best Christmas markets in the world: https://afewwordsfromlauren.wordpress.com/), trying to fit about 100 family members around the kitchen table for Christmas dinner (often resulting in the traditional Christmas feud), Midnight Mass and even enhancing your faith. But for me, music is what truly makes Christmas.
As I have lived away from home for the last 4 years, the run up to Christmas has somehow lost its spark. Normally, work has kept me busy up until the day or so before Christmas day itself, and time spent with my family has always been cut short – and so has the excitement.
But still, when it is time to go home, for me there’s nothing quite like listening to Chris Rea’s ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ on my drive home. (There’s something quite emotional about driving in the dark, singing at the top of my lungs – pretending I’m in the music video as rain pours down the windows. Just me? Yes? Ok…)
But somehow that one song, in that one moment, completely takes me back to my roots. It makes me realise what is important – friends, family, and those around us. To some it may come easy, but to others you may need to think about it a little longer… but for all of us, there’s probably that one song that is just… contentment. Perhaps it could be singing Mariah’s ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ completely out of key (probably with a glass of wine in your hands) with your aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers, or it could be the moment you sing ‘Silent Night’ with your choir. We all have that song(s) where the hairs on our neck stand up, and we have ‘the moment’ where you just sit for a minute, and realise how goddamn lucky we are to have those around us.
But these moments don’t just happen around Christmas, they happen every single day. Think back to one of the most important moments of your life…do you remember what, or if, there was a song playing in the background? Sometimes, these moments and these songs can change our lives.
In today’s day and age, music seems to be a background piece. You might be listening whilst you do your work, it might be on as you’re riding the bus to school, or it might just be on at the kitchen table whilst you’re eating your dinner. You might not even take notice of the song itself, or what they are singing, but I’m sure if I asked you when the song came on later that you’d know at least 50% of the lyrics – because we subconsciously listen and take in those lyrics, especially in times of deep importance to us.
For me, I have never chosen to listen to Kanye West voluntarily at any point during my life, but it happened to be on the radio at a pivotal moment in my life. Now, if ‘Homecoming’ comes on the radio, I seem to embody Kanye himself, and can rap the whole song (It’s true, I really can). Because of this incredible feat of musicianship from my part (….yeah) I begin to think about what the lyrics really mean.
Yes, music is entertainment. But first and foremost, music is an art form. It is story-telling, but with a bit more ‘somethin’ somethin’’. Apart from the odd few songs (*coughcheesypopcough*), the lyrics in these songs are there for a reason, they are the artists way of showing their perspective. Music can be a saviour to some people. Through their stories, we know that we are not alone in this world, and that our problems and our issues can be solved, and they can be expressed. To hear this – even subconsciously, is what is so important about music. To be exposed to these raw stories can get you through the good times, the bad times, and even the fight over the last pigs in blanket on Christmas day.
What’s your song?