There is probably nothing in the world that has an effect on me more than music does. Just one song can completely alter my mood. I can go from happy to sad in an instant.
I grew up on music. I remember as a young child my parents holding house parties and I remember knowing the words to some 1960’s songs which had been popular before my time but had been hits in my parent’s teenage years. I remember quite clearly listening to ‘The best of the 1950’s/1960’s’, to ‘Abba’ and to ‘Neil Diamond’ that my mother used to play sometimes when she was cleaning the house, or on quiet Sunday afternoons. I remember these with very fond memories.
I grew up in the eighties and I will forever believe that the music from the 80’s was the best era, EVER! My interest in music changed from what my parents exposed me to, to what I liked and I was one of those people who listened to the radio on a Saturday, recording all the hits to my tape cassette and listened to it all week through to the next Saturday. As a young adult I went clubbing and would dance, mesmerised to the music on the dance floor, allowing the deep base and thud thud thud to go through my body, surrendering it to the beat while I swayed back and forth, or kissed the boyfriend I was with.
In my darker moments, I will seek music to suit, listening to sad love songs, or songs of woe that only helps to plunge me further into an abyss, which, when I am depressed and/or down, is where I would rather be. Sometimes, though, if I am happy and upbeat and a song of sadness comes onto my iPod, my mood will immediately plunge until I am reminiscing about the times that the song reminds me of.
Likewise if a song comes on which is upbeat and fast, a spring in my step will appear, a smile on my face and I will glide around happily, a silly grin plastered to my face.
So why does music have such an effect on me? Is it like this for everyone? I could live without almost everything in this world, but without music I would be doomed. I truly would be a miserable person. As I type this, I am listening to music and I am smiling. I tend to sing along, sometimes loudly, but I am aware that my singing voice is not quite up there for any type of recording contract but that’s ok with me, I love it and I will sing regardless.
They say the sense of smell is directly connected to your memory bank in your brain and that it is so potent that just the smallest whiff of something can immediately transport you back to the memory you have of it. That is very true, I have experienced this many times, but music does this for me too. So many songs send me back to a time that song played and the memory will play perfectly clear in my mind, my feelings, my thoughts, everything crystal clear.
I have many favourite songs, and the list constantly changes. At the moment, I am swooning over Christina Perri’s ‘A thousand Years’, Emeli Sandé’s ‘Beneath You’re Beautiful’ and Rihanna’s ‘Stay’, but they are merely the fave’s of the moment. REM’s ‘Everybody hurts’; Adele’s ‘Don’t you remember’; Aerosmith’s ‘I don’t want to miss a thing’ and Snow Patrol’s ‘Run’ are but a few of the songs I will never be able to get enough of and there are far too many more to list without boring you silly.
Music is the ultimate soothing remedy for my soul. It’s the ultimate downer and the most potent upper I could possibly take. The high’s I sometimes experience – others would call it giddiness – when I have my earphones plugged in, drowning out all the sound of the world around me and causing me to dance – sometimes unselfconsciously – is what makes me love music so much and which is why, if music suddenly ceased to exist, I would want to also.