In Philosopher’s Stone, Dumbledore comments that music is “a magic beyond all we do here.” For me, music mostly comes from my iPod. But lately I’ve been spending most of my time trying to catch up with the NPR podcasts I’ve downloaded. I wish to be a well-informed member of society, and I don’t trust television to give me the stories that are really important. I try to spend as much free time as I can find taking in new information. But if news is playing, that means music isn’t.
I was raised to love music. It speaks to me and for me in so many ways that I cannot. It can alter my mood drastically, even in a negative way. Being forced to listen to music I don’t like, usually pop country, makes me feel almost hostile. I seriously hate it. Conversely, if I hear a song I love, I am instantly transported. It fills me with an unmistakable happiness. I love it when I get to play my own music at work. It makes the shift so much more enjoyable.
We all have songs that take us instantly back to a moment in our past so that we can almost feel what the weather was like, or remember the smell in the air, or even what we were wearing that day. There are also songs that connect us to people. For me, I can’t hear the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” and not miss my mother. Every time I hear “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel, I think of my husband, and tears come into my eyes.
So many people who hate musicals claim that it’s just silly for people to be in the middle of a conversation and suddenly start singing. But there are so many emotions that I experience that I feel are expressed so much better by singing a song. Singing is a huge release for me. It lets go of all kinds of tension, whether the song is happy or sad. Singing is always cathartic. Perhaps we’d all have a much better sense of our own emotions if we spent more time singing and not caring how we sounded.
I’ve always had a deep and abiding love of music. I will be taking a bit of a break from the news to incorporate more of it into my life. Events of the world are important, but so are the events of the soul. And music speaks much more to my soul than anything else ever could.