Tell me my story...
Now, I am not strictly a music analysis type of girl. I like my Pop, Classic Rock, Oldies, R&B and Easy Listening as much as the next person, but music has the capability much more than other avenues to touch a person's depths... And so, in my opinion, when this happens it is one of the highest forms of artistry. I know. It sounds super cheesy, but I really think this is true.
There have been a select few instances where hearing a song has told my story back to me. Words and a melody filled in a blank that was so intimately hidden in the lowest crevices of my being, I may not have even known or recognized it was quite there...
Feel Flows by the Beach Boys, and Winter Birds by Ray LaMontagne were two very specific instances where I remember exactly where I was and how I felt the first time I heard these songs.
My Dad played Feel Flows on an old record in the living room a few days before my sister Lauren left for college. I was 12. It was one of the first times I felt the need to put thoughts to music and start dabbling in songwriting. The way the beach boys described everything and nothing spoke to something I wanted to have ingrained in me. I wanted to see the world that way.
Winter Birds I encountered as a suggestion from my friend Jenna just a few years ago. Upon hearing and feeling the emotionality of this song unfold, it was promptly put on repeat. I wanted to hear Ray's description, and really know the words that are at some points, so softly and earnestly sung. I wanted to write a song like that.
Yesterday I drove the ever-familiar route home. 50 minutes of undisturbed time to veg out and listen to my tunes. Bored with my most recent attempts to mix up my car jams and attempting with my greatest restraint not to spend any more money on iTunes this month, I put my iPod on Shuffle.
Skip, Skip, Skip, Play...listen. sing. Skip, Skip, Play (SING), Skip, Play went along for about 25 minutes. And then the sound of a soft antiqued piano with an ever familiar voice, like hearing from an old friend, pumped through my car speakers. Haven't listened to this one much. Maybe I'd heard it? Minor.... and it resolved - which I have to say musically is one of my all time favorites. I tend to write songs that way myself.... and then a few words slipped through -
Hmm. I dig that. Play it again. The refrain got me, but so restfully sung... volume up.. Words -
Repeat. And so this song unfolded before me - introduced itself to me really. But, it was my story. Over the Rhine captured it in Bothered. (You can find a good version of it here: Bothered by Over the Rhine)
We all go through spurts in our life. Growing pains. Challenges. Perfect Days. Perfect Moments. The most difficult days/months/years. Moments where we have all felt lost.
This song took me right back to me. Me. Who I am. Who I want to be. I know, how can I pull all of this out of a song? This is why -
I have always tried with the greatest of intentions and exuding monumental amounts of effort - to be a certain type of person - conscientious, a follower of the rules, considerate, careful, helpful, honest, a do-gooder, striving to make good sound decisions which lead me in the direction I'm supposed to go. But, like everyone, I have a big bag of flaws, fears and insecurities that have followed me from place to place - hurdles which have tripped me up and weighed me down. We all have them. My attempt in recent years, has been to drop them.
With this goal, my focus has changed - Let love cast out fear. To be filled so to the brim with love and grace that fear cannot event set its foot in the door to make me tentative and shrink. I will live enormously. And so the refrain, while it is a love song - it is me - who I want to be, how I relate, knowing, I am exactly who I am. So, this song reminded me of my story. I will know that within me there is a passion I have come to know intimately. I will grow and change but my focus will always be to never let any fear prevent me from being exactly who I know I am.
And that is why I won't be bothered.