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Messages in Music

Sometimes I feel like the Universe is sending me messages through music. I’ll wake up with a song in my head, one I haven’t heard in ages, and it will feel important for some reason. And then I’ll hear it again when I start my car, or it’ll pop up on my iPod even though I didn’t even know it was there. Other times I’ll be walking and listening to my iPod while I ponder something and a song will come on that seems to answer my internal question. Or I’ll have a friend say, “I was thinking about you,” and I realize it was around the same time I heard a song that reminded me of them.

I realize, of course, it sounds silly. But there’s an inner knowing (at least for me) that convinces me that sometimes a song is a message or an answer of sorts. Not always. Sometimes a song is just a song. But every now and then it’s something more.

Today as I went for my walk, the songs seemed important. I’m not entirely sure why, but . . . Maybe I’ll figure it out later.

1. “Downfall” by Matchbox Twenty
2. “I Can’t Let You Go” by Matchbox Twenty
3. “Give a Little More” by Maroon 5
4. “I Wish You Would” by Train
5. “Up All Night (Frankie Miller Goes to Hollywood)” by Counting Crows
6. “Something to Believe In” by Parachute
7. “You Found Me” by The Fray
8. “Treat Her Like a Lady” by Jimmy Buffett

Yeah, okay, the last one seems weird after all the others. But the tune and the sentiment . . . I don’t know. It counterbalanced all the neediness in the previous songs. From the questionable offer in “Downfall” to the demands of Maroon 5 and the desire for rescue voiced in “You Found Me” (full circle from “Downfall” perhaps), we then come to Buffett’s ode. He’s singing about the ocean, of course, but at least he understands respect is required. The exchange in “Treat Her Like a Lady” is far fairer than in “Downfall.” And the whole playlist smacked of supplication in one form or another.

In my Classics classes, I recall learning about supplication, how Thetis knelt at Zeus’ throne and put a hand under his chin and clasped his knee. I don’t know what I equate this with these songs, but I do. There’s a sense of begging involved, but it’s that respect in “Treat Her Like a Lady” that brings it all together in the end.

You can see why I’m a writer. My mind takes a handful of seemingly random things, knits them together, and extrapolates wildly. When people ask writers, “Where do you get your ideas?” (though I’ll admit I’ve never once been asked that), this is the real answer. We snatch a bunch of pieces out of various cloths and stitch them together into weird patterns. Sometimes people admire them. Sometimes we’re told they’re ugly. Well, there’s no pleasing everyone. One size does not fit all.

I don’t know where I’m going with all this. Blame the fact I’m on a lot of cold meds at the moment. I’m physically pretty exhausted, but my brain needs exercise, and this is what it has come up with. Think it might be time to go read . . .



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