In the worst of times, the Universe sometimes sends you light in the form of a song. It can happen when you are restlessly flipping through the music folders on your battered laptop or in the midst of frenetic shuffling through your MP3 player. Maybe you are walking down a road, and suddenly this unearthly melody fills your ears and drowns your soul. Before you get to thinking it is a voice in your head, you find the song emanating from a cafe, or a shop. At that moment, you tell yourself, “I need that song, I’ve got to have it.” You rush home and Google the few garbled keywords you remember. If you are lucky, you find the song.
All of us have had those times where this one song played on and on; not only on our players but in our minds and our hearts. They have taken us through tough times and made you believe. I mean, sometimes it’s difficult to believe that a piece of music can have such a powerful effect on a person. There’s life in those sounds.
Many of my battles have been won through music. There are some songs that I believe were sent to give me peace at a time when none existed. There’s something different about these songs. There are millions of beautiful ones, but some of them seem to have been made with a special kind of love. You feel it the moment you hear it. Then you tell yourself, “There’s something about this song, it has been made through true love”.
1. See You Soon (Coldplay)
This is by far, one of the kindest songs I’ve ever heard.
“So you lost your trust, but you never should have.”
With poetry and music, the meaning is all up to you. Whenever I listen to this song, it’s this kindly voice telling me that all I needed to do was keep faith in myself. That I gave up, but I never should have. Yet somehow, there’s nothing to worry about, because someday I am bound to get there.
Underrated songs are the best ones, as this one shows. From Martin’s gentle voice to the minimalist strumming, you get the feeling that someone’s holding you close and telling you, “It’s going to be all right in the morning.”
2. Lazarus (Porcupine Tree)
Every time I hear this hugely popular song, there’s this wave of inexpressible love that wells up deep inside. This song gives me hope. If creating such beauty is still possible, then there’s hope. There’s hope for you, there’s hope for the man on the street and for the girl by the window.
“So rest your head upon me, I have the strength to carry you.”
Break the silence and reach out because surely there’s someone who will see your pain. It is okay to be weak, to be vulnerable just this time. For once, you can stop pretending to be strong, and rest. There’s so much compassion in the song that it breaks all the barriers that you worked so hard to build inside you.
A song that makes me sit up and want to be a better person.
3. May It Be (Enya)
It is impossible to not love a song with Enya’s voice in it. The purity that pours through makes you feel sheltered from all the harshness that the world has to offer.
Have you been fighting a battle for so long that a part of you has even forgotten what you are journeying for? Stand strong and be brave, for “May it be when darkness falls, your heart will be true”. Fight the night however you can, for the sun always follows.
4. Crystalline (Younger Brother)
Listening to this song for the first time was like finding a soulmate. I heard it and said to myself, “This is it. I have found the most beautiful song in the world.”
“In another time
We would meet
With the worlds colliding
At our feet”
Close your eyes and listen to the fluid notes. It is like being on a train; you think you know where the train will take you, but somehow this time, you can’t be sure. (Yes, looking at you, Inception). That is what I love about this song; it has the quality of pushing the world away and leaving you alone with the stars.
5. Brothers On A Hotel Bed (Death Cab For Cutie)
Unlike the others, I won’t call this a song of hope. It is more about…acceptance. The wistfulness in the song is soothing, not depressing. It makes you think of what you were, and the inevitability of time and tide. It is the kind of song that stops you in your tracks, makes you look around, smile and then start walking again.
Maybe it reminds you of all the battles you fought, and that you tried to run from. Somewhere, it helps you to make peace with the pain.
“On the back of a motor bike
With your arms outstretched trying to take flight
Leaving everything behind
But even at our swiftest speed we couldn’t break from the concrete”
Chris Walla‘s piano notes remind me of a quiet autumn afternoon. Like now.
There are so many songs I could write about, but I’ll save it for another day.
(I had written this post a couple of days earlier but it seemed to fit the Weekly Writing Challenge to a T. So, posting this with due permission from the WordPress powers that be.)