I need noise. White noise. Cafe noise. TV noise. I often joke that I could write at a Bon Jovi concert.
I wonder if that’s why my husband often complains that I don’t hear the lyrics the way he does. Because I experience sound differently. More in a kind of diffused osmosis than any kind of purposeful way.
(I know! Gasp! For a writer of words to admit that!)
But just like those singular, bittersweet, sigh-worthy moments in romantic movies that make your heart clutch, or beautiful phrases in books that put words together in such a unique and heartfelt way you literally swoon - for me, for a song to have a real impact, it’s more about a feeling. It can be a few shiny lyrics that make me sing or move or smile or cry. Or a clanging chord that makes my stomach sink. Enough that it was able to break through the constant chatter inside my head and make a mark.
And I use that in my writing all the time. For some books I’ve listened to the one song over and over to tap into the feeling it creates inside of me.
I wrote a musician hero once; the aptly titled Resisting the Musician :). A rocker type - bruised and battered emotionally - the hero could no longer pick up his instrument. I listened to a lot of Bruce that year. Some INXS. And even a little One Direction! I got what I needed where I needed to get it.
Here are a few of the songs that always take me somewhere other, elevating me to a higher plane when they dance into my day. Songs that take me to that wonderful magical place that makes it human to need art:
“Kissing a Fool” by George Michael – I have listened to that song a zillion times while writing heart-clenching scenes in my books. It takes me there so well.
“We Are Young” by Fun – dark subject matter within the confines of a raging anthem that makes me want to stage dive (even when I’m in the car)
“Viva la Vida” by Cold Play – this song feels like summer to me. Like the car windows are down, my feet are on the dashboard and we’re going…wherever we want to go.
“Bad Things” by Jace Everett. The theme music to True Blood. It’s dark, and sultry and red. Just so much red.
“Jolene” by Dolly Parton – oh the yearning and heartache of that song. It makes me tear up every time I hear those first plaintive notes.
Do you have any songs that always make you cry, or dance, or suffer, or think, or wind down the car window and sing at the top of your lungs?