I love my new course, but damn it’s time consuming! I’ve been staring at my inbox while scribbling down my lecture and tutorial notes, waiting to write this post. I love my Daily Prompt emails. If you aren’t following those guys, I suggest you get on it. Sometimes writing for the sake of writing is incredibly cathartic. Especially when it brings to mind some of your most pleasant memories.
In my last year of high school, my friends and I had a song that we listened to constantly. Whenever we got into somebody’s car, this song would get played at least once. I’m not even sure why we loved it so much. Maybe the lyrics, maybe the guitar, or maybe it just became a symbol for our last year of certainty before branching out into our respective futures.
When I hear this song, I think of one afternoon when my friends and I had piled into my mate’s 1980 Alfa Romeo GT, that I had nicknamed Juliet, even though it drove him crazy. We were all just driving around downtown before I had to head to karate or something. Nothing groundbreaking happened. No one did anything incredible. I can just remember laughing and chatting away, feeling completely content with my place in the world. And as we were all talking over each other, trying to outsmart each other with our insults, this song woven its way in between us:
This memory is tainted now, though. The frontman of the Lostprophets, Ian Watkins, was jailed for 29 years last year after being found guilty of thirteen heinous sex crimes, including the attempted rape of a baby. It makes me sick to even type the words. If you, like me, were unaware of this atrocity click here for the story.
Moving right along…
It’s amazing, isn’t it? How music can transport you back to a certain time and place from the very first strains of melody? I have an incredibly vivid memory of sitting in my great-grandfather’s lounge room, the scratchy blue fabric of the armchair digging through my t-shirt and into my legs, with my discman on my lap, and listening to the Atomic Kitten CD I had been given for Christmas.
There’s a The Used song that transports me back to a Saturday morning about six years ago, when I had my CD player blaring as I made my bed. I can still feel the worn flannelette in my fingers as I stuffed the sheets under the mattress, trying not to scrunch up the dust ruffle.
Panic! At The Disco’s A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out was the anthem for Grade 9. I listened to that CD on repeat for months. Every time someone tried to grab my iPod, they’d turn away in disgust as they saw that I was listening to ‘Camisado’ for the thousandth time. I remember trying to explain to people that I wasn’t emo (remember when “emo” was a thing?) by saying I listened to soft core punk or alternative rock. I can admit it now:
Hi, my name’s Bec, and I was an emo in high school.
I would rather be emo than hipster any day of the week. At least everything goes with black…
Then there are those songs that mess with your mood. I have a list of songs I can’t listen to if I’m feeling down. Pretty much all of Missy Higgins’ The Sound of White is on that list. But then, so’s ‘Why Georgia’ by John Mayer. That’s not even a particularly sad song. But after a really bad day the song started playing through my iPod speakers and I lost it on my bedroom floor. Thank God my bedroom was at the other end of the house.
But if I need perking up, there are two songs I turn to. They make me squirm with happiness whenever I hear them. I have the same reaction to Benedict’s voice as the Angel Islington in the Neverwhere radio play, just for the record. Have you heard it? It’s incredible.
Anyway, one of these songs is ‘That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)’ by Panic At The Disco (they had lost the exclamation point when this song came out. This was during their Beatles period). The other is ‘That ’70s Song’ by The Cab. ‘That ’70s Song’ is actually kind of depressing if you listen to the lyrics, but the melody is happiness incarnate. Or so I think.
Here, have a listen.
Then, because everyone needs a little Panic in their lives, check out the video for ‘That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)’. This is my treadmill song. I could be on the brink of giving up and collapsing on the floor and then I hear “Things are shaping up to be pretty odd…” and I manage to pull out another five minutes.
I could go on and on, but I won’t do that to you guys. Instead, I will just say that I am a firm believer in the power of music.
“Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.”
– William Congreve –