There are a few tunes that cause a deep melancholy to well up inside. I’m not talking about sadness, although I think it’s related. And melancholy isn’t quite the right word. That overwhelming tide when I hear certain songs includes awe, reverence, a sense of connection to place, something beyond what some would label holy. Spiritual yes, religious, no. I sense a recognition of something, that I’m at the same time unsure of.
Sometimes, if these songs catch me unaware, I break into sobs. Sometimes the joy stops me in my tracks. Sometimes all I can do is close my eyes and breathe.
But always, afterwards, I realize these emotions, whatever they are, comprise what I strive for in writing. Can you imagine placing down words that, when read, give birth to these same reactions in the reader? Oh, to be a writer like that. That is a goal that makes the struggles to write worthwhile. And occasionally I need to listen to these songs to remind me what I struggle for.
The songs that do this for me? Sometimes it’s the words, sometimes it’s an ageless melody, sometimes it’s a connection to history. But for me, the list includes the traditional versions of ‘Scarborough Fair’ and ‘Greensleeves’, ‘The Sound of Taransay’, the voice of Lisa Gerard or Loreena Mckennit, songs by Ulali, Anonymous Four, and I’ll stop there before the post becomes nothing but a list of songs. Oh, wait, there’s also songs like ‘One Tin Soldier’, ‘Where Have all the Flowers Gone’, and ‘Both Sides Now’, but I think those are because of the memories attached to the oldies.
And now I’m curious. Does music impact your writing? If so, what music stirs your soul to catch words?
Oops. One more that I’m listening to right now: ‘The Mist Covered Mountains’.