A Song That I Listen To When I’m Sad

Day Twenty-Two – A Song That I Listen To When I’m Sad:

There’s something about music that can stir up the best and worst of emotions. Just like any INXS song can bring a smile to my face, so can another song drive me to tears.

I recently heard an episode of “Fresh Air” on NPR where Stephen Colbert talked about how he took voice lessons to help train for his one-time / one-performance role in Sondheim’s production of “The Company.”  Colbert, who graduated from Northwestern University with a Theater degree, said it was like having to retrain himself after all these years; exercising vocal cords and muscles that he hadn’t used in years. And while his vocal coach had taught him all the technical aspects of singing, he still hadn’t known how to sing with any “emotion.”

That is, until the day Colbert’s vocal coach told him to forget all he learned, to not worry so much about “breaking the rules” … he was told to sing “silly.”

And that’s when it clicked for Colbert. From that moment, he was able to use his voice – a voice that was meant for musical theater, according to Sondheim – and fill it with all the emotions that were required for his character.

There are certain recorded songs out there where you can “feel” the emotions behind the singer’s voice. Those are the songs that give you the goose bumps when you hear it … whether for the first time or the hundredth time.  Those are the songs that can make you cry; whether for joy or for sadness.

Those are the songs that can likely lift you up — even if it’s a sad song — out of the darkness.

James Blunt’s “Beautiful” does that to me. There’s something about his voice, matched with the lyrics to this song that speak to me … that make me even the slightest bit happier whenever I hear it.

Maybe it’s because Blunt talks about a chance encounter with a woman he will never know. Maybe it’s because it’s because he speaks of that moment with such reverence. But the way that Blunt sings his lyrics has a way of making me feel as if I could be that “angel” … that I could be that beautiful person who had caught some stranger’s eye and captured this stranger’s imagination.

Now realistically, I know that’s absolutely untrue. (Who would look twice at me?) But I think it’s the possibility that it could happen that captures my imagination … captures my smile long enough for the wave of sadness to dissipate.


What is with this 30-day song challenge?

What was yesterday‘s song?

A Song I Listen To When I’m Happy

Day Twenty-One – A Song I Listen To When I’m Happy:

I’m not sure where I was when I first heard the Black Eyed Peas’ song, “Where Is The Love?” In fact, I’m pretty sure I liked the song more for its addicting beats and catchy chorus more than I did for the actual lyrics of the song.

What got me listening to the song over and over (and over) again was on a trip to London, Ontario for my cousin’s wedding back in May of 2004. The only decent television station we could manage to get in our hotel room was Much Music (Canada’s version of MTV) and that Black Eyed Peas video must have been on high rotation for that weekend.

Regardless, it’s because of that weekend that I got a chance to listen closely to they lyrics for the entire song. And every time I heard it, I could feel the “hippie chick” in me growing stronger; the high-school and college activist who wanted to make a change. Who thought she could make a change.

Not that I don’t think I could make a change today … Obviously writing and speaking up about infertility and living child-free as a first-generation Asian American (where infertility is a “taboo” topic) is one way that I can make a change  …

But hearing the Black Eyed Peas singing exactly what I had always thought in my head (and with a catchy dance beat, at that!)? That was refreshing; especially knowing that there are still people in the world that are trying to affect positive change.

So that’s why I listen to this song when I’m happy. It reminds me that there are times where you can feel down in the dumps … but if you at least try to change the situation you might be, you can take that step forward in becoming a happier person.


What is with this 30-day song challenge?

What was yesterday‘s song?

A Song I Listen To When I’m Angry

Day Twenty – A Song I Listen To When I’m Angry:

Industrial Music is always great to listen to when you’re feeling angry.

Perhaps it’s the sound of the heavy guitar riffs. Or the deep beats of sequencers overlaid with the sounds from the synthesizer. Or it could, in certain songs, by the way that the vocals are screamed into the mike.

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A Song From My Favorite Album

Day Nineteen – A Song From My Favorite Album:

There is no doubt in my mind that my favorite album of all times is INXS’ “Kick” … Although, I must admit that there was a period of time that I shunned away from it.

Blame it on youth, but I remember liking INXS for so many years before they had become commercially huge. So when “Kick” was released and gained so much popularity with the masses, I felt as if the rest of those people had no clue as who INXS was before they became Global Rockstars. And that’s when I stuck to listening to their old albums more than I did “Kick.”

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A Song I Wish I Heard On The Radio

Day Eighteen – A Song I Wish I Heard On The Radio:

I was 13 when “Pretty In Pink” came out in the theaters. And I absolutely loved the movie and (of course) the soundtrack. It’s because of Andie that I dreamed of working at a record store when I was old enough to get a job. Lucky for me, I was able to fulfill that dream.

There’s also this idea that I had, thanks to “Pretty In Pink,” that — once I was old enough — I’d be able to get into bars and clubs (with the requisite fake ID) where I could sit and listen (or even dance) to all the alternative music I wanted.

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Dimming The Lights

Today is Father’s Day … and this will be the first year I’ll be without my Dad.

I’ve been having a pretty rough go at it all the days leading up to today. And even now, after I hit “publish” on this post, I’m not quite sure what the rest of the day will bring.

What I do know is that I’m sad. Extremely sad. More sad that I ever thought I’d be. And it sucks because I miss my Dad so much.

And instead of making a trip to the cemetery today, I would rather be making the trip to a steak house where I could treat Dad to the “steak dinner” he always wanted every year. And I wish I could physically put my arms around him and hug him … and thank Dad for all he’s done for me over the years.

So to honor my Dad, I’ll be taking a break from the whole 30-Day Song Challenge. Instead, I’ll be dimming my “Broadway Lights” because it looks like it’ll be a “solo tonight … but I think I’ll be alright.”

I love you and miss you to pieces, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.


A Song I Hear Often On The Radio

Day Seventeen – A Song I Hear Often On The Radio:

Since getting XM/Sirius Radio in our new car, I have been listening more and more to radio. That’s something to be said, given that the “regular” radiowaves have pretty much been taken over by a major media conglomerate that will remain nameless.

In fact, I hold that particular company responsible for the death of radio as I knew it, growing up in the 80’s. (Hmmm … methinks I musta watched “Pump Up The Volume” way too many times in the early 90’s.)

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A Song I Used To Hate

Day Sixteen – A Song I Used To Hate:

Okay, so based on the “rules” of the 30 Day Song Challenge, today should have been a song that I used love but now hate. But like I said in this previous post, I can’t see myself truly hating a song.

In fact, the song I chose did initially fall into the “used to like it, but now don’t” category.

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A Song That Describes Me

Day Fifteen – A Song That Describes Me:

Funny; when I first heard this song on the radio … when I first saw the video, I fell in love with this song. At the time, Future Hubby had asked me why I liked it so much. I had responded that the melody was so infectious and so cheerful that I couldn’t help but smile whenever I heard it.

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A Song No One Would Expect Me To Love

Day Fourteen – A Song No One Would Expect Me To Love:

I think I’ve already mentioned this in one of my epic music posts. But I think this song requires mentioning again.

There’s something about Sweet Child O’ Mine that I absolutely love. Which is weird for me to say, since when the song was first released I absolutely couldn’t stand the nasally voice and the high-pitched screeching guitar solo.

It took listening to another version of this song to help me appreciate the complexity of this song. The tempo of this remake stripped the song down enough to allow me appreciate the melody; it allowed me to listen to the absolute sincerity of the lyrics.

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