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?