Every single day, millions of people listen to music- some may choose to blast their radio in their cars while they drive to work, students may listen to a couple of motivational tunes while they complete their homework and others may enjoy simply dancing to a few songs while they shower or get ready. But, everyone loves music. Sure, we might all have our own tastes and choose to listen to just a few genres, but we like it. Music is universal- we all know that. But, why do we really love music so much?
Music is catchy to begin with, it simply gets you moving. Whether its that little beat of your foot, tapping your fingers, nodding your head along or even flailing your arms, it just helps you feel better. The second reason we all love it so much is the lyrics. If you listen hard and clear, there’s always something you can relate to in every song. Whether it’s the long summer nights often mentioned in country songs, the failed relationships that several pop songs refer to or the hardships frequently rapped about in the rap music- you know you’ve experienced something similar before. But, does that really explain our passion for music? I think there could be a deeper reason.
Why would we want to listen to a song over and over? Just because it helps us loose up a little or we get what the artist is trying to convey? Is that really it? I think that music has real meaning to it. Music is about the memories associated with a certain song that provokes you to play that very song over and over again.
It’s about those late nights in the car with your best friends with The Weeknd blasting in the background. It’s about those eight hour road trips with your family with “Let Her Go” playing softly with your brother napping in your lap on some scenic, winding road in the middle of Austria and Italy. It’s about those Spanish classes you and your friends took back in fifth grade and your best friend’s dad always had “Cooler Than Me” playing in his car. It’s about those times you pretended to hate the when your best friend had Sam Hunt on in her room while you shoved pizza and Coke down your throats, but you secretly didn’t mind it all that much. It’s about those study sessions in seventh grade when all you listened to was One Direction. It’s about those stupid Bart Baker parodies that you and your friends couldn’t stop watching on repeat right before you left home and nothing was ever the same after that.
The music doesn’t just help your relive a specific memory in your head, it brings out those emotions you associate with a certain memory. Whenever I was homesick or upset last year, I always listened to “Thinking Out Loud”. Now, whenever I listen to that song I put on a soft smile because I’m proud. It reminds me of all the tough times in my past and how I have managed to overcome them. A lone tear drips down my face as I remember the late nights I spent sobbing in my bed because of the rocky times I had been experiencing while listening to this very song. It’s not a sad song or anything- it’s the memories I associate with the song that free up those emotions latched up somewhere within me.
As time moves on, things change and you change too. So does music. But, whenever I turn on a song from my past, I feel as if everything is still the same. Whether it’s “Payphone”, which brings back not-so-great memories of a cover I made back in middle school and put on Youtube, which eventually garnered a lot of attention from kids at my school. I still feel like that awkward middle schooler when I hear that one, even though now I’m a not-as-awkward teenager. Or, maybe it’s “Mirrors” which was all my Dad and I sung for a month straight when on vacation. When that song plays, even though my dad is miles away in India, I feel as if he’s right here with me.
Maybe that’s why music is so important to me. I’m scared of change- and it makes me feel exactly the same.