Sometimes it’s difficult to remember good things in your life.
Through my last depression, I realized something. When I’m on the way down or depressed, I don’t listen to music as much. I will put NPR on the radio in the car, watch TV shows at home, but rarely turn the radio to a music station or Pandora on the computer.
When I’m feeling better is the time when I go back to music, which means I tend to like upbeat stuff.
I almost titled this: 4 songs to make you smile. But, I don’t know if they’ll make you smile. I can only say that they make ME happy. I do believe that music can help shape our emotions, give us focus, make us feel better (or worse – there are songs that evoke anger and pain, too).
I’m often scared to talk about what I like in music. My tastes are usually a bit behind the times, and all over the musical map. I tend to like quite a bit pop stuff, which used to mean some of my friends would make fun of me when they were into alternative and underground. I eventually developed a taste for a lot of alternative stuff, but usually 3-5 years behind my friends.
Now, I tend to not care too much what others think, but I still sometimes feel like I have to justify my tastes. I know, intellectually, that is ridiculous, but sometimes old feelings creep up on me.
1. Pop – Pink – Try
When I first started to hear this song on the radio, I would turn it off almost immediately, because the music sounded sad.
A couple months ago, C forced me to watch this video of Pink’s performance at the AMAs.
First of all, totally love Pink. She’s unapologetically strong and individualistic, but also compassionate and kind: everything I love in a female role model.
Watching her do this modern dance interpretation of her song was amazing. I was blown away by her strength and grace and for the first time actually listened to the song.
The chorus really speaks to me.
Where there is desire,
There is gonna be a flame.
Where there is a flame,
Someone’s bound to get burned.
But just because it burns,
Doesn’t mean you’re gonna die.
You’ve gotta get up and try, try, try.
For a long time now, I’ve been able to keep getting up when it has to do with survival needs. But I have pushed a lot of people away.
Lately, a particular person has been reminding me that I need to do this with relationships, too: open myself up again, allow the possibility of being hurt. The song says that even if you are hurt, it won’t be fatal, and then you can try again. And something about the flame mentioned here is reminiscent of a time long ago. 🙂
2. Electronica/goth-rock – The Cruxshadows – Indivisible
Itunes calls this band “electronica” and Pandora classifies it as “goth-rock”. I don’t really care. 🙂 I was looking for new music and someone on FB suggested this band. This was the first song that jumped out at me. My itunes tells me this is the most listened to song on my computer and iPod at the moment. (Their song Valkyrie from the same album is almost as played).
And call it courage, overcoming the fear
to conquer first the demons inside.
That when the madness descends on our dreams
we have the strength to keep them alive
The purpose of one becomes the purpose of all
A phalanx made from what we believe.
A ghost or an angel, a wish or a prayer,
Just open your eyes, your heart, your mind
3. Pop? – Gotye – I Feel Better
Gotye hit the charts this past summer with “Somebody That I used to Know
“. I like the song, even though it was way overplayed for a few months. But it is a break up song, with a lot of sadness and bitter-sweetness in it.
But this song, from the same album is even better. It reminds me of some upbeat 70s/early 80s stuff.
I’m having a hard time picking just a snippet of this one; I like almost every lyric, so I’ll just put the first part here; but listen to the whole thing. Something about it kind of reminds me of “I can see clearly now“.
There was a time I was down, down
I didn’t know what to do.
I was just stumbling around, around
Thinking things could not improve.
I couldn’t look on the bright side
Of anything at all.
That’s when you gave me a call!
And I feel better, better, better than before!
I feel better, better!
Now I’m not down anymore!
That sounds like someone who has been depressed and found a way out of it. In some ways I don’t like that it takes another person to get him out of it. But there’s nothing in the song that says this was definitely a romantic attachment that made everything better. It could be a good friend, an old friend, or an estranged family member that helped him find his way back.
4. Chant – Om Gam Ganapatye Namaha
I like chants, all kinds of chants. Somewhere I have a CD of Gregorian chants. I have some tapes and CDs of Pagan chants. And Buddhist and Hindu Chants have always fascinated me.
There’s something . . . soothing about repeating syllables in a musical manner. C, on the other hand, can’t stand them. She’s been very frustrated when I listen to 20-30 minutes of “Om Mani Padme Hum”. 🙂
My friend Trudy reminded me of this one earlier this week.
It calls upon the God Ganesh (or Ganesha).
Ganesh had his head cut off and replaced with an elephant head.
He is known as one who removes obstacles (because an elephant can move anything out of his/her way!), facilitates success (you’ll often see small altars to him in businesses), and is also very playful.
In the brass sculpture here, he is dancing on top of a small mouse – his usual ride! And if the image of a fat guy with an elephant head riding a mouse doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what would. 🙂
From the website Humanity Healing (click on the link for more info on Ganesh).
Om gam ganapataye namaha!
A very loose translation might be:
Om = Salutations! Everyone wake up!
Gam = The secret power sound of Ganesh. It is his “seed syllable” or bija mantra.
Ganapataye = Another name of Ganesh, the breaker of obstacles.
Namaha = Yo! Ganesh! You da God!
What about you?
What songs never fail to make you smile? What songs speak to what you’re going through right now? I’d love for you to share in the comments or on the Facebook page