I don’t know if it’s family tradition or something elemental that runs in our genes, but my two brothers and I communicate via email often entirely through the lyrics of songs. Music is simply in our heads, day and night. Instead of the typical greeting: “what’s going on? how’s the family?” I will get a one-liner like this:
“I will now proceed to entangle the entire area”…what song is this from?
“When you see something that looks like a star, and it’s shooting up out of the ground..”
Yep. You’re right if you guessed The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys by Traffic.
It’s a game we play, with lines of songs that go back 40+ years. I love connecting with my brothers in this way. It’s our playful common denominator, a shared entertainment. And it brings back powerful memories, as music often does, by winging you back to a time and place in your past, and instantaneously uplifting your mood.
All three of us routinely wake up to songs in our heads. We are amateur guitar/harp/keyboard players, and go about our days working at our jobs, raising our kids, and a million other mundane activities…but always, there is music in the foreground…and in the background of our daily lives. We sing in the shower or in the car with the windows rolled up. We sing along with our favorite bands, and can’t get lyrics out of our heads once the songs spring from our lips.
My brother once said if he were forced to choose one…to be deaf or blind, perhaps he would choose blindness.
Because he just couldn’t imagine a world without music.
Here’s your brain on music: Listen to inspirational music and calm your thinking mind. Listen to classical music and improve your concentration. Jazz uplifts and inspires, and releases deep joy. Rock music is a reliable motivator and invites me to vacate the computer to get up and dance.
Overall, music makes us feel good (our brains release serotonin, the happiness hormone); it energizes us, and can even create a flow state of mind.
When I’m working on art projects, I often listen to podcasts (On Being, Ted Talks and others); it’s stimulating to learn new things and to think about books and poetry and technology, but switch over to music and, voila…my mood changes instantly; I feel lighter, my productivity shoots skyward, and I’m happily dancing around the room and belting out tunes as if no one is watching.
If we have music, We Have Heaven. We Have Heaven, by Yes is a short song, almost a chant.
It can, and does engender many different interpretations in various listeners, like so many of Yes songs do. I listened to them in the 70’s and enjoyed their musical mastery, but it is only recently that I paid any attention to the words and realized the ethereal themes that dominate their lyrics.
Sometimes you don’t appreciate things when they’re right there under your nose. Sometimes you don’t understand things fully until a gazillion years later. Now I see the richness and brilliance of their lyrics (listen to And You and I) and am spellbound and captivated…once again. Spiritual seekers often advise us to stay in the present moment; to let go of past and future thoughts. But sometimes memories are uplifting if you choose the good ones. Music brings back memories, visceral memories deeply embedded in our physical bodies.
So I hum Brown Eyed Girl while cleaning the house, or sing Jesus, Take the Wheel in the shower when I want to enjoy a robust flood of contentment. And I’ve been known to play air guitar with brooms to lighten my cleaning-mode mood.
|sweeping the deck|
We Have Heaven. Through dance, and through art, and through nature. We Have Heaven, here on earth, right now through music.