Music for the better times
I don't write about it much here, but I love music. I played viola in youth orchestras when I was growing up, and from that time I retain a love for Beethoven, Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Mozart, Sibelius, and Mahler. But I also love bossa nova and fado and American folk music, West African music and tabla music from India, obscure Baroque masters and modern Cape Verdean geniuses. Music gets me through the day, from the moment I wake up to the hour I go to bed; it's rare for me to make it through the whole day without listening to something, and more often than not my iPod battery is worn out by the time I get home at night.
I even think that music has played a role in my recovery from my eating disorder. Sometimes, when things were really bad and I was avoiding the urge to throw up, I would shut myself up in my room and listen to my favorite songs over and over again, grounding myself in the music so that I could focus on something besides food. Nowadays, when I am in a bad mood, feeling lonely, or simply bored, I can find so much meaning in music.
Take Leonard Cohen's "Anthem." I don't care so much for the honky arrangement (if you've heard it you know what I mean), but I love the words:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in...
This winter, when I was dealing with all of the drama and humilliation at work, I listened to this song almost every day before I headed out. It did me good to remind myself that I needn't be perfect -- nay, that my very imperfections were what made me human, made me beautiful. I clung to this song like a lifeline, as it indeed was.
What songs get you through the day? What songs do you listen to when you want to celebrate the good things in life? What songs fill you when you are feeling depressed? Please share them with me -- I am always looking for good music!
Lately, these are the song that have made their way onto my "Feel good list" on my iPod:
Joni Mitchell -- Come in from the cold, Carey, California, All I want
Cry Cry Cry -- Cold Missouri Waters
Cristina Branco -- Há palavras que nos beijam
Jewel -- Jupiter
The Be Good Tanyas -- Lakes of Pontchartrain
Ceumar -- Pra la, Dindinha
Clara Nunes -- Canto das tres raças
Luciana Souza -- Eu nao existo sem voce
Roberta Sá -- A vizinha do lado
Abigail Washburn -- Song of the traveling daughter
Leonard Cohen -- Anthem
Please, let me know what you're listening to!