Music has always been a huge part of my life and who I am. I was raised in a household full of music – singing, instruments, and hours devoted to practicing, performing, and enjoying it. My mother is a pianist, led the church choir, and was a long-term music teacher substitute at the local middle school when the choral director was out on maternity leave (twice). My uncle plays the guitar, my aunt led worship, my cousins play a variety of instruments (trumpet, sax, drums, guitar, bass, and more), my brother plays the drums and learned to manage a sound board, and my sister even tried violin once (it didn’t stick).
I was in chorus all the way through school, and in my senior year of high school I was part of the show choir and chamber ensemble. I decided to skip “early release” and add an extra music class – even though I already attended choir every day. I dropped out of the International Baccalaureate Program when the extra class requirements would mean I couldn’t focus on music the way I wanted to. I went to county and state vocal competitions, traveled all over the country and once internationally with my show choir, and even formed a band of my own for a short while. I never learned to play the piano the way my mother does, but I did pick up the acoustic guitar and teach myself a few things.
More than those collections of facts, though, music is a part of my soul. I remember singing in the car to the radio as one of my earliest memories – yes, I was that young. Music has this amazing power. It can transform my mood, bring me back to the past or into my future in an instant, and express all of the emotions and thoughts in my head in a way I haven’t even considered yet. Songs are intimate. They are expressions of our deepest desires and most shallow thoughts. They can lift you up, tear you down, make you laugh, cry, and sing along at the top of your lungs even if you don’t get a single note right (like my Dad).
I am constantly amazed by all the new ways that song writers can express age-old themes in fresh and exciting terms. Just when I think every word has been said or every song has been sung on a particular subject I hear something else that blows me away. The best song writers are the ones that bare everything – all of their fears, hurt, guilt, shame, joy, triumph, loss, love, and the list goes on. There are songs and song writers that are so raw and real they touch a place inside of me that I thought only I had access to. There are songs that speak to me and seem to speak for me. Truly, songs are a backdrop for everything, a soundtrack for life, because they incorporate every part of life.
In this blog I have already shared some of the songs that are capturing my life, or at least some of my feelings, right now. I think that will be a continuing theme here because sometimes words alone aren’t enough to express everything inside of me. Here is the latest song I am really connecting to – “Let it Rain” by David Nail. It has been rolling around in my head for hours. I really like this version better than the official music video because it is a very clean, honest performance.
The words of this song are really powerful for me. It helps me understand some of the emotions that my husband feels, especially the chorus. There is guilt, shame, acceptance, pain, regret, and so much more wrapped up into the song. It’s not just the lyrics, either. He puts such emotion in his voice that it just shoots straight through me. I’m going to sit here for a little while with this song on repeat just listening and feeling and enjoying another great song that is beautifully written and poignantly performed.
- Eric Church Says Music Is The Soundtrack To Life (wycd.radio.com)
- Where Words Fail, Music Speaks – Amazing Video of Music’s Power to Awaken a Sleeping Soul (adw.org)