I’ve just come to the realization that I don’t love music. I love some songs. Actually, it’s more like a “very much like”, as in “I very much like some songs”. But I think I can do without them in my life.
I think I read some where that we only really love the songs we heard when we’re about 14, 15? Teenagehood, anyway. It was those formative years we heard the songs that made us who we are, songs that we listened to when we fell in love, when we were in love, when we broke up. Songs that sang what we felt – anger, grief, fear, joy – and songs that were about people we love, or hate. That’s what they say anyway.
One of my then-friends said that one doesn’t have a soul if one doesn’t love music. Ok, first, what soul? But anyway. I think music is important for self-expression, and I think for some, it’s their only way they can express themselves. I’m just saying it doesn’t do it for me. I don’t know when I fell out of love with music, or if I had never really felt it coursing through my veins.
My mom thought I had some talent. They started me on the piano I think it was the age of 4. By 12, I had completed grade 7. And then I stopped, just gave it up. Even now, my mom says I should have continued. But I think that’s what moms will think. That their kids are talented, you know? And that giving up anything means the potential is “wasted”. I’m trying to make myself feel I’m not somehow a disappointment.
But I never liked playing the piano. It was ok. But I couldn’t express myself that way. My dad would frown when I banged it too loudly, which was often. Or if I made a mistake. He didn’t like that. My dad’s a perfectionist, and so, I think, am I. But I was never inspired. Maybe in the beginning I was but that expired as soon as I figured out how to play it. Every grade is just adding on to the previous one, proving you can play faster, more accurately. And then – what? Why do I have to prove this?
I picked up the zither. Once I knew how to play it (it’s really similar to the piano), I stopped too.
Music aside, songs are ok. I like the ones I heard in my teens much more than the ones I hear now. It could be nostalgia; it could be familiarity. There’s one song, though, that I almost love.
In the 80s, Sweet Dreams was sung by the Eurythmics. (Autocorrect knows the band!) I liked that version. Then when the House on Haunted Hill (I really liked this movie too) showed, I heard the Marilyn Manson version. That one really got to me. I think it’s the slow build up, the climb, the really angry sounding despair, and then the trailing off at the end. There’s a finality to it. It’s a song that knows it’s going to end, you know what I mean?
Loud sounds, even loud music, get on my nerves. I get wound up and really just become pissed off. But this song, I can get a kick out of it even with it blasting through every speaker in the house.
I’m not sure why though. I suspect there’s a bit of variation in that song. I know there’s variation in classical music but classical music gets on my nerves. I don’t care that people think of you as cultured if you listen to classical. I don’t like it. Even then, knowing that I like it, I don’t look for Marilyn Manson’s Sweet Dreams. If it plays, I go “Hey!”; if not, then ok. I won’t miss it. These days, I don’t even drive with the music on. I like the sound of my tyres on the asphalt, and the sound of my engine at any point when I drive. These days, that’s music to my ears.
So while I started off this piece saying I don’t really like music, maybe I should instead have redefined music. One man’s music is another man’s trigger of impending rage? I don’t know. I just find this odd. No one I know has told me the same, that they don’t love music, but there’s probably a lot like me out there.
I also suspect the reason I don’t love music is that it makes me feel too much. I remember in the past I’d listen to just instrumental songs and I’ll start tearing up. It’s SO weird. There used to be these series of albums called “Narada” or something like. Very new-age instrumental. Every time I played a track, I could imagine entire vistas and storylines. It gave me lots of feels. I think one day, I decided I didn’t want to feel so much because it made me feel vulnerable too. So I stopped. A case of avoidance I think. My feelings scare me because I feel I’m not in control. And that people can use that against me if they see it as a weakness.
I’ve a few other songs I very much like. Should put a list here someday.