“Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda, Is he who sings songs to a troubled heart.” Proverbs 25:20
Long before Facebook or MySpace was in existence, I learned that there were things I needed to avoid when I felt like I was on the brink of an overwhelming sadness or depression. And the number one thing to avoid for me was sad music. Not easy to do in this day and age, with radio, tv, and canned music floating through every store, restaurant, elevator, and office building, and even piped right into your own cell phone. Note to self: Only happy ring-tones from now on!!
Music is rather miraculous when you think about it. I’ve never met someone who simply just hated music. Yes, there was the occasional human being that proclaimed indifference, but they are rare in my estimation. Instead, I’ve not met many people who didn’t flirt with the dream of being a big music icon when they grew up. American Idol has raked in a massive amount of money based on just that thirst for music by the average human soul. Who hasn’t danced around their bedroom singing into a hair brush to their favorite pop song? And while most of us who can’t carry a tune in a bag would never venture to an Idol tryout, that doesn’t seem to dissuade everyone who is musically handicapped. Music seems able to minister to any soul, and we almost all long to be ministered to.
I like the scripture above, especially since it was written centuries before the first radio or MTV station bombarded the world with the interpretations of life through the viewpoint of so many different people with so varying opinions about anything and everything. The lack of technology from Biblical times makes me envision a sad woman sitting at her dining room table with some guy playing a harp and singing a bawdy bar song in the corner. Did they have dive bars back then, do you think? :-)
Yesterday, I put in a disk I’d burned a while back, and it seemed like every song on it was about love, or the brokenness of when it was over. It sported some real gems like, among others, Gordon Lightfoot‘s “If You Could Read My Mind“, Seether’s “Careless Whisper“, Annie Lennox‘s “Don’t Let It Bring You Down”, and my particular favorite for torturing a sad soul, Garth Brook’s “The Dance”. What the h***?! It was like I created a soundtrack to go with my torture sessions!
The upside of the moment was that I didn’t dissolve into a puddle of tears, or start feeling the pulsating pain in my stomach all over again. Instead, I pretended to be in a U2 music video, and I screeched the words to every single song at the top of my lungs as I drove across town. It was rather therapeutic, even if people did give me wide berth. I imagine I did look somewhat like a drunk driver. :-)
Even happier for me, the music didn’t feel like it was personally mocking me. I still have my hopes that all will be well with The Other Half someday, and that these latest lessons have just become another chapter in a rather long book that is my life. Given that context, the soundtrack didn’t serve to freak me out much. Today, though, I’m going to record some Toby Keith‘s “Whiskey Girl” and Gorillaz’ “Clint Eastwood”, and maybe even Rick James‘ “Super Freak“, just so I can balance out the mood when I’m travelling to and from work.