Music can be a very emotional tool. If you ever listened to vocal-only tracks of famous songs, you’ll quickly realize the person either cannot sing or the song has no substance. The instruments are just as important (if not more) than the vocals. The soundtracks to movies often help trigger fear, sadness, empathy, excitement, and a plethora of other emotions.
A song can bring up rage or tears. A song can lift your spirit or crush your soul. I have plenty of songs that get me ready to spend a lot of energy on the upcoming task. I have two songs that bring me to tears every fucking time. David Cook went on American Idol to sing new song “Permanent.” (The studio release does not have this effect, only the live version.) He wrote it for his brother who was dying from a brain tumor. He just lost his brother some time before that performance. How he got through it, I’ll never know. The next song hits close to home, and it never triggered any emotions until I saw it live in concert. Trans-Siberian Orchestra was doing their “The Lost Christmas Eve” tour. The story is about a father, who by this time, was near the end of his life. He regretted giving up his son that was born with mental deficiencies. Towards the end of the story, he goes to an orphanage and realizes the man caring for these orphaned babies was his son. “What Child is This?” tells of that realization. Having a son with cerebral palsy and autism spectrum disorder who is developmentally delayed, this live performance hit me hard. Every time I have heard it since, I cry.
If songs make me cry, why do I listen to them? I am not one who emotes a lot. During a crisis, I am good. I get the shit done that needs done. Afterwards, however, I’m a mess. When negative emotions build, they eventually need let out. This is one way. It also reminds me of what could have been and what I currently have. It shows me that nothing in the world is permanent. We have to learn how to deal with the minor shit before the major bullshit comes so we do not buckle under the pressure. It’s practice.