As humans, we are endowed with emotions—feelings. We do not always know what triggers them, how to control them, or how it is that we feel them in the ways that we do, but that does not matter; we do feel them, even if sometimes we don’t want to.
Music is a big part of my life, always has been; it’s the relative that everyone waits for on Thanksgiving, the friend who’s always there for me, and the inspiration to belt out-of-tune notes in the shower. Through vigorous “research” on Limewire, iTunes, and Youtube, I have found that there are songs which sing out exactly what I am feeling, have felt, or surely will feel (all in perfectly synchronized harmonies and melodies—sang in tune). There is something about a keyboard playing, maybe with some drums and a guitar, a variety of man-made sounds, and one person speaking words in the act of ‘singing’ that validates everything I love, hate, want, and feel.
We listen to music because we enjoy it, appreciate it for the feelings it brings and the words strung in every chord. So why then, if we can just listen to music, do we partake in singing along with the professional on the song? Because the lyrics we have chosen to whisper—or, more often, screech—have some sort of importance to us, mean something to us; we personalize them. Whether we are correct, or better said, reasonable in that which we feel or not, we are quick to deduce that certain lyrics are speaking to, “ME!—that song is talking about ME! Oh my God, he knew exactly how I felt and wrote a song about ME!” (Because we Homo sapiens are selfish, self-righteous, and assume that everything that has even the tiniest commonality with us is, therefore, ours or ‘for me!’).
Sometimes we take for granted the power that music has. It’s just ‘a song,’ until our boyfriend/girlfriend breaks up with us, someone dies, or we get in a fight with a friend. Those are the times that we turn to music for comfort, or just a medium through which to mentally escape. The moments where we actually hear what is being said in the song, speaking to us personally and individually, compelling us to sing along and let our worries break away from our essence with the off-key notes we push out. While there may be medicinal prescriptions for depression, anger, and just plain crazy, the best cure for a broken heart, teary eye, fractured foot, or confused medulla oblongata is the listening to a 4-minute song, coupled with a sing-along session. Side effects include tone-deafness and angry neighbors who thought the cat was dying.