For over thirty years now my life has existed on this earth. During that time I have found that music is an essential art-form that perpetuates reflection and self-discovery. I thought I’d share some songs that made me into the person I am today. Enjoy.
I was a child of the 80’s. This song by Roxette was an ever present staple on local radio stations. I’ve played it nearly a thousand times in my lifetime. It still never gets old. Always listening to your heart and knowing yourself is important. It still doesn’t negate the fact we have to operate under the wisdom found in the mind but searching the depths of one’s own heart is something I always have strived for and this song reminds me to do that.
In my humble opinion Heart is one of if not the greatest rock and roll band of all time. Ann and Nancy Wilson, ladies and gentlemen, have had a plethora of number one hits that solidify Heart as an essential band that any student of music must appreciate. The vocals are unmatched by any other artist I have ever heard. No joke. This particular song has had a place in my heart reminding me that song can change a person.
Then there is Stevie Nicks. A master song writer Stevie was a success individually and as a part of Fleetwood Mac. The deep and vibrant lyrics inspired me to write little songs of my own when I was younger. More than an artist Nicks is an American icon who deserves a place in everyone’s memories.
Now to throw in some masculinity I present you the devilish Prince song that as being a child of the 80’s I remember very well. I’ll pause for laughter at coinciding masculinity with Prince…okay, pause over. I remember being able to see a dynamic range of vocal tune come together with a beat and Prince doing what Prince does best. Prince wrote, sang and played guitar in most of his songs. An oddity in today’s pop culture, these set of skills set apart Prince from many others. I couldn’t sing or play an instrument but lyrically I learned to be fearless from Prince. Prince taught me you have to be confident and as real as one can be with themselves.
Switching gears a little brings me to this song by Phil Collins. It is a haunting tune with lyrics that burned into my soul. Seizing a moment in time and capitalizing on opportunities life affords us is the name of the game. Unfortunately in real life I wasn’t able to accomplish myself as a lyricist but I can always dream. Dreaming makes me me and it gives us all hope. Hope of which drives us to be unique and most of all, once again, honest with ourselves.
Time traveling forward a little I bring you Rage Against the Machine. When I first heard this song I was entranced at the visceral emotion in the lyrics. The rawness and words of rebellion that spoke to the rebel in my soul soothed me and taught me it is okay to be different.
Then there is this song. When I first saw the video I almost laughed. Then I realized how much fun they were having. The rhymes and lyrical flow are so entertaining that it takes your mind off of all your ailments. It taught me a valuable lesson. You’ve got to have fun when you do what you do in life. Not only that but even to the extent of being ridiculous can be liberating. I can tell these guys are having fun and if you are not having fun, why do it?
Finally, there is Voodoo Child by Hendrix. Who could not hear this song and be changed. I could list countless times I’ve heard it and wanted to bend reality to my will as Hendrix does. No limits and breaking free from the chains that once bound us cries to the importance of freedom we are given as human beings. We must celebrate our differences and see that reality is what we make of it. Never let anyone tell you that who you are is irrelevant. Being different and original is a gift to welcome. My life would be so dull if not for the wisdom of Hendrix that beauty is release and there is a sort of comfort I find in that.