“Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies.” – Edward Bulwer Lytton
It is a means of escape, a channel for expression. It is eternal, becoming an extension of the artist: a legacy. Music can touch the deepest parts of our souls and leave a lasting impression. There’s no denying music has power. I remember the first time I heard Demi Lovato’s Sober, tearing up at the heart-wrenching honesty and the bravery behind the words she was singing. You see, the power of music is not restricted to love, heartbreak, loss, nor coming of age. It can encompass everything, percolate into the finest nuances. Some words from Maren Morris really do ring true: “close your eyes and listen, ‘cause there’s a song for everything.”
When I heard A Song for Everything from Morris’ sophomore album GIRL in 2019, I stopped to think back through my life and realised you could essentially soundtrack my life using the music I listened to at certain points or events. Music had seeped into every moment, my emotions had shaped what I listened to. Or did what I listen to shape my emotions?
In the opening to A Song for Everything, Morris asks “what’s your time machine?” Well, that is a difficult question for me to answer as there are so many songs that transport me back to different moments. Let’s travel back almost 30 years. I’m just a wee nipper and I am constantly surrounded by music at home. My dad loves music. He would always be playing a good mix of Prince, Annie Lennox, Crowded House and Queen, to name only a few. Country music was also a frequent go-to at home. For me, growing up in 1990s and 2000s Aberdeen, you definitely could say that I was country when country wasn’t cool. Everyone was listening to The Spice Girls, Britney Spears and Green Day; and don’t get me wrong, I did like listening to these artists too. But I also liked Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, M People and Tina Turner. For someone so young, I had an appreciation for a wide selection of genres and music eras. Clearly you can blame my parents for that, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I love having a diverse and often unknown taste in music.
Looking at the music in my library, a pattern – or recipe, if you will – starts to become clear. My sugar, spice and everything nice? Narrative, melody and a working harmony between music and vocals. If a song has this, the power to make me feel or experience the lyrics, it immediately earns a place in my expansive library. I completely understand why it is something that brings people motivation and comfort in both positive and trying times. Artists have a way of pouring themselves into their music, often offering themselves up on a silver platter with raw honesty and exposing deeply personal moments. This can be greatly enhanced when performing songs live, welcoming fans into that personal moment.
One of the things that tops many people’s bucket list is seeing their favourite artists live. Delta Goodrem definitely sits atop my list, while I can happily say I’ve checked Cher off and sadly regret missing out on Tina Turner’s final tour. In fact, I have a rather extensive list of live performances I’ve attended. I can also say that I’ve already met some of my musical heroes, including Lucie Silvas, Brothers Osborne and Sharon Corr. So, I suppose, I’m not doing terribly.
It is clear why music holds such a dear place in many peoples’ lives. It picks us up when we’re low and soars with us when we’re high. It is a constant, there through it all. I guess there really is a song for everything.