It’s a feeling. It can be both a healer and a pain inducer. It is nostalgia; a key to the past, to a moment, to a person. It moves your body, releasing you of your daily control. It says ‘kick your shoes off’, ‘show them you love them’ and ‘it’s okay to cry.’
Music is and always will be my eternal love.
It started with my Dad. When I was younger he drove a ruby red Chevrolet Camaro; every trip that we took was filled with cassette tapes and the sounds of Smokey Robinson, Chuck Berry and Lesley Gore. We danced as ferociously as our seatbelts would allow us. I knew all of the words and the order of every track list. Now, when I hear ‘It’s My Party’ or ‘You Can Never Tell’ I feel pure joy.
Just like in the movies, we narrate our lives through music. There are countless moments that we define with a song: weddings, funerals, falling in love, falling out of love. There are songs which to this day can take me back to a moment, I’m there, in the blink of an eye, I can feel it as though no time has passed at all.
‘Hey Jude’ by The Beatles, plays in a bar and I have my arms wrapped around the girls, swaying and slurring to a band which normally doesn’t have this one on their set list. I feel warm and in love with the memories we have made dancing on tables and screaming ‘NA NA NA NA NA NA NA’ at the top of our lungs.
When I hear ‘Take it All’ by Adele, I am taken back to a time of heartbreak. ‘Didn’t I give it all, tried my best. Gave you everything I had, everything and no less.’ Adele doesn’t know me, Adele doesn’t know that I sacrificed my sense of self in the hope that the person I adored would adore me too, yet she spoke for me. Adele said everything that I wanted to say, everything I felt at a time when I could barely string a sentence together. Now, when I listen to that song, I feel stronger, despite the tear in my eye unavoidable due to the transcendence of music.
Music has this amazing ability to make us feel something. Emma Thompson was right when she said: ‘Joni Mitchel taught your cold English wife how to feel.’
Music makes us a part of something greater than ourselves. We’re part of a group, a history, a narrative. We can move with it, sit with it, sing to it, relate through it. Music is a framework through which we see the world. Songs can transcend language, time and place. If music were a person, I would snog them, squeeze them and thank them for all that they have given to me.
Sat in our living room one evening, ‘Boo’d Up’ Ella Mai started to play from our little Blue Bose speaker. Holly said across the dinner table: ‘This song reminds me of you G, I don’t know why, it just does.’
Often there’s no reason, maybe we sang it together once, maybe I play it a lot, maybe those notes, in that order, just sound like me.
‘I want you back’ by The Jackson 5, puts Faye in front of my eyes, beaming and bouncing as she sings the lyrics louder than the speakers.
‘Rocket Man’ by Elton John is Pia walking through St Pancras singing aloud in an attempt to hit the top note.
‘Breathe’ by Jax Jones, is Lu flinging herself around her flat, making every effort to mend a broken heart through dancing and letting go.
‘You’re my World’ by Cilla Black is my Mum. It sounds like her, the song moves like her. It’s indescribable but when it’s on, it’s like she’s in the room.
Songs become people, not just memories but embodiments of whole relationships and periods of time. Every one of my friends has ‘a song’ I could list them all without so much as a second thought. Anna is ‘Horse outside’, Emily is ‘Could this be Love’, CJ is ‘XO.’ I could go on forever, If you want to know yours please feel free to get in touch.
Music has the ability to emote in a way that words don’t. All of the components, the lyrics, the instruments, the composition, it’s as though we’re being spoken to on a different level. I can never answer the question ‘What type of music are you into?’
There is no answer!
I’m into everything. I’m into a moment, a feeling an indescribable THING. One day I want ABBA because it makes me feel camp and expressive. 2 am at a Festival and I suddenly love techno or Drum and Bass. I need R&B on Wednesday and Funk and Soul on Friday. In the bath I want Jazz but in the Shower I need to belt out Whitney. I’ll sing along to Taylor swift when it’s on the radio with the same gumption that I’ll give to the lyrics ‘pussy so good, pussy so sweet’ when listening to ‘Wake Me Up’ by Travis Scott.
Yes music can define us but it can also ignite us. I swear to God when ‘Like This’ by Kelly Rowland comes on I think I AM Kelly Rowland. Don’t even get me started on Beyoncé. LADIES GET IN FORMATION. I’m in a sticky floored pub in New Cross, but not in my head, oh no, I’m at Coachella Baby. I am main stage, I am the female race, I’m feminism, I’m not taking any shit, I eat men for breakfast, I’m BEAUTIFUL, I have hair down to the floor and confidence which touches the sky. Don’t mess with me when ‘Hold Up’ or ‘Single Ladies’ is playing from the DJ booth.
We’re ignited by music and then we’re united. It has the power to bond, to create shared experience. There is no better feeling than driving with the windows down, the radio up and the voices of your best friends singing in unison to ‘Bitch’ by Meridith Brooks.
We have control over the soundtrack of our lives. We pick wedding songs that bind us forever, it’s a big choice, pre divorce every time that song comes on you give a wink and feel warm inside. Post divorce the song is a siren, a reminder of the good times in the midst of the bad ones.
Funeral songs are my favourite. This sounds bleak so I’ll explain. That song choice says so much about a person, it is a nod to those still alive: ‘Don’t worry, I won’t let you forget me.’ I think about it a lot, what would be my parting gift, my ear worm for my loved ones left behind, how shall they remember me?
At the moment, hand’s down it’s Chaka Khan, ‘I’m every woman.’
‘Every time you feel danger or fear, instantly I will appear.’
I’d like you all to remember that.
Let the music play on, crank up the volume and always dance like nobody’s watching.
G’s Music for every occasion….
I’m feeling a bit shitty and lazy but have loads to do today…
Love Train, The O’Jays.
Getting ready with the girls for a BNO…
Murder on the Dancefloor, Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
Need to go on a run but CBA…
Upgrade U, Beyoncé, JAY Z.
My Partner doesn’t realise how lucky they are to have me and I need to leave them ASAP…
Me, Myself and I, Beyoncé
Truth Hurts, Lizzo.
Feeling sad and would like to wallow in self pity…
River, Leon Bridges.
Trying on outfits that you want to feel 10/10 in….
Take a Chance on Me, ABBA followed by Man! I Feel Like a Woman! Shania Twain.
Need confidence before a date?
Pon de Replay, Rhianna.
In need of validation for your questionable decisions…
Fake Love, Drake.
All Day, Every Day…
RESPECT, Aretha Franklin.