This weekend I took a little road trip to take my son to camp. With nothing on the radio, I dug around and came up with a cassette. It had no artist cover, just my loopy, teenage handwriting all over the paper liner.
Yes, it was a mix tape.
So I popped it in the player and started to sing (while my son pushed his headphones deeper into his ears). I found myself thinking about the power of music, and I don’t just mean the power that is remembering lyrics from a 25 year old song (although that is pretty amazing especially when I can’t always remember why I walked into a room), no I’m talking about the power it has to give you a boost.
I GOT A FEELING
Music improves your mood. It can make you happy, make you want to dance or inspire you. Some of the top happy, upbeat songs (they say so in the title) are:
Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t worry be happy “
U2’s “Beautiful day”
Don McLean’s “American Pie” (okay, so it doesn’t exactly say it in the title, but the song rocks and who doesn’t love pie?)
Or this oldie, but goodie:
Even that outfit makes me smile
Music not only evokes emotion, but memory. Forget the beat or the lyrics, sometimes a song can lift you up simply because it reminds you of a happy moment.
For me a big one is the day my fourth grade teacher passed out the slightly damp, freshly copied lyrics to “We will rock you” and “We are the champions.” We all sniffed the paper (ah, remember those days?) and then sang along to Queen, slapping our palms to our desk to the beat (Mrs. Fearn rocked).
Music brings people together. Think about the last concert you went to, wasn’t it amazing singing along with thousands of people to one song?
But it doesn’t have to be that big.
I can also think about dancing in my room to Club Nouveau’s “Lean on Me” with my sister B (small favors that the recording technology was not as accessible as it is today).
Or, there’s the synthesized beats of a-ha that will always remind me of high school. And Jimmy Buffet will always make me think of college and singing with everyone at Sully’s (including my future husband).
Then there was this song that reminds me of going to parties. To this day it makes me want to turn it up and scream along (even if I’m still not sure what it’s about).
Yes, whether the song is cool or cheesy, it can lead to happy connections.
DON’T STOP BELIEVING
Everybody loves a song that can lift your mood, empower you or even make you feel like a superhero, as it apparently did for Henry David Thoreau:
“When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.”
(And he lived in a cabin in the woods for 2 years!)
Who doesn’t want to listen to a song that makes you feel like that?
Whether you prefer the original or one of the many covers, here’s a rocking, positive song (so good it apparently summed up the entire six seasons of HBO’s Sopranos).
What is your happy song?