There's a song by Pink called, "Just Give Me a Reason." Currently it's my favorite song. I chuckle each time I hear because it starts out with Pink (yes, it's a person NOT just a color) singing a harangue about how bad things are going in her relationship with the other singer. She sings with passion on how he picked up the broken pieces of her life but that now... things are just... perhaps, broken...
Here is how he responds:
I'm sorry I don't understand
Where all of this is coming from
I thought that we were fine
Your head is running wild again
My dear we still have everythinl
And it's all in your mind
Typical guy response. We usually have absolutely no idea that something is wrong or what the lady is thinking. Basically, the guy is usually clueless. I would like to add here that this is just some game we play but reality is we're just not that smart. To be completely honest we spend most of our time thinking about, well, ourselves. Even when we work hard to tune in to her thoughts or emotions or try to be of service to our better half's we struggle to be successful. Recently I heard a story about a husband who watched his wife carrying in a bunch of boxes. He set her cell phone on top and with a huge smile said, "Hey honey! I charged your phone!" and walked away. You see, even when we're doing something nice we figure out a way to screw it up. Certainly this isn't true of all guys (there may be some exceptions to the rule, but I have a feeling they may be... okay, I won't go there) but I think most well intentioned husbands would agree.
Anyway, back to the reason I brought up the song in the first place. I love music. I really love music when it tells a story. And I truly love music when it tells a story that has complexity and all the ingredients that equal a great story. Back when I was in high school I won a lip sync contest with the song by Billy Joel, "The Longest Time." Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, and other "non" heavy metal artists and bands made my collection. But I couldn't tell anybody. In fact I played it off with the "cool" guy in school that I really didn't like the song or Joel at all (he pumps gas somewhere or asks people, "Would you like fries with that?" or so I heard). You see, in high school I had long hair, a black Levi jacket with Iron Maiden, Metallica, and Dio patches all over it (my stepdad and I ironed them on, but that's another story), and an image to keep up. Today I listen to anything and everything if it has a great beat and good lyrics. I have found that I even enjoy musicals (oops, I promised myself I wouldn't mention Les Miserables in this post, "oops, I did it again!" (bad Brittany Spears pun) sorry). If I like it - I listen to it - since "being cool" almost killed me I figured I'd just be me instead of trying to be... I'm still not sure what I was trying to be!
Pink's song is a classic. It has everything that's needed to create what the listener craves: believable lyrics and characters, passion and emotion both in the words and the music, great tempo, and shows depth. Artists like Taylor Swift and groups like One Direction can give us a beat and from time to time catchy lyrics but nothing can make up for the experience needed to really hit us with a profound story in a song. Sure it's sad that Swift is "never, never, never, getting back together" but it feels more like a high school romance than that truly gut wrenching feeling many of us have experienced later in life. That's great that "she doesn't know she's beautiful" but it doesn't quite match up to the true beauty we see in our spouse after spending more than a summer with them. The moments that count and that allow us to truly see the face of God (sorry, did Les Mis again).
Good writers affect us... it doesn't matter what they're writing... I hope I can be that kind of writer...
No matter what - I get to say something that less than 1% of the population can say - I finished a novel - and hopefully - soon - I will get the chance to affect you as writing has always affected me.
Until next time... God Bless!