Rock & Roll Saved My Soul Volume Two: An Excerpt
For the Love of Music
By Mj Rain
I've always been drawn to music that speaks to me. Whether the lyrics explain exactly how I feel, as if a song was written just for me, or it can evoke an emotion from me. My personal play list on my phone is as eclectic and varied as Manhattan. I can listen to just about anything, as long as it doesn't make me want to put a sledgehammer through my head just to end the monstrous agony of noise. When I want to be taken to New York inside my head, I have to listen to Jay Z. He is New York. When I want to open up my imagination and start writing, I listen to Enya. When I'm angry, I listen to Fall Out Boy. I've got something for every possible emotion.
When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with the Spice Girls, but my heart belonged to Live. I discovered them when I was fourteen, and instantly fell in love. Throwing Copper is absolutely one of the greatest albums ever recorded. I felt like, somehow, I was understood in some unspeakable and unimaginable way. I've never connected to any band's music like that since. When Ed Kowalczyk sings the lyrics he's written, I can feel his voice palpitate through my entire body. When he's singing, he understands me more than any other living creature.
I had a friend who wanted Lightning Crashes to be his song with his boyfriend. I almost died laughing. That song has nothing to do with relationships and the lyrics are transcendental. He completely missed the entire point. He couldn't feel it like I could. He just couldn't understand it if he tried. Ignorance must truly be bliss for some people, especially him.
I've had some really rough times in my life, too. We all have tough experiences we go through. It's life. Some things though, happen outside of our control. Things we do not ask for, nor do we deserve, but yet they continue to happen. Every time I feel like throwing myself into the mouth of an active volcano, there is always one song that pulls me out of it. “Let It Be” by The Beatles. I can't listen to that song without calming down and feeling better. It has a real sneaky way of making me feel incredibly hopeful. No matter how ridiculous or horrible my circumstances could be. Having anxiety disorders, it helps me feel better in general when I'm having a bad day, or too much is irritating me. It shifts my mood and helps me see things differently.
Enya, I've also loved since I was a teenager. Her music was always there for me to just put on my headphones, close my eyes, and escape. I could go anywhere without ever moving a single inch. I would drown out the world around me and disappear inside my imagination. When I was a teenager, I wanted to be invisible. I felt alone and more times than not, I was alone. I had so much time to myself, with my thoughts bouncing around inside my head. I needed to get away from it. Enya, was my salvation. Always.
When I was trying to see the world I created for my books, I was having a hard time seeing it with my mind's eye. Then, one day I was doing the dishes and “Trains and Winter Rains” began to play on my play list. I was scrubbing some pot, or pan. Concentrating on getting it clean, when the world I'd been trying to see, suddenly materialized inside my head. I began to laugh and dance in the middle of the kitchen. I may as well have struck gold. From that point forth, I've listened to her more than anyone else while I'm writing. Enya, has been a major influence over the imagery inside my head. She's always been like the little bottle with the tag that says: "Drink me." She is that same liquid. When I hear her music and her voice singing the lyrics, my imagination turns into a wonderland. She brings to life the world and characters written on the pages of my books. It's incredible, actually.
You can see that music has always played a huge part in my life, but also continues to. I think it always will. For every single one of us, there will always be that one song we can relate to. There will always be that one album we can't live without. I will always be listening to music as long as it exists, and it will continue to influence my life in every possible way. Maybe that's part of being a tortured creative soul. We don't just listen to music when we hear it. We feel every single note and it goes through our bodies, transforming into emotions and wavelengths only we can understand. When we feel it on that kind of level, it can only be turned into creative madness.
As the Cheshire Cat once said "We're all mad here." Indeed, we are.