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  • Writer's pictureKate O'Connor

Music and Lyrics

Music absolutely fascinates me. How the lyrics can be so dependent on the melody, and vice versa. Like the song I'm listening to right now - Don't Give Up On Me, by Andy Grammar. As far as lyrics go, they're nothing groundbreaking. Definitely not a literary masterpiece. Andy is no Tay Tay, by any account. But the tune... the tune makes me want to jump to my feet and sing at the top of my lungs that I'm not giving up, no not yet. The music is what gives the words the power to get under our skin and move us in ways we will never understand.

Other times the melody seems to let the lyrics down. There's a song I love by Niall Horan (my second favourite member of One Direction, but this is not the time to talk about Harry Styles...), called Too Much To Ask, and at the end of the bridge the music really doesn't go the way I feel like it should have. It's only a note or two, but every single time I hear it my brain seems to want it to go one way and it never does. My dad has something similar with a Dire Straits song where he hears a guitar riff in a particular section that never actually comes, and it annoys him so much that he won't even listen to the song anymore.

And then there are those songs that evoke a feeling in us that we can't even describe. I have a song I listen to a lot as I fall asleep at night. It's called Saturn, by Sleeping At Last, and I have tried and tried to think of the right words to explain how this song makes me feel or the images it makes me see in my head, but I can't. It's something about the strings and the piano and the background vocals. The closest I can come is that it makes me think of some kind of mystical forest scene, but even that doesn't do it justice. The song gets into my chest and inside my heart until it seems like I can feel every note in every cell of my body. I have it on repeat over a 90 minute window while I fall asleep and some nights it doesn't work because I stay awake just to hear it over and over.

My music playlists are truly a sight to behold, I have to say. I have a very eclectic taste in music, and my playlists tend to have everything from old school country to Taylor Swift's latest album (which is a fucking masterpiece and something I will probably feel the need to talk about later in a blog post all it's own) to a heavy metal version of Africa's Toto (currently playing in my ears) to Harry Styles, Warren Zevon, Johnny Cash, Avicii, Alan Doyle, Bob Seger, and The Irish Rovers. I like it all. Except techno. Most of it anyway. A song better have a damn good beat and melody to make me break that rule!

The point of this seemingly out of the blue ramble about music is that it's kind of like lifeblood for me. I hate silence for the most part, and would gladly get lost in music every waking hour. Whether its classical while I'm studying or trying to write, or my personal playlists while I'm doing other jobs, my day is just infinitely better every day that I play music. There was a time when all I wanted to do was be a singer so that I could write and record songs that invoke the kinds of feelings music creates in me in others. I've since realised that my musical talents are... somewhat lacking, and that invoking crazy feelings and taking people away to imaginary worlds inside their heads through my stories is just as good and far more likely to happen than me becoming an Aussie Taylor Swift. A girl can still dream though, so if you pass me on the road and I'm behind the wheel alone in my car looking like I'm screaming or passionately arguing with myself, I'm actually performing at my greatest concert yet and the fans are loving it. So don't draw attention because when the illusion's gone, reality kicks in and I am so not ready for that yet.

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