Great music is like a universal language, you may or may not understand the lyrics but you probably will understand what it is being conveyed. The musicians pour their hearts and souls into creating and performing the songs, literally bringing the music to life. Have you ever heard a song and somehow you feel as if you can relate in a deep and meaningful way? I personally have come across a few that really gets me feeling, well, I’m not sure how to describe it exactly because it’s something of a cocktail of emotions but even this analogy doesn’t seem to come anywhere close to describing it. These are the kinds of songs that I will be discussing.
As you are likely to be aware, music is one of the easiest ways to affect your mood. For when I was depressed I pretty much drowned myself in upbeat and cheerful music so won’t be able to hear all those negative thoughts in my head. It came to a point whenever I felt sad, I would just listen to music to make me feel better. Music is like a legal recreational drug and everyone has a different reaction to it. I have a friend who doesn’t understand why I like listening into heavy metal and going as far as to say it’s “loud and obnoxious”. The reason why heavy metal is great is because it sets you on fire, and is highly motivating for when you need the will to power on. While not everyone can understand your taste of music, but it’s alright, everyone is different and unique in some way. Many people may listen to music with their ears, and chase whatever is hip and trendy. However, there are a lot of people who not only listen with their ears but their hearts as well. Perhaps it’s not a matter of whether the music sounds good, but whether it “feels good”.
This brings me to the topic; songs you can relate with in a deep and meaningful way that go beyond the music that you may listen to that makes you feel a certain emotion like happiness, sadness, anger etc. These songs make you feel that the lyrics are about you or at least some missing piece of you’ve been looking for. While you don’t have to interpret it the way the artists intended you to or the way others think it should be about, I definitely think that you should interpret the song in a way that you understand far more than anyone else. For me, I feel that these songs “resonate” with me and fill me with so many emotions that makes me feel simply alive, and that I’m there in the world or story of the song. This is what I mean when I say “bringing the music to life”, you connect with it so deeply that you get lost in the emotions but find yourself within its meaning.
For me, one of these songs is “Tsubasa wo Kudasai” (“翼をください”) or “Please give me wings” in English. It’s a very popular Japanese folk song, and I once met a Japanese lady at work who learned it when she was in elementary school. It’s also featured in many anime and one of the most notable being in Neon Genesis Evangelion. The song’s lyrics are simple to understand, it’s just singing about how the character in the song wants wings. The reason why I chose the pseudonym “Sora” is because of my desire to fly. I dream of the freedom to explore and go learn more about the world, to grow and develop myself into a better person. I’ve always have dreamed of having wings and flying in the sky, I don’t know why I do but that’s how it is. It’s such a core part of who I am as a person that I never go a day without thinking about flying and freedom. The song to me, is about both of these things and so it’s no wonder it just resonates with me.
In this vast open sky, spreading my pair of wings out wide.
Like a bird, I wish to fly away.
Into the free boundless skies, leaving all my sorrows behind.
Soaring far, with my silver wings.
I just want to fly.
*Not a literal translation
Another song is “Weight of the World” from NieR: Automata. There are 3 versions of the song, Japanese, English and “Nouveau FR” a strange language that is the imagination of what a language of the future might sound like. Without going into much detail, the song is quite nihilistic which parallels the game itself. The world of the song is empty, meaningless and beyond that simply heartless and cruel. You can hear the sorrow, anger and frustration of the singer as they express their disdain for the world. It’s as if they are attempting an escape from the hopeless situation they’ve been put into. In some exaggerated sense, I felt as if I was actually the character in the song. During my depression it was as if the world has put me into a meaningless existence just to make me suffer and rub it in my face that nothing I did really mattered. But now that I think about it, while the song definitely resonated me that way, but there’s another aspect to the nihilism of the song that I really found meaningful. I hear people tell me that there’s no meaning to life but to me this song tells me that life is what you make it, and it’s one of the things I’ve pondered about for a long time.
Maybe if I keep believing, my dreams will come to life.
Come to life…
Well, I gone a little off track there but I believe that songs like these can reveal a lot of who you are and who you want to be. I found that it helps to have learned a musical instrument because being able to express the emotions you’ve felt from listening to the songs is invaluable. When I’m on the piano playing the songs, I feel like I’m actually flying in the skies, and over the horizons. I lose myself in it, and all of a sudden the music and I are one. It’s such an abstract way to put it but that’s simply how it feels to play the songs you resonate with on an instrument. The feelings you get from it, you have to experience for yourself. I probably sound like I’m talking bullshit right now but you have to pour your heart and soul into it to believe it.
Now that I think about the emotions that I feel from these songs and from playing them on piano, I would probably describe it as…
Good Luck, Have Fun!