Picture this. I stood on the floor of the concert hall dancing along with The Avett Brothers as they performed on stage 30 feet in front of me. Surrounded by friends who love them as much as I do, I didn’t hesitate to
sing butcher their songs like any good horrible guest band member would.
“Live and Die,” “November Blue,” and “Head Full of Doubt,” and other favorites filled their line up. I was high on happiness!
Suddenly that all changed. The lights dimmed. The brothers huddled together, and they began a duet I hadn’t heard before.
“Hard to believe I won’t see you again
We were just fighting when winter began
The coldness of our words competing with the wind from the north
Still they make me shiver but in a very different way
The pages of the calendar kept turning away
I have some better words now, but it’s too late to say them to you ”
Their mournful voices delivered six simple lines, and my eyes welled.
Quick check to my left and right. Phew! No one was watching.
“My dream of all dreams and my hope of all hopes
Is only to tell you and make sure you know
How much I love you and how much I always did”
My lips quivered and a few tears spilled over. What the hell? Pull it together, Kim.
“And yes I know you loved me I could see it in your eyes
And it was in your struggle and it was in your mind
And it was in your smile you gave me when I was a kid
Feels like no one understands
And now my only chance
To talk to you is through my prayers
I only wanted
to tell you
Tipping point – an involuntary sob burst out. Awkward!
My friends kindly pretended not to notice. They knew my thoughts had turned to my dad. (Here’s one rendition of “Through My Prayers” if you want to hear why.)
Despite feeling mortified, that moment exemplifies why I love music. It evokes emotions.
I tend to shy away from the like of “Through My Prayers,” at least in public, but my playlists contain a virtual arsenal of songs to match (or change) my mood.
Need motivation while running? I cue up Eminem’s “Capture the Moment” or Buckcherry’s “Crazy Bitch.”
Searching for a little smile? I may go a little old school with The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” or “Jessie’s Girl” a la Rick Springfield.
Tough day at work? Perhaps I’ll play The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” or Lily Allen’s “F**k You.”
But when I’m really struggling to shake off the blues, only one ditty will do.
“They call me Dr. Worm.
Good morning. How are you? I’m Dr. Worm.
I’m interested in things.
I’m not a real doctor, but I am a real worm. I am an actual worm.”
From the peppy “bat, bat, bat, dat, bat” of the brass to the ludicrous lyrics, listening to “Doctor Worm” has effectively wiped away hundreds of moments of frustration or despair.
That’s the power of music and why this song, hands down, wins my title of “ultimate feel good song.” They Might Be Giants, but I think they also might be brilliant!
How about you? What’s your ultimate feel good song?
Happy 3 year birthday, Yeah Write! If you haven’t checked out this writing challenge or the great bloggers who submit there yet, you should! It’s a wonderful writing community for fiction and non-fiction writers.
(Every other Wednesday I pose a “What’s Your _______?” Read and respond to previous questions.)
April 9, 2014 at 12:28 am
I know that feeling all too well, that song that makes my insides all (fill in the blank). So, on my way to work, I’ve been fascinated by The Neighbourhood “Sweater Weather”. I think it has to be the line’s: “In California with my toes in the sand” and “you in those little high-waisted shorts”. With all this cold weather in NY it’s just a glimmer of hope for the warmth that soon approaches. It puts an extra skip in my step.
And with some drama that has risen in my circle, funny enough, it’s Idina Menzel’s “Let it Go” from the movie Frozen. Yep, that moment when she belts out:
“It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
How perfect is that!
April 9, 2014 at 9:37 pm
First, I’m so glad that I’m not alone with the emotions of that AB song. Second, the rest of your comment, to me, exemplifies how differently folks can focus on different lyrics based on their own experience. I love that! Thanks for sharing!
April 9, 2014 at 8:50 pm
aww yay The Avett Brothers makes me happy! I’m a huge believer in music and it’s feel good healing powers. Or even feel sad music powers because sometimes we just NEED to cry and music seems to be the only way that we can let ourselves.
I have a million ultimate feel good songs depending on the day or era i’m into. Lately if I hear Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” I will dance my tailski off!
April 9, 2014 at 8:50 pm
April 9, 2014 at 9:45 pm
I know. Aren’t the Avett Bros the best? I love them. They occasionally make me cry, but more often than not, they make me smile and dance. And I have to agree that “Get Lucky” is a great shake-your-booty song (by car, desk or dance floor).
April 10, 2014 at 1:10 pm
I’ve just discovered them (the bros) a few months ago (Crazy, right?) and have loved just about everything I’ve head.
April 10, 2014 at 12:57 am
Fun post. I love the Avett Brothers, but my ultimate feel good song is “if you want to sing out” – Cat Stevens 🙂
April 13, 2014 at 6:47 pm
An excellent choice of a feel-good and empowering song! Good choice!
April 10, 2014 at 9:08 am
I have no idea why but mine is Boogie Shoes. I blame my parents for making me think oldies were current when I was growing up. It wasn’t until I was in middle school when I realized it was all a lie!! Haha – I still love my ‘oldies’ though and whenever Boogie Shoes comes on, I can’t help but smile and do a crazy white girl dance 🙂
April 13, 2014 at 6:49 pm
Haha! Love it! That song brings out an insatiable desire to do a weird thumbs-up dance shuffle for me…something that should never be witnessed.
April 10, 2014 at 9:41 am
I love Dr. Worm!! My other go-to song is Manic Monday, danced to with all the flair of my childhood bubblegum pop days.
April 13, 2014 at 6:50 pm
Yay, to a fellow Dr. Worm lover. Most folks look at me like I’m crazy when I mention that song. 🙂
April 10, 2014 at 9:42 am
why haven’t I heard of the Avett Brothers? 😦 that song is just gorgeous.
feel good song? Great question, but one I really don’t know the answer to… probably something like Blurred Lines or… HAPPY. 😉
April 13, 2014 at 6:52 pm
Oh, well, Blurred Lines certainly served as a temporary feel-good song for me too. It’s just too catchy and so easy to dance to to ignore. 🙂