Monday, December 15, 2008

Ruined Music

File Under: Songs that are no longer the same

I recently discovered Adele. I think she's an amazing singer. Matthew heard a song of hers in my car a few weeks ago and was so excited because he didn't know who she was, but I did. He bought her CD.

Then there was the whole "listen to the third track from the end, you'll understand."

Then there was the whole "I don't think we should see each other any more."

Now I own a fantastic CD, probably one of the best CDs I purchased this year and I can't even listen to it because Matthew has ruined it for me.

On Saturday, I was talking to my friend Andy. He and I love music and grasp onto lyrics. We had a lengthy conversation about music and songs as tools of communication, and we agreed that it's a really shitty thing to "lose" a good song. For me, I can't listen to "Make You Feel My Love" without associating it with Matthew and his way of expressing how he's feeling. That angers me.

For three days after the final phone call, the song was stuck in my head. I haven't played the CD, but it was as if the song was on repeat. The irony of the lyric "I know you haven't made your mind up yet, but I would never do you wrong," just makes me shake my head in wonder.

Andy and I were also discussing our love for Belinda Carlisle. Yes, I'm discussing her, again. he and I are in total agreement that without her, The Go-Go's would not have meant what they mean to us. We were drawn to that voice from the first time we heard it. On Saturday, my anthem for cancelling out the other song was "Unforgiven." There's a line that Belinda sings that says "But when it comes to you, I know I said 'I do,' but I don't, no I don't!" The last six words span 6 seconds. The tone in which she sings, the pitch, the arc in her voice during the last three words is a defining moment for me. It's what makes me love her.

Others won't get it. But they could say the same thing to me about Paul McCartney's voice or that of Bruce Sprinsteen, or even Britney Spears, and I wouldn't get it. And that's okay.

I'm glad that I didn't waste a Belinda Carlisle song on Matthew. Had I, at a moment of extreme weakness, sent him "Mad About You" and said "you'll understand," I would have been really angered to have ruined a song that means so much to me. At least I was smart enough not to play that card so soon. :)

Does music move you? Do you hear lyrics and relate to them? Do certain artists have the ability to provide you with the soundtrack of your life? Have you ever wasted or ruined a perfectly good song on someone?


Beth said...

I remember when I first started "dating" my husband(hooking up and having wile sex)...he said to listen to the song, "Sweet Love" by Anita Baker. I had never heard of her, so I went out and bought the cd. Of course. She became "ours" and that song still brings back those feelings after 22 years together. and honey, after 22 years, I NEED those feelings sometimes, cuz that man drives me nuts!

I also love the song, "I can't make you love me" by Bonnie Raitte. Her voice is so haunting and sad and the god, the words. But that is such a depressing song, so don't listen to it.

Music has always been such a big thing with me, and I associate songs with everything that has happened in my life.

great post Jimbo!

Bob said...

I go crazy for Billie Holiday. Anything by Billie Holiday.
"All The Way:" When somebody loves you, it's no good until they love you, all the way.

"Strange Fruit" which is arguably one of the woprld's first protest songs always makes me cry.

Yeah, for me it's Billia.
All the way.

Bryan said...

Not sure if this may have inspired the post, or you just haven't seen it, but you pretty much need to check out

Marker said...

One of my favorite HedKandi CDs was totally ruined for a while, but now it's 5+ years later and I've reclaimed it . . . mostly.

Marker said...


The Smiths are most definitely a part of my soundtrack. At first, Moz et al seem to be a big downer, but not really . . . underneath all that wonderfully self-indulgant drama is a gloriously resiliant spirit.

Philip Glass is another big part . . . the song "The Hours" from The Hours soundtrack, possibly one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard, is a perfect summation of life.

Dazzling house music is also key. See: early Hed Kandi.

[Great question btw.]