Poetry to a Tune

Maybe you’ve noticed, or maybe you haven’t, that I’ve made several posts about music over the years, which is odd since I’m not very musically talented. I took piano lessons for several years during school, and I own my own piano, but–with all that–I’m still  mediocre. Same goes for my singing voice. I’ll belt it out in the car or in the shower, but that’s the extent of my singing experience.

So what is it about music? Once at work, my boss was playing a Pandora station for movie music, and–for most of the songs–I was able to identify the movie within ten seconds, even with those vague songs that aren’t particularly memorable. My knowledge is the same with song lyrics. My sister has gotten a bit annoyed with me as we drive down the road and has even asked “Is there any song you don’t know the words to?”

The stories behind songs also fascinate me. Often times, I’ll be driving with my sister, listening deeply to the lyrics of whatever song is playing. Imagining that she is doing the same, I’ll comment about some part of the lyrics. When she responds in confusion, I discover that she isn’t actually listening to the words. It’s just background music for her.

For me, music is an appeal to the heart. It’s poetry set to a tune. First I focus on the words’ meanings, and soon the tune follows, and then comes memorization. For me, I guess, it all comes down to the literary, language-loving, and feeling nature of my heart. Movie music, although it doesn’t have words, is also associated with a story. Perhaps that’s why I get a little excited/teary-eyed when listening to this guitar cover from The Two Towers. It’s not just music for me, but the reflection of a meaningful story.

These thoughts on music were inspired by the release of JJ Heller’s new song yesterday, which can be found here. The tune is soft and simplistic, reflecting the simple truth of the title: “You Keep Your Promises.” You can also find the background of the song here on JJ Heller’s blog.

So go check out her song! Or not. I know I’ve already listened to it enough for several people.

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