Recently, I’ve been more aware of the lyrics in the music I listen to.
I’ve noticed that, while there’s the occasional song that doesn’t fall into this, a large portion of music seems to be about love.
This bothered me to realize at first, but not because I’m cynical towards love or going through a bad break-up. It bothered me because of how desperate the music industry appears to be for love.
I became curious… WHY? It seems like there is so much more out there to talk, write and sing about (I realize now that I am writing about love).
But really. Why aren’t there more songs/poems/stories about all of the other amazing things in life? Don’t get me wrong, love is one of the most beautiful things in the world but what about the others? There are so many things that make us feel alive that seem neglected when it comes to writing music or telling stories.
For example, nature, pregnancy, astronomy, spirituality, the relationship one has with their parent/best friend/dog…etc. These are examples of some of the special things in life, yet a lot of these topics are not covered in modern music very often.
Of course, I could be wrong and if you know of a secret stash of music that covers any/all of these topics please forward them to my email as it would make me very happy. However, I personally can only think of a handful of songs that talk about these things & I think I know why.
I have a feeling it’s because love is an easy thing to romanticize. Perhaps, too easy. I also think that love is often confused for lust. This can lead to a lot of unrealistic expectations and unhealthy mindsets.
What is this teaching us?
A: That the MOST important thing in life is to be in love and to be constantly in a drama. And that if you aren’t in a relationship, you’re not living life to the fullest.
To combat this realization. I first cut out love songs altogether. Which proved to be extremely hard, as a lot of (good) music out there touches on that topic. So I regrouped and decided to start listening to love songs in a different way.
And it has made all the difference.
Instead of hearing the narrator sing to a significant other, I imagine them singing to themselves. Hear me out, I know it’s weird.
For example, these are some of the lyrics to Christina Perri’s song, “A Thousand Years”.
“I have died everyday waiting for you // darling don’t be afraid, I have loved you // for a thousand years, I’ll love you for a thousand more”
Perri is clearly singing to a person she views romantically and this was always how I had heard the song in the past. However, listening to the song but picturing the lyrics being said to oneself gives an entirely new meaning to the song.
It takes a sweet love song written for a romantic partner and changes it into a song about learning, appreciating and accepting yourself.
Obviously this doesn’t work for all love songs. And it shouldn’t.
It does, however, give you the option of choosing how you are listening to music. It allows you to be more aware of the messages behind songs which WILL affect your conscious/subconscious thoughts. It also gives you an entirely new experience when listening to the same song.
Bottom line: it gives YOU control, instead of being subjected to the modern culture that glorifies love/lust.
To be in better control of our thoughts and feelings, we need to STOP romanticizing this idea of love and instead start dedicating more love songs to ourselves.