I love the book and the movie High Fidelity by Nick Hornsby. The main character Rob loves to list things in top 5's. Top 5 songs of this, top 5 mistakes of that. He is musing over a recent breakup and goes to meet the top 5 of his old girlfriends to see what the problem has been in his relationships. The movie is full of great music and good lines. In one scene Rob asks:
What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?
Maybe I relate to this so much because there are so many times in my life that music has set the tone or spoken to my soul in such a way that I experienced a profound change in my thinking or my behavior. Music has moved me forward like a wave, either gently or forcefully. When I sing (in the car mostly these days) I can feel it in every molecule in my body, and it is the closest I feel to the divine. Meditation has nothing on singing for me. Soul singing. Deep blues singing. Fun funk singing. Singing that rises up from my core and out of my mouth.
Today at work, while listening to Pandora there were some awesome breakup songs on. I was listening to Pink Radio (yes, really) and lawd, lawd those women have had some hard times with their men. Listening to those women experiences made me realize how, though there are probably millions of breakup songs written, there are only hundreds that apply to a specific breakup. I realized that I can't really limit myself to a Top 5 Break Up song list because each breakup requires their own special set.
With my wusband the songs were mainly about anger and loss. I felt scorned, betrayed, and so shattered when he left. I needed music to fuel my fire so I could get out of bed and mother my beasts, go to work, survive, and eventually thrive. My top 5 breakup songs for the wusband are:
1. I Will Survive -- Cake
2. Hit 'em Up Style -- The Carolina Chocolate Drop
3. Staple it Together -- Jack Johnson
4. So What -- Pink
5. Call Tyrone -- Erykah Badu
I am deeply sad over our breakup. I'm not angry, nor do I feel betrayed, I'm just really, really sad that he and I could not figure this out. Therefore, when I picked songs for our breakup list they are mostly heart wrenching. My top 5 break up songs for my Ex-Sweet Escape are:
1. The Reason Why -- Rachel Yamagata
2. The Ballad of Love and Hate -- The Avett Brothers
3. I Hate Myself for Loving You -- Joan Jett
4. Gravity -- Sara Bareilles
5. Rolling in the Deep -- Adele
It seems that each person, each situation requires a new set of tunes to heal my soul or move me through the moment. I swear I think the rhythm gets into my cells and helps wash them clean. Music allows me to feel deeply what needs to be felt, but then move on once the song is over. It's an amazing kind of therapy.
These days it's less the breakup tunes and more the move on tunes that I'm drawn too. I think that is a good sign. These days it's Bruce Dennen singing sweetly, Blessed is this Life. Sing it my friend, and cleanse this woman's soul clean.