Friday, 20 May 2016

Listening to Music

I don't know about you, but when I was a teenager I used to disappear to my bedroom for hours and when my parents asked me what I'd been doing my answer would just be 'listening to music'. I took my discman (ahhh how old I am!) everywhere with me. When we were at college my friend and I used to walk the 45 minutes there each morning and often we'd just walk next to each other listening to our own music. Much of my life was spent sharing headphones with friends on buses, getting ridiculously excited about songs that just made us so happy all we could do was sing along and grin.

When did I stop doing this? I don't know, but I do know that these days I pretty much only listen to music if I'm doing something else. I mean, nobody buys CDs anymore so obviously there's no more of the taking the lyric book to your room and poring over it and listening to the album sixteen times until you had the words memorised, but I'd stopped doing it before then anyway.

I was thinking about this while I was walking to preschool earlier to pick up Ben. I should probably be writing this on the Parcels of Joy blog for the Monday Happy Thing, and likely that will be related to this, but lately I've been doing a lot of decluttering at home, and the more we get rid of the happier and calmer I feel. I love that I actively like and use so much of our stuff now, and we're not done by a long shot, but I feel like this only listening to music as a background to other stuff is kind of part of the problem. It's like all our stuff and the things we had to do took over my life and made me way too distracted to listen properly. To anything, not just to music. I so rarely just do one thing at a time anymore. Even while writing this post I'm listening to music, typing this and weaving ends into knitted blanket squares... Music used to be my great relaxant, my mood lifter, and the thing I bawled my eyes out to when I was overcome with teenage angst, and although music in any form is great, not ever taking the time to just sit and listen and enjoy the melodies and get wrapped up in the lyrics I know I'm missing out. I know it would do my good to focus that much on just one thing again.

Doing it now is even better than then, because I don't have to go through the traumas of mixed CD making to get my music on shuffle. Spotify is good at that (honestly, better than my mixed CDs ever were - I tended to put all the songs by one artist together, thus completely defeating the point of a mix), and since I got it years back I've been compiling this playlist which is just entitled 'Awesome' and has literally every song that I've ever thought was awesome on it (besides the ones I haven't remembered yet). Every time I listen to it the combinations make me elated. Eva Cassidy followed by Frozen followed by Amanda Palmer, anyone? Ella Fitzgerald and Blink 182? Queen and Katie Melua? Also it just reminded me that there is actually a solo Paul McCartney without the Beatles song that I loved. No I'm not telling you what it is, go search through the playlist if you want to know!

"Stop pretending art is hard, just limit yourself to three chords and do not practice daily" - Ukulele Anthem - Amanda Palmer

Guys, music is the fucking awesomest. Yes, it's a word. Even the songs that have bad memories attached are great for reminding me how much I got through, and so so many of the songs on that particular list are songs that remind me of people that I love. The. Best. Now you'll have to excuse me, I'm going to stop everything and listen to my music. Manic giggling will ensue. There may be dancing, you've been warned.


  1. When I was growing up there was no TV on a Saturday night in our house. We'd all eat together at about 7 (later than week nights) and then Dad would put his LPs on and then later i'd add the CDs I bought and we'd sing along or just listen quietly.
    Left home almost 20 years ago but over the last few years Matt and I recreate that in our house playing you tube or Spotify through the TV via Chromecast. It's the highlight of my week. When my parents came to visit a few weeks ago they joined in and the circle is complete! I treasure those memories.
    Happy Listening Custard xxx

    1. That's a really lovely family tradition :-) I might steal it to be honest, particularly as the boys get older. such a nice idea to just have quiet (musical) time together.

  2. I have the radio on a lot and at the moment it's mostly background noise - but even then if a song comes on that I love, or something new comes on that is amazing, everything stops so I can listen 'properly'. The latest one to do that has been Disturbed's cover of The Sound of Silence, which literally stopped my in my tracks and had me in floods of tears with goosebumps up my arms and every hair on the back of my neck standing on end. I also like to listen to Clare Teal's swing and big bang show on Radio 2 on Sunday night, it's just the perfect way to wind down, lying in bed with the volume gradually set to reduce at the end of the show until I fall asleep. :)