“You can tell a lot about a person by what’s on their playlist.”
“I know you can. That’s what’s worrying me.”
Music is a large part of my life. There are songs that make me want to dance, songs for when I’m in the lowest of lows, songs that make me bob my head, songs that reflect everything I’m feeling in a moment, a week, a lifetime. In my room, when I’m listening to music, I sing and I dance and I cry and I smile. And I am me.
A lot of the music I listen to is what’s deemed “good” music: soulful, real instruments, lyrics that mean more than you can imagine, and gorgeous vocals. But I won’t lie when I say I also listen to a lot of “bad” music (otherwise known as top 40). There is Taylor Swift and One Direction and awful songs by Jessie J and Rihanna that just make me move.
So when I’m choosing a song to share with someone, I choose carefully. Most of the time, it isn’t these “bad” songs. Rather, it’s the ones that speak to me. The ones that move me. That make my heart skip a beat. Where a lyric jumps out. Or a particular string of chords. Or a piano rendition that will melt your face off. Or simply one single voice that transcends me to a different world.
The thing about music is that it is inherently objective. What some may call bad music, others revel in. Maybe there’s a 12-year-old girl who listens to Taylor Swift and really connects with “Mean” because she’s being bullied (myself included, when I think back to that age). Or maybe there’s something about hard electronic dance music with dropping beats and the image of strobing lights that means something to an 45-year-old yearning for their younger years.
I think that sharing music is sharing a bit of your soul, whether you pass someone your laptop or send someone a song from Spotify. It can be sitting in a room with someone listening together, across the Internet, over the phone; whatever way it’s shared, it’s a moment where both people get to experience the other.
I am wary about sharing music, though. Not everyone will like the same music. Hell, nobody really likes all the same music as someone else. You might find a band you love in common or one particular genre but, most people have eclectic tastes. I can’t stand jazz but, when someone sends me a jazz tune and I imagine them listening to it with a smile on their face, I feel like I understand them a little more.
Music has always meant something to me. It’s been a way to let out anger and fear and sadness. And listening to it has been a way to get lost in my own mind for three to five short minutes. So sharing my favourite songs or one that I think will lift someone’s mood, that means everything to me.
So if I’ve ever sent you a song or told you to listen to an album or posted a song on Facebook for everyone to hear, know that I’m baring a part of my soul. Know that I am trusting you to know a part of me that may not make any sense to you. And know that I’m scared. But I believe that music has meaning and I’m hoping we can somehow share that meaning, even if in the tiniest way. And if you want to send me something, know that I am excited to know you a little better.
Oh, and here‘s a song that has meant something to me today.