Writing 101: Three Songs

Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

Twist: Commit to a writing practice. The frequency and the amount of time you choose to spend today — and moving forward — are up to you, but we recommend a minimum of fifteen uninterrupted minutes per day.

Important songs aren’t quite the same as favourite songs, are they? After all, the list of my favourite songs probably changes on a daily basis, depending on what I’ve listened to recently. But important songs are they ones that stay with you and resonate inside of you, that make your heart giddy and your mind swoop and soar.

I don’t remember the song that played when I had my first kiss – or any of my first kisses – or when I first had sex, or when I first made love (very different things), or when somebody died, or … just about anything. There are songs that are associated with me reading a particular book. There are songs that remind me of particular people, or times in my life that seemed to change me – possibly for the better. There are songs that I remember playing in the background when I was a child, or that I’d listen to with my mum, or that I’d sing along to (and with my voice … wow …), or that seemed to be soundtracks to a summer or a drunken night out … A song can be important for all sorts of reasons, I suppose.

It doesn’t particularly help when you have a memory that’s suspect at best and has a habit of dropping out on you with no notice.

One of my all time favourite (yes, yes, I know what I said about favourite vs. important) musical artists is Darren Hayes. Oddly, its his solo work – following the disbanding of Savage Garden – that has had the most impact on me. Perhaps its because as a fellow gay man I feel his music has something to say to me that isn’t about endless rutting or getting off your face or being a bitch or being faaaaaabulous. I should point out that not all gay artists sing about these things – I happen to think that Will Young’s album Echoes is amazing for all the same reasons that I rate Darren Hayes. Bright Light Bright Light’s Make Me Believe In Hope is also right up there on my eternal playlist.

Its not just the music. Its not just the lyrics. Its not just his voice. Its not just the emotion. Its all of it, I think, that conjoins to make one powerful whole.

There’s a certain lyric in the song Perfect taken from the 2012 album Secret Codes and Battleships that just floors me every time.

Cause I felt it; it cut deep.
It left a scar in my memory.
But your love was burned into me.

Second song … This is actually a song that I only heard a few months ago, despite it being a little older. I was chatting online to a friend and got talking about films and he recommended one from 2007 called Shelter. As its available on YouTube in its entirety, I checked it out and was sucked in, completely. Part of that was down to the soundtrack, featuring several songs by Shane Mack. One of these, More Than This, is fantastic in its simplicity.

If this is all, if this is all we ever were,
At least I loved enough to hurt,
Enough to hurt.

Final song … This is one that can make me smile or make my guts turn in on themselves. I guess that makes it important, right? Alanis Morissette’s It’s A Bitch To Grow Up appeared on her 2008 album Flavors of Entanglement. 

I feel done, I feel raked over coals
and all that remains is the case
That it’s a bitch to grow up

I’m not entirely sure how the twist actually fits in with today’s assignmet … But, yes, I commit to writing for at least 15 minutes every day outside of blog posts.


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