A Soundtrack for Your Life

A Soundtrack for Your Life

Wouldn’t it be cool, if you were right in the middle of an intensely personal conversation with someone you’re really attracted to (or who you’re in a relationship with), the chemistry is heating up, the emotions are soaring, and just as you feel like the moment is right to lean in for a passionate kiss and interrupt the conversation, the sounds of a orchestra build to an epic crescendo signaling the climax of the moment?!

Okay, some of you may prefer some vocals with your romantic scenes. Television is loaded with montage of scenes at the end of the show with all the characters interacting in some way with other characters. And then there are the movie musicals and broadway shows where people actually break out into song and dance. One of my friends can’t stand this type of movie, but I say…how great would it be for everyone to be ‘dancing and singing in the rain?’ I’m just saying.

But back to me….I want a soundtrack for my life.

Here are some scenarios I would find a soundtrack helpful:

  • While skinny dipping at night with your girlfriend/boyfriend/significant other, music suddenly rises with creepy violins, heavy breathing, and a quickening bass rhythm.
  • After having a few drinks with friends at home, you all decide to go hit the town. The music on the radio changes from Nelly singing “Party People” (which got you riled up in the first place), to Credence Clearwater Revival singing “Bad Moon Rising.
  • While trying to reconnect with an old friend and surprise them, only to find they’ve moved, the ebbs and flows of the music would help guide you in the correct directions.
  • You tell a joke which is promptly followed by two raps on a snare drum followed by a  cymbal crash. “BaDum CHING!”  NOTE: discovered this is offline 8/16/15

I think you get the idea.

But upon some reflection while writing this, I realize that we have all had soundtracks throughout our lives. From when we were young, our parents, or other relatives would sing lullabies (whether we remember them or not). As we grew older we’d constantly sing songs in school (which we invariably made dirty…and don’t tell me you can’t think of any). In our teens, most of us really got into music. It expressed our souls. It reflected our anguish at how unfair it was to be so put-upon in life. One of my favorite lines in a move comes from “High Fidelity” with John Cusack as a record store owner, “Did we listen to pop music because we were miserable? Or were we miserable because we listened to pop music?”

In college a whole new kind of music was uncovered for most of us. Think of all the get-togethers you attended (small and large) and the music that was played at them. I will confess to being of the era where I was a big pop music consumer. While Prince told us to Just Go Crazy and screamed at Darling Nicki, Kenny and Kevin got us Footloose, Cyndi got to the Girls ‘who’ Just Wanted to Have Fun and introduced us to a little BeBop at the same time (nudge nudge wink wink), and Van Halen said to just Jump.

Some of us with a little romantic interests did so with the aid of Lionel encouraging us to go All Night Long because we were so Stuck On You, The Thompson Twins saying simply to Hold Me Now, and Steve helped out those guys interested in any Sherry’s that were out and about.

For those of us unlucky in love, we had Phil giving us courage and faith when love seemed Against All Odds, Dan reminded us that we could Dream About You (whoever you were), Yes let us join the Owner of a Lonely Heart club, while Mr. Wiate helped us realize how much we were Missing You, but it was Tina that snapped us to our senses and asked What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Then there were those of us who took our own path in politics launching 99 Luftballons with Nena, followed our nocturnal instincts by Dancing in the Dark with Bruce and wearing our Sunglasses at Night with Corey, or just let Duran Duran guide us through The Reflex.

Well, you get the idea. I’ll leave the early 80s alone now. But, if there was an emotion, a thought, or an experience we feel, there was a song about it no matter what generation, decade or year.

Music is a reflection of our experiences and feelings. And everyday new writers and musicians start honing their skills and practicing their craft. Some feel the need to express pain and anguish. Some love and sympathy. Some want to create music and sounds the inspire calm and trances. Others want to help you feel joy.

Each day I shake my head in amazement as technology continues it’s absolutely stunning advances. What used to fill entire stores can now fit on something smaller than a credit card. And because of this, people are carrying all their music with them.

They ride trains and bikes, they walk the streets, drive cars and work in their offices, all the while, a thin wire runs to each ear and allows them to have a soundtrack for their lives.

And instead of warning you of what is about to happen, it actually allows for something even more amazing.

The control of setting your own tone for your life.

Want to be happy? Play happy songs. Want to let out some bottled up emotions? Play some sad bastard music and let the tears flow. Want to have your intimate night start slow and build to heart pounding heights? Build a playlist and travel the path to ecstasy,  my friend.

Before I leave you with the urge to fill up your iTunes playlist (like you don’t already have a bajillion tunes already), review all the songs you’ve got stored, and begin making a soundtrack for your day tomorrow, I found a few interesting sites of others who have had similar thoughts:

And if you’re looking for movies that have GREAT soundtracks (with lyrics), try these:

  • High Fidelity
  • School of Rock
  • Breakfast Club
  • Moulin Rouge
    (WARNING: This IS a musical, but VERY funny and a great mix of music)
  • Waitress
  • Stranger than Fiction
  • Love Actually
  • She’s Having a Baby
  • Forrest Gump
  • Pulp Fiction
  • Here are the top 100 of the last century, but I still say soundtracks that have a good mix of lyrics and orchestra are the best

If you want to hear what a really talented composer can do when given an amazing challenge, listen to Bear McCreary’s CDs from the Battlestar Galactica TV series. He is able to go from sweeping battle music to an Irish jig to a waltz to a bit of Musak. I actually turned people on to the series AFTER they listened to the music.

Now before I end this posting, I’ll leave you with a song my brother would sing to my mother each night before going to bed to practice his barber shop quartet vocal stylings. He also managed to do a recording for her funeral service when she passed away back in 1997.

A perfect song for the end of a soundtrack of someone’s life.

What will your soundtrack sound like?