This is inspired by my poor unloved Blog Soundtrack page.
There’s a lot of musical references in my blogs. Some song titles or lyrics inspire posts, others frame them.
This isn’t done as an expression of how cool I am. A quick flick through the song list will demonstrate that. An over representation of Manics tracks along with a smattering of Silent Hill tunes gives an idea of my musical tastes.
On the Blog Soundtrack page there are some little explanations of why I have included the track, key lyrics and what it means to me.
Music is a big part of my life (albeit not as much as when I was younger) so it’s only natural it would provide a mental soundtrack to make sense of it all or howl against the senselessness.
The Manics sing of loss, melancholia and rage in a way that resonates with me. The first songs I learned to play on guitar were Manics tracks.
Playing guitar can serve as catharsis or as a means of focusing on the technical aspect of learning a chord progression or riff.
Much as I may hate teen US dramas where the music is overbearing and problems are solved by staring into the distance, I lived the cliché of sitting in a room with my old geetar strumming melancholy chords and feeling sad.
I played the songs I had previously sung to the boys as lullabies when they were in the womb. One of the quirks of these songs was that they are all in a weird tuning so to play anything else required a level of faffage I couldn’t manage at the time.
It’s not all mournful ballads. Sometimes only the CHUNG CHUNG CHUNG of metal will do. Anything where the solo sounds like a nervous breakdown and every chord is tortured to an inch of its life.
Case in point being this number. To a non-German speaker it sounds like an invitation to a fight. The riff is horrible, the solo is horrible, the vocals terrifying and confrontational.
Here’s a translation
Preserve each other from heartache
because short is the time that you are together
Because even if you are united for many years one day they will seem like minutes to you
Preserve each other from togetherness
Two birds, one stone!
It’s either that or a combination of the two. When Metallica drop the macho schtick there are some great songs of pain, anxiety and vulnerability.
Another example is The Unnamed Feeling capturing that claustrophobic sense of panic even when surrounded by people.
It’s not just Silent Hill that provides a cold hand of comfort. I agonised over using music from Final Fantasy for the funeral.
But it was the right choice. I can’t listen to it now or even think about it without welling up a little so entwined is it with my memory of kissing the tiny baskets that held our children goodbye.
Music has been a huge influence on how I deal with all the mess of emotions and pain of grief. I’d like to say that it was some deep and meaningful literature but I’ve found more long lasting comfort in E minor than in books.