Music Soothes the Savage Beast

I’ve loved music for as long as I can remember.  I’ve loved to listen to it, to sing it, and back when I was a six-year old, loved to dance around the kitchen to it.  While I still enjoy Top 40 music from time to time, even when I was younger I was usually more interested in the lyrics and the message than in the beat or the bass.  Before I was able to express my emotions in writing, music provided catharsis.  I recognized this even when I was still in high school, as I literally wrote a list of songs that reminded me of different unrequited crushes I’d had.  Even now, certain songs will transport me back instantly, not just to general time periods in my life, but to exact moments in time.  Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young” puts me back on the school bus on my first day of middle school, in my fluorescent-splattered blouse and black pleather skirt. Poison’s “Every Rose has its Thorn” transports me to a classmate’s 12th birthday party, when I slow-danced with a boy for the very first time (granted, his girlfriend asked him to dance with me).  

It shouldn’t be surprising that my taste in music became extremely diverse, as no single genre could ever fully capture the depths of my emotions.  I may or may not be bipolar, but my iPod very definitely suffers from multiple personality disorder.  How else could you explain a playlist that includes all of the following artists:  Killswitch Engage, LL Cool J, Billy Joel, Miranda Lambert…

As I mentioned in my very first post (I Suppose I have to Start Somewhere), Tales from Sick and Twisted isn’t just an attempt at a catchy name for my blog.  It’s also the name of the novel that I conceptualized and started (very slowly) writing.  It almost goes without saying that as Tales from Sick and Twisted started to develop in my mind, an accompanying soundtrack also emerged.  I don’t want to share the full list today, because I don’t want to give away too much of the plot yet, but I wanted to highlight a few of the songs and why they’re important to me.

  • Christina Aguilera “Walk Away”

    I have no shame in admitting that, even a decade later, I am still a huge fan of Stripped, primarily because a number of the songs have an amazing vulnerability.  Although this song wasn’t officially released, I stumbled across it at a point when the lyrics rang true in my life.

  • Melissa Etheridge “An Unusual Kiss”                                                                                                     This is one of those songs where the lyrics don’t fit per se, but it happened to pop into my head when I was out with someone who eventually inspired one of the characters in my book

  • Jo Dee Messina and Tim McGraw “Bring on the Rain”

    I found this song during my last depressive episode, almost 4 years ago.  I took comfort in the lyrics and the idea that I was strong enough to face any challenge head-on.

  • Theory of a Deadman “Not Meant to Be”  

    This is one of a few different songs on my soundtrack/playlist that talk about the pain of realizing that you can’t force something that just isn’t right, which is something that has come up for me time and again.

  • Bonnie Raitt “Something to Talk About”

     I hated this song when it first came out.  I mean, I really hated this song.  Then my life circumstances started to reflect the lyrics of the song, and I “discovered” it for the first time, only about 20 years after the rest of the world… But this happens with me pretty regularly, where a song will suddenly fit my life and it’s like I’m hearing it for the first time, because it’s finally truly resonating within me.  

So, there you have it, a small sample of the songs that make up my personal Sick and Twisted soundtrack.  Thank you for allowing me to share.  And now it’s off to choir practice…


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