Music Was My First Love, and it Will Be My Last…

Blogmas Day 15.

Never has there been a truer statement. Music is life and I absolutely adore it. Not only does it soundtrack all events – and non-events – in life, it’s now a part of my job and I’m living the dream of 9 year old me making ‘radio shows’ by ripping off music on my cassette recorder and clunkily talking between the hideously edited songs. My first radio gig was pirate radio. Very exclusive. Very niche.

There Are Benefits to Being Continually Spied On…

Spotify Unwrapped! The annual round-up of your listening habits over the year. You may have seen people sharing this on their social media timelines. Your reaction could be, “Oo, that’s interesting!” But it’s probably more likely to be “Ok. So….?” before continuing to scroll on. Why? Although music is universal and can be a shared experience, your own listening tastes and choices can be incredibly personal and wouldn’t necessarily affect impact anyone else.

I won’t be forensic in sharing the “stats” with you for exactly that reason, but I will share what the findings highlighted to me. Music can always be a vibe but it can actually change atmospheres and life outlook.

I was genuinely surprised to learn that my musical aura was ‘confident & uplifting’. Ordinarily, I’d say that description fits me pretty well, but as I’ve said more than once over this Blogmas writing challenge, 2021 has kicked my butt and a lot of the time I’ve felt anything but.

Music is powerful. It has literally been a key factor in getting me through this year. My top genre being Gospel is no surprise. I’ve always loved it but by featuring a ‘Church Banger’ on my Sunday Breakfast show every week on BBC Radio WM, I’ve sought out more tunes and looked up ones selected by listeners. Little did I know that by factoring this in to my job, it was also helping me.

This shouldn’t be a shock as the reason I chose the feature was because music can communicate so much and connect from all different backgrounds and beliefs. You don’t have to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the lyrics and context of a song to enjoy it. If it moves you, it moves you. It doesn’t even have to change your life, it just needs to make you feel better for a few minutes. Those minutes might lead to more, but just take the minutes.

Top of the (Gracie) Pops.

My top song of the year from Peter Cottontale makes a lot of sense. The lyrics, sung slowly within the first few bars, struck a chord and resonated with me but then the song kicks in with a burst of joyous energy that carries you on a wave of boundless optimism and hope. It’s infectious. It makes me dance. It gives me extra steps on my FitBit

“…2020 been a ride.

Because we lost more than we had to lose

And they talk choices we were forced to choose.

In the mornin’, leave all your baggage

The answer you may not have it

But together in love we can find it

hand in hand, tell the storm “Get behind us!”

Together.”

Geeking Out.

I’ve been known to get quite passionate when discussing music. Some people have, on occasion, said aggressive, but I’m sure that’s only due to a lack of a thesaurus. They mean passionate. Right?

That said, I listen to loads of different genres of music. Even as I’m writing this I’ve listened to a brilliant music documentary on Leonard Cohen hosted By Jeremy Paxman – (Paxo!?) and am now jamming and chilling to Trevor Nelson’s Rhythm Nation. All meaningful. All enjoyable.

I confess to being a little bit suspicious of people who say they don’t like music. ANY music?? How so?? Let me not ‘yuck anyone’s yum’, so to speak, but if that’s you, I’d genuinely be interested to chat to you about it. I’ll keep an open mind and not try to convince you that you actually do love music. Even if it’s pan pipes.

I’m only passionate because I’m in love. John Miles, who sadly passed away this December, put it brilliantly in his song “Music”. I used to say that song was the top of my ‘Guilty Pleasures’ list, but when it comes to music, there is no guilt. Only pleasure. Enjoy.

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