Music is a powerful thing: it can take you to the past, keep you in the present and move you into the future. Music is there for everything – first kiss, first love, first dance along with your first embarrassing moment, first break-up, first heartache. Musicians have a way of putting exactly what you’re feeling into words, which is why anyone can relate or anyone could want to relate. It makes you feel like there’s someone else out there who gets it and then that song becomes that song. Here’s a little tribute to the some of the music that has been there for me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Let me start off with my high school years, a time when I truly believe I really started to develop my love for music. Those years were pretty much defined by grunge and alternative rock, followed by the boy band explosion of the late 90s. The first group of bands comprises of U2 (I even made a tape of their songs which I listened to on a daily basis), Oasis, Stone Temple Pilots, No Doubt (their tune “Just A Girl” with lyrics like “I’m just a girl in the world/That’s all that you’ll let me be!” was pure genius) and Smashing Pumpkins, to name a few. Although the roots of my love for these bands began in high school, I have continued to listen to them and in a way have evolved with them, with their music. It’s almost like we’re friends.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             To this day Red Hot Chili Peppers’ track “Under the Bridge” is hands down, without question my favourite song EVER. The combination of the guitar, the lyrics, the sadness is unbeatable. It’s supposedly a song about doing drugs, but for me it was about feeling like you don’t fit in, and conquering that by taking yourself, be it physically, mentally or emotionally to a place where you did. And let’s face it, that pretty much sums up my high school years. Don’t get me wrong, I had a friend or 2, and for the most part enjoyed my early adolescent years; but just never felt like I really fit in anywhere.
                                                                                                                                                                         The second group consists of the likes of Our Lady Peace, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, ‘N Sync, etc. These bands, on the other hand more or less began an ended in high school. But they were so present during those years that anytime I hear one of their older songs, it just brings me right back, in a good way. Be it BSB’s “Quit Playing Games with my Heart” or The Offspring’s “Self Esteem” (always reminds me of a boy/girl party I was at where this song was played so many times, that people started slow dancing to it); it always puts a smile on my face and reminds me of a time when life was a little more carefree, a little less complicated and where the future was full of possibilities. Music is nostalgic, it’s like it was made so you could create memories without even knowing it. I even dedicated a playlist on my iPod to said memories called “So High School.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             My 20s was when music became even more important to me. Whether it was a relationship with friends, boyfriends or even family, music seemed to be the only one who understood me. I found myself being drawn to people with similar musical interests, and realized how tightly it can bring people together – it’s like an unspoken bond, as though you already understand somebody, based on what they listen to. I fortunately have never been through a bad break-up; uncomfortable ones, sure, but that’s about it. However I have been victim of the lack-of-mutual-feelings sentiment. Brutal. Cue Damien Rice, The National, City and Colour and so many more. The beauty of these musicians is the way handle heartbreak: instead of the feeling sorry for yourself mentality, it’s more of a screw you, I don’t need you and I’m better off without you. Amazing. Ben Harper’s”Another Lonely Day” can pretty much get me out of any rut; with lyrics like “But I’d rather walk alone than chase you around/I’d rather fall myself than let you drag me on down” – inspiring.

I recently attended the wedding of one of my oldest friends. My mind was a blur of memories and emotions throughout the day and I couldn’t help but feel like I was watching the whole thing happen but wasn’t actually there. Until I heard Shania Twain’s “From This Moment On” playing during the first dance. I was immediately taken back to a conversation that was had several years earlier where she told me that when she gets married, this was gonna be her wedding song; for her it was that song.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Everyone has a song that reminds them of a person, place, or a time in their life, whether in a good way or a bad way and whether you realize it or not. Certain songs will hit certain nerves at certain times for certain people but not necessarily in the same way: music can be whatever you want it to be. To all the music that has been a part of my life (this only covered a small few), I thank you for helping me, for understanding, and for giving me a sense of belonging.


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