Music: Songs made of happy.

So today I woke up feeling lost. I am, as I have mentioned before, in a period of transition. Irrational fear grips me often and while I know where I want to go, I see no light at the end of the tunnel, that glint that tells you okay, I am heading in the right direction. I see only pitch dark. I don’t even know if I am moving.

But there are gentle voices around me. Warm, caring whispers. Even if I cannot see them, I can feel them with senses beyond mind and body. Were it not for them, I would have gone bonkers from sheer despair a long time ago. Blessed be those that walk this path alongside me. Thank you for your support and patience.

But enough of speaking in riddles. It is not my intent to try your patience. While I aim to express myself to my leisure, I also like to try and give a somewhat pleasant reading experience to those kind enough to stop by.

When I sat down today to churn out words, I decided to not look at my list of topics. I have a few still up my sleeve, things that I hope will capture your interest. Is that not the writer’s dream, or for that matter, that of any artist? I am barely on my way there, but I can only walk the path if I begin to put one foot ahead of the other.

Today, however, I decided to take on another small challenge. To think of a topic on the go. Sit down, bam. It took me a while. I looked out the window, looked around the room… then it simply came to me. Which is a relief.

Hello, muse. Let’s have some fun together. Let’s get to the topic.

I don’t think anyone will disagree here. You take the music from half a century ago, and then take the music from this decade, and there is a world of difference. Heck, mere decades ago you would not think of lip synching. You went out there and did it all by hand and lung. What magic, huh? And the lyrics. Some may sound outdated, born from a cultural setting that is long since gone. But so many others are timeless.

Then you fast forward about half a century and you find… well… too many artists that ain’t even worth mentioning. Lyrics that don’t really make sense, tailored to appeal to a specific audience… which ain’t bad, we all gotta make a living. They overdo it though, honestly. I mean, if you want to sing the praises of just one particular facet of human experience (if you know what I mean…) it is up to you. And if you want to give it a listen and play such music all day, it is up to you too. All I’m saying is you’re most likely missing most of what makes this or that particular experience truly special. But hey, to each their own.

And yet, among that pile of what I would call hot air, you find some good gems that I believe will turn timeless too. Songs that do have a message, and it is a message that has nothing to do with disappointment, betrayal, obsession, or other much darker topics. If someone asked me what my tastes in songs are, I would reply: “songs made of happy”.

Songs made of happy are those with lyrics that uplift you in a light, almost whimsical way.They are not here to tug at your heartstrings, sink you into a poetic reverie, make you ponder about life and its meaning. All they ever want is, well… make you happy. Some even have it in the title. “Don’t worry. Be happy”.

Songs like What a Wonderful World and Somewhere Over the Rainbow are good examples. I listen to that stuff and I just cannot stay mad or sad. It was not a pep talk, it was not the answer to my existential problems. It was simple joie de vivre.

Things like I’m On My Way by the Proclaimers. “From misery to happiness today”. That should be a mantra every morning. The world would be a much different place. There is wisdom in the most unsuspected corners of our consciousness, and I believe it is true that the answer to some of our most haunting questions can be found in places we did not expect.

Many of those songs I consider ‘made of happy’ are from yesteryear. “Let’s go sunning”, “Sh-boom”, are good examples. You should give them a listen if you haven’t, But it is not just songs from back in the day. Jason Mraz is a great example too. I know, some of you will say, pfff, that is for tweens that try to play sensitive. Mraz is a good listen, though. He speaks of pure love, of hope, and of simply being glad to love and be loved. Now I will be the first to admit, I have not listened to many songs of his, but this is the feeling I have gotten off of his music thus far. Besides, he is a contemporary exponent of a music combination that I think will remain ageless: a man (or woman) and his (or her) guitar.

The kind of music that I remain most attached to however, is instrumental. The kind of music that speaks straight to the soul. That is something that I think will remain timeless too. Just like an image speaks more than words, so does instrumental music.

Earlier in history it was the baroque. Symphonies, sonatas, opus this and that. Then came the waltzes, the twists, the tangos. More and more voices and words joined the party. Electronic effects, musical notes born from bits and bytes…

And yet… the orchestra never left. It lives on with a Bublé. The piano endures with a Yanni or a DiBlasio. The violin is given new life with a Lindsey Stirling. Immediate Music and Two Steps from Hell give us pieces that seem taken  from Valhalla or an enchanted forest.

Such is the mood of music, good folks. The tune that tames the beast, that takes your spirit by the hand and lifts it to soar and glide like a weightless feather. Made of epic, made of happy.

It’s a wonderful world“.


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