Last Sunday, coming home from Cuz’s birthday party, I heard a song for the first time, a little tune that spoke of being royal and ruling, by a sixteen year old from New Zealand. I enjoyed the tune, but didn’t think much about it until Wednesday, when the song would not leave me be.
I have a theory that music is a state of mind, and that what you listen to says a lot about your state of mind. In particular, I think if you listen to many types of music, then you’re more inclined to be open minded in general. It’s not the music responsible for you being open minded, it’s just the way you’re already thinking. Or that’s my humble opinion.
My state of mind is that I’m open to different things, but the message I am always looking for is an expression of who I am, written and sang by people I’ve never met. I look for expressions of love and accomplishment, trial and loss. And every now and again, I just want something I can tap my foot to. I consider it part of my job as an aunt to introduce my nephew to different music. He has his own playlist on my Galaxy player, originally because Shuffle might play some explicit stuff he does not need to hear yet. Now it has become a question of what to put in the playlist, what to introduce him to next.
I recently came across a discussion on Facebook about the song “Blurred” and an argument of whether or not it should be banned from the radio because it was about rape. I didn’t see where the original poster was getting that idea from and the discussion leaned towards it is one stupid song out of a million that means nothing, that will be forgotten in five years. It doesn’t matter. That got me to thinking about the songs that do matter, that we will remember not just in five years, but in twenty. I think Mackelmore’s latest is one. Every time I hear it, I think that it’s something significant, that it carries a message we need to hear and as such, it will survive. Whereas “Blurred” will pass on as the latest pop song takes the throne of temporary love.
There are the songs that matter, the ones that take our breath away with the emotion they convey, and there are the moments in music where the every day magic invades our lives again. A meme is floating around on Facebook about the song that we love so much, we play it until we absolutely hate it. Therein lies the magic. It is fleeting, but it is there. It is the magic that comes with a new song that captures our attention because something in it touches our souls on levels that we don’t always understand.
“Royals” is doing that for me at the moment. It invades my thoughts and my heart and I see a message of the life I plan to lead in its lyrics. At the moment, I cannot get enough of it. It is magic because a perfect stranger from half way around the world has written something that resonates with me. It’s a connection on the deepest and most abstract level. Magical.