The Power of Song

While I consider myself a very emotional person, I rarely find myself moved to tears in public. (Crying out of sadness is a different thing, I’ve been guilty of crying during the most unlikely of movies – Happy Feet for one – because some things have just been much too sad. But I digress, as usual.)

But the two times I have been moved to tears have both been music related.

The first was some time in December 2013, when fade announced at a live that they were going major, and I was so happy for them, to see them move closer to their goals, to achieving dreams. (What happened after is a different story)

The second time was on 30 Dec 2014, watching H”palty live. In particular, when I heard ISATO belting out the first stanza of “Fallmaker” and the words hit me. Hard.

「希望もないさ もう何もいらないや」 絶望の霧に迷い込んだ君へ
ほんのちょっと書き綴っておいた 伝えたい言葉 もう怖くないよ

“I have no hopes, I don’t need anything more” To you who are lost in the mist of despair
Even if just a little bit, write down what you want to say. There’s nothing more to fear.

Then I realised that the song was speaking to me. I’d been drowning myself in the melancholic tunes of “Pluto” or other depressingly sad songs in need of empathy when what I needed was encouragement.

For me, these two bands, fade and H”palty, have made such large impacts on my life that I can’t imagine what or where I’d be now without them. I hold their songs, and the people behind them dearly, and hope to somehow repay them for the warmth, energy and friends they brought into my life.

I know, I know, everyone has their own “Music changed my life.”, “This band saved my life.” story and this one reads similar to all the narratives you’ve heard before. But I want to tell it again, because this is my story, and I will write it.

I turn to music when there is nothing else, when there is no one else. It’s so easy just to put in my earphones and press play to let the melody flood into my ears, for the words to flow and the feelings to resonate in my heart. Every song is a story. Every word, every note tells a tale and the emotions poured into the music which you can experience at a live is nothing short of ecstasy. I’ve tweeted it before to a band member, and I’ll probably keep saying it – Music is my drug. I just can’t get enough of the euphoria at lives when you soar with the band upon the energy from the crowd. The adrenaline with each fist jump, each echoing strum of the guitar, each trembling boom of the drums.

Close your eyes and just let it engulf you.

I relish every moment.

Big lives may be great, with thousands upon thousands packed into a concert hall. But what use are numbers when there are no feelings involved? When the notes fall flat and there is no bubble of excitement? When each cheer rings hollow? Why is it that a tiny livehouse with less than 200 people can generate more energy, radiate more passion?

Some members of H”palty were in tears at the end of their set. Part of the audience was too. I was awed at their presence, the growth they had shown in the year or so since I started attending their lives, listening to their music. For them, music was everything, and they never stopped expressing their gratitude.

For me, living in uncertainty of my life’s path, I respect them, having found what they want to do and working towards their goal. Sacrificing so much in order to achieve their dreams, and loving each moment. I envy but take inspiration from them.

I’m often at a loss for words at what to say to people, often trying to sum up my feelings with “Thank you”. But sometimes I feel it is inadequate in properly expressing how I feel, but it’s the best I can do.

Music has been with me through my lowest of times and during my happiest days, bellowing words into the sky as the wind blows my hair array. When I’ve had tears streaming down, curled up into a ball under the covers which I never wanted to leave.

I may not understand everything being sung, but the beauty of music is that you don’t need to understand the language to appreciate it. In the words of Jon Underdown, music has the power to overcome the language barrier (言語の壁を越えられる) and touch hearts.

I believe it because I’ve experienced it.

もしも辛くなって前が見えなくなったら
もしも怖くなって自分を見失ったら
曝け出せばいいだろう? 叫べばいいだろう?
自分を信じる自分が 運命じゃなくそう人生

涙の夜も新しい朝も 自分じゃなくなることはなくてさ
それでも一人ぼっちじゃなくてさ
叫んで 響いて 聞こえる誰かの声

Even if things get tough and can’t find the way forward
Even if you’re scared and lose yourself
Isn’t it ok just to let go? Isn’t it fine just to scream?
Believe in yourself, life is not determined by destiny

On tear filled nights and new mornings
Or when you feel like you’ve lost yourself
But even then, you’re not alone
Shout out, let it echo, can you hear someone’s voice?

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