“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.” ― Maria von Trapp
What is it about music that can affect us so strongly? My husband and I recently enjoyed the musical Singin’ in the Rain. The song by that title was intended to be uplifting for the audience, as the main character sang and danced in rain that poured all over the stage. I was probably the only person in the audience who cried throughout that piece. I remembered the many times I’d seen my Mom watching Gene Kelly in that role on television. Mom passed away earlier this year.
My Mom loved watching old musicals for pleasure, and her favorite was The Sound of Music. I love this and other musicals too, and I have an extra motive—I find them inspiring. The song “The Sound of Music” is on my MP3 player because it is so uplifting: “I go to the hills when my heart is lonely/ I know I will hear what I heard before/ My heart will be blessed with the sound of music/ And I’ll sing once more.”
My MP3 player has only songs that I find uplifting or inspirational. From The Sound of Music, I also recorded the Mother Abbess singing, “Climb ev’ry mountain/ Ford ev’ry stream/ Follow ev’ry rainbow/ Till you find your dream.”
Whenever I hear “The Impossible Dream” sung by Placido Domingo. I listen to it two or three times. “This is my quest, to follow that star/ No matter how hopeless, no matter how far/ To fight for the right, without question or pause/ To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause.”
As I take timid steps toward being a writer, I love to join Frank Sinatra in singing “My Way”: “For what is a man, what has he got?/ If not himself, then he has naught/ To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels/ The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!/ Yes, it was my way.”
When I dream about making it big, what could be better than singing along with Frankie, “These little town blues, are melting away/ And I’m gonna make a brand new start of it – in old New York/ And if I can make it there, I’m gonna make it anywhere/ It’s up to you – New York, New York.”
Oldies are great for inspiration, but more contemporary songs are also inspiring. How about Whitney Houston singing “Whatever You Imagine”: “Whatever you imagine/ Can one day come to be/ There are dreams to awaken,/ Roads to be taken./ Follow them and they will set you free.”
I often bring my MP3 player on my walks or runs, although I keep the volume low so I can hear what’s going on around me. Sometimes I’m tired and want to stop running, and an inspiring piece like the theme song for Rocky comes on. Other songs that inspire me are “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”, “Imagine”, “I Hope You Dance,” and “Reach for the Light.” Such music gives me the strength to keep going and distracts me from minor discomfort. It also gets me in a rhythm as I move forward.
When I listen to songs, my walks or runs do double duty as a way to care for my mind as well as my body. The sound of music gives me inspiration as well as pleasure.
* * * *
What music or songs inspire you? Any particular lyrics? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.