Music Rocks my Soul


“. . . the white bird just sits in her cage, growing old. . . . The sunsets go, the clouds roll by and the earth turns old. . . .”

It’s a Beautiful Day, 1969

When Rick first died, I just wanted absolute silence while I processed my grief.  Over time the silence became deafening at times, so I began to play some music.  I remember the first time I spun around and danced across the floor to a catchy tune – and immediately felt guilty for finding joy in the music.  Now I play music more often, but days can go by without music (or TV) in my home.

Around 1972 when I was in college I saw It’s a Beautiful Day perform.  Sometimes I play White Bird for the melody, but also for the lyrics.  The song reminds me that I cannot remain static, but need to fly on to new adventures.

I found some helpful information about music on  A 2017 article written by Suzanne Boothby referred to a study which indicated “people tend to prefer sad music when they are experiencing a deep interpersonal loss, like the end of a relationship. . . . sad music provides a substitute. . . .”  I have asked Alexa to play certain songs that tug on my heart and fit my then-moods.  I think I’ll always tear up at Sinéad O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2 U.  Some of the Eurythmics’ and Ed Sheeran’s songs are poignant, too.  Other tracks get me smiling and swaying – almost anything by Pink, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake or Train.

Another article, written by Cathy Cassata back in 2015, reported on a study author’s conclusion “that people most often listen to the music that they listened to when they were between the ages of 16 and 26.”  Huh.

Rick was older than I, and we often compromised on our age difference by listening to smooth jazz, Motown or even classical music.  My new beau, however, is my age and is a classic vinyl aficionado.  He knows the music, the lyrics and the artists in (sometimes excruciating) detail.  Even in my formative years between 16 and 26, I don’t think I listened to so much rock music as I have in these last eight months – Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Yes, Rolling Stones, Marshall Tucker,  Lynyrd SkynyrdEagles, Led Zeppelin, etc.  As he has played these songs for us, he has developed a new rule – Mary cannot sing along.  Ever.  Never ever.  Something about not being able to carry a tune . . . .

Music dictates a lot of our plans through the end of the year and into the next.  The big concerts are Elton John and Ed Sheeran.  The musicals include Chicago, Jersey Boys and Les Miserables.  Add to that multiple tribute bands and other musical programs offered within our community.  Time to put on my dancing shoes!