Ode to a Song

There are things I question everyday. There are things I forget about. There are things that annoy me but I just let them go. There are things that drive me crazy and I try my best not to let my own crazy lash back out at them.

A few weeks ago my grandparents took me to the symphony (bringing the average age of the audience down by almost eighty years.) At the beginning of the concert, the orchestra started playing the National Anthem and almost the entire audience rose. White haired men and women with canes, walkers, and even wheelchairs stood in their best posture, and started proudly singing along, hands over their hearts, belting out the lyrics as loudly as possible. The voices blended together in a complete cacophony: after spending my entire life in choir, I am pretty sure I have never heard a more jumbled, unbeautiful rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

But I was taken aback. I glanced around the room as I observed all these individuals joyfully joining together in song, wishing I could be as carefree and happy as all the senior citizens surrounding me. I felt sentimental and pretty gushy about the whole ordeal (in Yiddish we call it Ferklempt—that is the only way to describe it) and questioned the event for the next three hours of the performance.

I’m not really sure why the song was so meaningful to me, perhaps because it was just so unexpected or maybe because it was a Sunday afternoon, and I was functioning on little to no sleep. But the unity, the passion, the excitement in this hodgepodge of people really struck me.

And it made me question our harmony as a people. Why are we always fighting, always trying to take away another person’s rights, always telling someone she’s wrong, always hating, always angry? Why can’t we just stand up and sing, sing anything, and let everyone be happy?

There’s something about music that will do that. It can be the words or the melody or the rhythm, but music makes you feel things, it connects us all together.

I live through music. It brings back memories, evokes emotions, inspires me for the future. I have playlists for sleeping, driving, baking, waking up, remembering, studying, dancing, singing, smiling, crying, writing—you name it, I’m prepared.

I love soundtracks: movies, television, plays. I love remembering the performance, the drama, the feeling I had while watching, and regaining that feeling through the music.

There are so many things that I question everyday; so many things to which I will never find the answers. And even though I know the solutions are distant, I allow the music to lead me to new ideas, new thoughts; inspire me to think originally, inspire myself, to be more creative and live life more fully.