Before i go any further i want to give a shout to justclairephotography and her lovely models Louise and Robert Skelton-Stroud for letting me use that amazing photo which you can see above. Claire does all of the photography which appears on the site and is pretty damn awesome at what she does. Check her page out on Facebook.
I’ve had different versions of this piece in my head and sometimes in writing for the best part of two years now but events over the course of the last week have made me revisit it.
I like to think that one of my biggest strengths when it comes to being a music writer is the fact that I can relate pretty much anything in life to music. In fact, one of my favourite sayings is that ‘If music can’t fix it then you know you’re really f****d.’ Now for 90% of the time this is awesome, but then you break-up with that girl, and all of a sudden that other 10% will kick your ass.
Break-ups are generally speaking pretty crap. You lose the girl or guy you love, the extra set of family you gained along the way, and those really comfy tracksuit bottoms that they ‘borrowed.’ But for me personally it also has a huge impact on how I listen to music. This is because while me and my other halves have never had ‘our song’ (Sorry to couples who do this, but it’s cringe-worthy) I associate everything to music, including women, and I know through the females in my life, that women often do the same with men. So please walk with me as I take a little walk down memory lane.
I have only been in two serious relationships in my life but both of them ran roughshod over my music collection as well as my bank balance. Girlfriend number 1 (P) single-handedly ruined the Oasis classic Songbird and anything by P!nk (She was HUGE fan) while girlfriend number 2 (E) managed to ruin two classic songs (She was awkward like that) in the form of Nothing Else Matters by Metallica and Nite Nite by Kano.
While I can’t profess to being a huge Pink fan a lot of her stuff is pretty decent so I had a few of her songs on my iPod (Yeah we’re going back here folks) and didn’t mind when her songs came on the radio. However, fast forward to post break-up and P!nk comes on the radio and all I’ve got in my head ‘P’. Sometimes I wanted to have sex with her, sometimes I wanted to scream at her, and other times I wanted to kill her. Same with Nothing Else Matters, that was one of ‘E’s favourite songs.
My real problem though was the songs that I had connected to each girl in my own head. In both cases they didn’t know that I had done it, but in a way that made it harder. I was a fan of Songbird before I even met ‘P’ but one day it came on during our relationship and everything changed. It wasn’t a great little song anymore, that song was her. Everything about the lyrics fit her; they fit us, so when we broke up what was one of my favourite songs became something that I hated. Nite Nite and ‘E’ was similar albeit to a much lesser extent.
It’s a cliché but music is so unbelievably powerful. It took me ages to be able to listen to Nite Nite again like a fan, but Songbird has never been the same, even years later. The only difference is that I started to listen to it a lot and the feelings of sadness and anger were replaced by memories. Happy memories. The relationship ended in chaos but I decided that that shouldn’t overshadow what went before it.
It took a long time but I ‘reclaimed’ two of my favourite songs, they were no longer tainted by the people which I associated them to. I was back at the beginning where I dictated what the song meant.
So I want you to do the same. If you find it difficult to listen to a song you used to love, I want you to put that tune on and play it loud and play it to death. Eventually you’ll remember why you loved that song or artist in the first place and rediscover your love of the music for what it is. Hell, you might even raise a smile or two and conjure up a few good memories.
The reason why I’m sat here writing this and not doing some proper work?
I was talking to a Songbird yesterday…