EVERY SONG IS A LOVE SONG
They say that you can't understand songs about love until you've experienced it yourself. However, one can argue that the only thing humankind has in common with eachother is the concept of love (which for me is equal to the concept of hate*). We've all experienced some kind of relationship with oneanother. May this be as mother and child or as wife and husband or as whatever. I think that it's more about giving a song the meaning of a realtime thing, than not understanding its true message. I've listened to No Goodbyes by Blue for over a thousand times. Yet when I listen to it now, I burst out into tears. Not because I just discovered the message behind the song (after the thousand times + one listening session). No, I cry because the song for me now represents a feeling of lost that I've experienced. The song itself has not changed, but my perception of it has. And maybe that's what they want to say with "you first ought to fall in love before you can understand it". But I guess there's some kind of degree in what love is meant to be. Love is something individual that you can't generalize. I can never love someone again like I loved my grandma, who passed away about half a year ago. Which in itself is sad, but also unique and maybe that's not the best combo, but I've experienced worse.
So in general I understand love songs although I've never been in love. And it came to my mind the other day that basically every song is a love song. Love is a broad aspect of how you can look at stuff. I would even vouch that those silly party-songs like for instance We Like To Party! by Vengaboys can perfectly relate back to the concept of love and not only the fact that they really like to party...
We all understand what songs or for that matter music is about. And it's more that the creator puts their view (or creativity if you will) to transfer or communicate their feelings and ideas. Creation, I think, starts with something personal. Even those big time twenty-writers-for-one-supposed-to-be-hit-song songs must have started with one single idea. An idea that's very personal and initially very on its own. But when you look at ideas as a whole you, as an outsider, can be sympathetic or even understanding while you've got another background or ideas.
This week I had exams and one of the subjects was Heritage Theory: historical perspective. It was all about collections and how we've made orderings through centuries (along the theory of philosopher Michel Foucoult, which you can read in his book The Order of Things). And the last question of this exam was about a Dutch museum which has become a museum of a museum by displaying their collection like they did in the 18th century. Hereby they asked if we nowadays can value or see the collection like they did in the 18th century. Whereupon I've answered that we of course can empathize and try our hardest to understand it. We can put ourselves in someone else's percepective and even translate that into something of our own (like actors adopt a different personae). But the key word is indeed translate or adopt. In someway we have to feedback to our own mode of life to understand. So we'll always be spoiled by our modern way of looking, whereby we can't experience things to the fullest like they did back then. Then I came up with this theory that we, as modern day people, can understand the 18th centuries way of being by cutting of the new generation and let them grow up in a manufactored society which is a perfect resemblance of the 18th century. So, when they're old enough they can go to the museum and experience it like they did in the 18th century. But yeah, that would be quite an undertaking...
"I’m not an anomaly, so it feels weird that I get treated like one and have that pressure of “You represent all teenagers in the Western world. No stress!” The easiest way of dealing with that is just to try not to think about what your art might mean for others. I know that sounds bad, but honestly, if you want it to be meaningful to other people, you need to just totally not even think about that part and make something that will mean something to you. Then other people will be able to live inside it too and understand it."
Taken from an Rookie interview with Lorde. Skulls depicted beneath are from here.
Losing someone and grieving about it is apparently a very western (not in the sense of cowboys, but like the people who live on the west side of the world -North-America + West-Europe- (which is also of course a perception made by those who live in the west)) thing to do. In Mexico, I've been told, death isn't the end but part of day-to-day life. So when they grieve the dead on El dia de los muertos, they don't actually grieve but celebrate the life that's been given. And I think that's a beautiful, but hard thing to do. It makes you, or atleast me, think about the possibilities one has towards something like death. To me it seems rather healthy to look at it as a part of life that isn't gone, but lives through the minds (and therefore the actions) of the ones who are left behind. We're not here to avoid the subject because it would spare our tears. We're here to use the tears in our advantage, our knowledge, happiness, fortune or whatever to make the lives that's been lived our own.
So by listening to love songs you can experience the projection of an unique relationship into something that's been written on its own. To not instantly generalize the feeling but to make that feeling into something seizable. And until death do us part may be the fault we're making. Because death doesn't part us, it merely leaves us. By making death the bad guy, something I'm dearly afraid of, makes us -me- wanting to avoid the subject after it has struck. Making the one I've lost invisible into my day-to-day life, while she's responsible for how I experience it in the first place. So you don't need to surpass the feeling, if you understand that it's something to be celebrated. We can always mourn, there's no shame in that, but we ought to remember that there's no end until you've accounted it. Like Blue sings:
Baby there's no goodbyes
I'll always be right by your side
Though I may be far away
You know that my heart will stay with you, always
By listening to music we can make an unique perception of a happening our own. Hereby maybe surpassing the creators intention, but we can make an idea live through its time. Making love something of all ages.
*"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not dead, it's indifference"
- Elie Wiesel
In my eyes indifference isn't the opposite, but the act upon how it's enunciated. Although you could say that indifference is the beginning of the opposite, whereby the opposite could be indifferent.