Thursday, July 24, 2014

Introducing the Song of the Week series

A friend of mine recently had a great idea: post his thoughts about feel-good songs on Facebook. I've enjoyed learning about how special songs have touched his life, and the dialogue that has resulted from his posts has been great, too. Music is the other native language we all speak; it brings us together, and I'm a firm believer it's one of the many ways God communicates with us.

So I've decided to play copycat and do a similar thing on this blog. There are a couple of reasons for this.

First, I haven't had the desire, motivation, or heart to write much since I got my master's in creative writing. Ironic, I know. I'm not too worried about it though, because I think it's mostly just burn-out and summer laziness—it'll pass when it passes. But this is the first writing project I've been excited about in months, and unlike many of my other "brilliant" blog ideas, I haven't discarded this one in shame yet after sleeping on it and waking up to my senses. So I'm going to take it and roll with it.

Second, I've always wanted to write about music, but I've never been sure how to do it, exactly. Music communicates perfectly well on its own; trying to put words to its power is often pathetically redundant. So we'll see how this goes.

My plan is to post every Thursday because, well, today is Thursday and I want to get started. I don't know how long I'll keep this up, but I've got a pretty long list of songs already, so unless I get bored, this series should last a while. I'd also like to have a couple categories to discuss every week, to add some consistent variety to the posts. Unlike my friend, though, I won't just be talking about feel-good songs. Anything is fair game: songs that are stuck in my head, songs I can't figure out, songs I've loved since childhood, sad songs, funny songs, chart-topping songs, songs you've probably never heard—you get the picture.

If this isn't your thing, feel free to skip these posts. But if you feel so inclined, please speak up if you have something to say. I'd love to hear your thoughts, suggestions on songs and categories to discuss, and any experiences you'd like to share.

With that, I give you my first song of the week:

Calamity Jane, by Bethany Joy Lenz

What the song's about: Someone who is lost and hurts everyone around her. But redemption is possible because someone still cares about her. (Here are the lyrics.)

Why I picked it: This summer, my go-to source for TV entertainment has been One Tree Hill. It's definitely a guilty-pleasure show, but it surpassed my mediocre expectations, partly because it features two of my favorite things: music and basketball. (And books, to an extent. And there's a Mr. Feeney-like teacher.)

Joy plays my favorite character, and she's also a musician. She has released some of her music through the show, and I became a fan immediately. I'm a soprano-turned-alto, so I admire any singer who can utilize her rich alto tones. "Calamity Jane" was released just this week, and is one of my favorites from this artist.

Best line: "She's lost and she's lonesome and wounds everyone that she's near. But I love her just the same, wicked calamity Jane." This line hits you right where it hurts. I've known people like this, and I don't know which is worse—the hurt you feel when someone you care about hurts you, or the hurt you get watching them hurt.

Mood trigger (still trying to think of a better category name): The lyrics are a bit depressing, but the music has a determined, upbeat feel to it that makes you want to go out there and keep fighting for that person you love, no matter what.

Random observation: Is it possible to have a chocolatey voice? Because the timbre of Joy's voice makes me think of smooth, silky chocolate, the kind you get from a chocolate fountain.

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