Music, to me, is a mystery. Over the years, I tried my hand at the piano, the guitar, the flute, the violin and the harmonica... but I failed each one of these in turn without even a hint of talent to show for my efforts.
I can't read music. I clap on the off-beat (something I didn't know existed until the advent of Jonathan-the-Drummer in my life). And, what seems inexplicable to most, I find myself able to experience Tim McGraw, Rhianna, Tom Petty, Shakira and Julie Andrews with equal levels of enjoyment.
Jon hates my taste in music. He was raised on the classics and participated in the Livermore High School Orchestra and Drum Corps. The man has rhythm and, with the help of his Engineer's Brain, he can disect a song like a frog in freshman Biology (something else I couldn't do well). So, I trust his judgment. Music and I will never be best friends. But that doesn't stop it from speaking to my soul on occasion.
Perhaps it is the lyric which hooks me first... a complicated rhyme sequence always gets my blood pumping. And music is often a natural habitat for poetry anyway. When I scroll through channels on my car stereo, it's as if I'm on safari... hunting for a rare glimpse of genius.
Then, there, crouching at the edge of the lush Rock Jungle, I hear this:
Like a gift from the heavens, it was easy to tell,
It was love from above, that could save me from hell,
She had fire in her soul it was easy to see,
how the devil himself could be pulled out of me,
There were drums in the air as she started to dance,
Every soul in the room keeping time with their hands,
And we sang...
-- Into the Night, Santana --
I am captivated. The momentum of his voice, the words throbbing against each other and me, all of it takes over. And, as is the case with what I deem to be "good songs," the many-faceted face of music serves to literally prove the lyrics to be true.
It happens like this sometimes, the melody and rhythm and energy and vibrance of a song will infiltrate my entire state of being. I'll be sucked into the lyrics and enraptured by the unique harmonies dancing behind the words. I can see it, even... the vibration of the singer's vocal chords inspires color in my mind. It splashes about, changing hue and texture, writhing in time to the pulse of the song.
This phenomenon had occurred with me many times. Tom Cochran, Boston, Eminem, Shania Twain, Deanna Durbin, Journey, Taylor Swift... even Cher. My heart found theirs, mingling with the art they gifted to the world. And I needn't know a key change from a key ring in order to love the songs... or to sing [loudly] along with them.
Between 7 and 8 in the morning, you'll find me in concert somewhere between Livermore and Pleasanton... grooving along, smacking the steering wheel like a cymbal, lip syching when I run out of breath.