Certainly, it seems that every relationship has “their song”. That one special tune that was played on the first date and it always brings upon memories of those special moments when their love was blossoming. Music has a way of doing just that; bringing memories of either good or even the bad times.
But do (or did) your single days have a “special song”? A song that summarized the angst you went through while searching for that special someone? Guess what? You’re not alone if you do. All you have to do is listen to the lyrics from any 80s Ballad. According to Jason Blume, the author of This Business of Songwriting, the art of writing lyrics involves the “AID” method: Action, Imagery, Detail. The Action words in the song ensure avoiding simply stating feelings. The Imagery refers to things that be can be seen. Finally, Detail is the third component that helps show what is occurring—instead of telling how the singer or character in the song feels. Good songs… the ones that go platinum, usually come from a dark place that the author has gone through in their life.
Having all of those aspects together, the AID method, the real-life experience, and a good tune can really make for a great song. The songs most couples share seem to be centered around love, how they were searched out and found each other. But what about those “instructional” songs that seem to be guided towards the singletons? One that comes to mind is .38 Special’s “Hold On Loosely”. To me, I would have saved myself from a copious amount of angst if I would have just listened to lyrics instead of just humming along when it hit the airwaves. Here’s a part of the full lyrics:
You see it all around you. Good lovin’ gone bad and usually it’s too late when you, realize what you had. And my mind goes back to a girl I left some years ago (Who told me) Just hold on loosely, But don’t let go, If you cling to tightly, You’re gonna lose control. Your baby needs someone to believe in and a whole lot of space to breathe in..38 Special, “Hold On Loosely”
Wow. It wasn’t until my marriage was over, divorced and back in the dating world did I really listened to what was being said in those lyrics. After a few dating failures, I had to get out of the mindset of being married and who knew that one of my favorite Southern Rock bands had been telling me since 1981: Hold. On. Loosely. What did that mean? I started to correlate when disagreements came upon the person I was dating and what I was doing. I was still in that “marriage mindsets” that you are supposed to be with the woman you love all the time. All. The. Time. I thought that was what I was supposed to do since my ex had told me that I wasn’t there for her. So, in any new relationship, I had to overcompensate and be with that person. What I forgot was the fact that it’s called “smothering”. I never got that until I was jamming down the highway, windows down with a little .38 on the ray-did-ee-oo.
What they are saying in that song is really, really simple. I mean just “hold on loosely”. What does that mean? How does one “hold on loosely”? I began an internal investigation into how I acted (and reacted) in my past relationships. My conclusion was that I did “hold too tightly”! I was probably white-knuckling the steering wheel as I drove through our time together. I didn’t want to be a failure… again because of what my ex had told me about not being around enough.
When you allow others the opportunity to be without you or not around you, it gives them the opportunity to be themselves. When you are dating, one might not want their identity to be enmeshed within yours. Their identity is obviously just as important as yours is. Giving someone the opportunity to show themselves who they are is a tremendous gift TO YOU. Thank you, Rock-n-Roll.
Another great tune that is all about teaching about relationships just happens to be my favorite song of all-time. I am, of course, speaking of REO Speedwagon’s Roll With The Changes. Again, same deal. I didn’t really take in the lyrics until I was in a sad place. This song teaches us that life changes. Deal with it. Roll. With. The. Changes.
So if you’re tired of the same old story, Oh, turn some pagesREO Speedwagon, Roll With The Changes
I will be here when you are ready. To roll with the changes, yeah, yeah
Look, I can go through a myriad of Rock songs that will teach us lessons. It just fascinates me that I never really listened to the lyrics until I came into a place where I wanted guidance. I was going through therapy and became very internal when it came to my thinking, Phil Collins’ “I Don’t Care Anymore” would pop up a lot, I’m not going to lie. But when you begin internal thinking, you become very astute to thinking about what is best for you. With professional help, you can really find out what it is that might be holding you back. When you’re not in front of those professionals, its a great opportunity to build out on what you’re looking for. Music can do that. What does it mean? Does the music you’re listening to help you or make you sad? Are you becoming more hopeless at the music you are listening to when you are feeling alone?
Find the music that will motivate you. LISTEN to the lyrics. The author went through something. They made it through it. You will too. My only advice I would give fellow guys is don’t listen to Jimmy Soul’s “If You Want To Be Happy” Google it if you want… but, bad advice, man. Bad advice.