“Where words leave off, music begins.” ~Heinrich Heine
I love music.
So much so, that it astonishes me that I have never really written about it before.
Music plays a part in my life every day.
Whether it’s impromptu dance parties while getting the day started, music blaring on my long car rides to work (with me loudly singing along with the tunes) or music softly serenading me while I cook dinner, I cannot imagine my day without some form of song in it.
In fact, in my car are probably a hundred or so CDs, mixes compiled over a period of at least the last ten years to present day. Popping one in immediately brings me back to different times in my life. Quite simply: the music is the soundtrack of my life. Tough times, happier ones, excited or hopeful vibes all captured on those shiny, silver discs.
I think sometimes I take for granted just how much music means to me.
That’s why when I was in London, it finally felt like time to visit the road made famous by the Beatles: Abbey Road.
It isn’t just a road. It’s a walk into the past as passerbys pose in the crosswalk imitating the famous shot of the unforgettable foursome in the street. It’s a walk into nostalgia as sweet sentiments are painted along the wall outside Abbey Road studios.
Taking in the wall and seeing the lyrics, drawings and messages, all inspired by the Beatles and their music, inspired me. I was never a diehard Beatles fan, but I enjoyed them and I could relate to the fans’ adoration.
That’s because growing up, I was a huge fan of U2. I had all their albums and still know a dozen or so songs word for word. I saw them perform twice.
True Story: There was a phase when I listened to “One” so many times on repeat that one of my brothers finally staged a song-tervention to snap me out of my U2-bubble.
I went back to listening to them the next day.
And so when I went Dublin and started hearing U2 on the radio and U2 performed live by the pub musicians, it brought me back.
I hadn’t thought about them in so long, not even when I knew I was traveling to Ireland.
But there they were. And like old friends, we were back together, like no time had passed. The lyrics hadn’t changed and neither had my love. Naturally, when I heard there was a U2 graffiti wall, I had to see it.
Getting there was an adventure. The anticipation built as we got closer. Once we were there, I was disappointed to see that a good portion of the wall was covered. It turns out there will be reconstruction in the area, but parts of the wall will be preserved.
Luckily, there were parts that weren’t covered and I’m glad I got to see that at least.
I was touched by the notes left for Bono and the gang. In their messages of thanks, and little love notes, I felt like it was me speaking. U2 mattered to me. They still do.
I love music. It has the power to uplift my spirits when I’m feeling low. It has the ability to inspire and move me. It can save me from a bad day, or just free me when my mind is racing.
A song can give peace in the present and hope for the future. And sometimes, a song can transport you back to another time in your life, for better or for worse.
I put in some U2 the other day. The songs still mean what they did way back then, but they also mean more. They remind me of what it’s like to be a diehard fan, a loyal listener. They remind me what it’s like to love unconditionally—through the highs and lows, through space, time and distance.
Thank you for the trip down memory lane and the reminder that music means so much to me.
Thanks for the gift it provides to me and so many others.