I once wrote a paper about the power and beauty of popular music. Under the influence of some resentment about studying music, I hit out at the notion of classical music being the only academically appropriate genre and attempted to champion my cause through personal experience. For someone who values the peacefulness of understanding that everyone has their own reasons supporting a mindset, it was one of the most opinionated things I had ever written or really been vocal about. Please do not think that I am attacking classical music. Quite the contrary. I trained as a classical vocalist from the age of 14 through college and have experienced some of my most powerful musical moments while either listening to or participating in classical pieces. But to think it would be the only kind of music worth studying was really beyond me (this was an argument that haunted the hallways of my college music department where I did end up with a version of a music degree that was tailored to my set of values).
I grew up in a very small town with only a couple other homes in the radius of my own. But these few homes came together to form what I can only describe as the perfect community that raised me. My own home had my parents who taught me the power of laughter. Down the street were an elderly rough and tumble couple raised in the Maine wilderness, who taught me a stricter set of manners, the beauty of nature and the value of not being handed everything of a silver platter. Directly across the street, in a home built by the son of the farmer who built our own, a music icon and his model wife who taught me the passion of creativity and the excitement of the unfamiliar. Though I am sure it helps that my neighbor was the guitarist in a rock band and not a concert pianist, this community of mine came together to teach me that inspiration is personal, something to take wherever you get it, and that there should never be an apology for it. So I was raised on music from the radio charts and through lyrics telling stories I could see playing out in front of me.
The entire point of this rambling and dissection into my childhood is that music is a powerful thing. It can change lives. It can change moments. It can change minds. Music creates an atmosphere for your own world and makes you feel. Nick Hornby wrote in his book '31 Songs', 'If you love a song, love it enough that it accompanies you throughout different stages of your life, then any specific memory is rubbed away by use'. When I saw the video below for the first time, this immediately came into my head. Henry does not tell us if he is thinking about one specific moment but he does tell us, and show us, that music you carry with you, music that joins you for the entire journey, inspires and can bring you back to life.
'I feel of love, of dreams'. Meet Henry.