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The Almighty Doer of Stuff

Name one song that...

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Music is one of humanity's oldest means of healing, unifying, and celebrating. Many people with mental health issues find it to be essential to recovery, and I can attest to that from my own life. It has many functional purposes in our psychology, and it's a passion of mine. I'm awful at composing it but I can't imagine my life without it.

 

I've selected a few circumstances, and I want you to pick a song that matches that description for you. One song, not two, not an album, not an artist; one song, and if it's a multiple movement work such as a symphony, one movement. Give a little bit of information about the song, maybe how you heard it, what it means to you, etc. I'll post the blank template here and then answer it myself.

 

1. Name one song that makes you feel really, really happy.

 

2. Name one song that helped you get through a difficult period of your life, or still does.

 

3. Name one song that makes you feel calm and serene.

 

4. Name one song that you associate strongly with a good memory.

 

5. Name one song which resonates with a character trait you want to encourage in yourself.

 

6. Name one song that you find really interesting on a compositional level. (Lyrics, chord structure, sound effects, timbre of instruments, etc.)

 

7. Name one song that you didn't like at first, that you eventually came to really enjoy.

 

Then, as a bonus,

 

*. Say something positive that happened in your life today.

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1. Name one song that makes you feel really, really happy.

I used to have a playlist called "Blisteringly Happy", full of songs that were so sickeningly happy that it was impossible to feel sad while listening to them for more than a few minutes. There's an interesting psychological trait in humans that causes our emotions to change when presented with incongruent information, such as forcing smile or getting up and doing something when we just want to mope around in bed. One song on that list (which I've misplaced but I've a similar one now) is "The Ocean" by Led Zeppelin, from "Houses of the Holy". Something about the fun guitar riff, the lyrics about a positive change in life circumstances, the fact that I've convinced myself that I've figured out the mysterious, legendary fake lyric in the liner notes ("I've got a date, I can't be late, for the hellhound let her fall"), and the sudden switch to the happy, surf-rock-ish coda, it lifts my mood almost every time.

 

2. Name one song that helped you get through a difficult period of your life, or still does.

"Hey-Ya" by Outkast, from "The Love Below". An upbeat, happy-sounding song about the miserable breakdown of a once-happy romantic relationship, full of clever wordplay which is something that appeals to me. I listened to it over and over when my ex, Ashley, ditched my sorry behind in early 2014. My life got much, much better, very quickly, after that, not because she wasn't there (she's a wonderful person), but because suddenly I had to look at my life and say, "You know what, the safety net is gone, all my dreams suddenly have to change. What do I do now?" And I was forced to figure it out, and this song helped me figure out that I was mostly the one to blame and that Ashley was totally justified in ending it. That enabled me to work very hard on myself so I don't make those mistakes again.

 

3. Name one song that makes you feel calm and serene.

"My Lovely Horse" by The Divine Comedy. It was created for a British TV comedy show called "Father Ted", about three priests and their housekeeper (or something like that). I've never really watched the show, although it seems hilarious. They were making a song for a Eurovision parody, and the song appears in a dream sequence. That sequence, the combined song and video with the priests, is just so extremely, over-the-top sentimental from beginning to end. It just doesn't let up! I find myself simultaneously cracking up and feeling very, very peaceful when I watch it. It's truly a masterpiece of parody, I think.

 

4. Name one song that you associate strongly with a good memory.

My dad was a big fan of Roy Orbison, and any of his big hits remind me of my dad, but I remember when my dad played "Oh, Pretty Woman" for me, and tried to get me to sing it, when I was a small child. I just. Could. Not. Get. the "Mercy!" or the cat growl! I couldn't do it! Probably because I was a little child and Roy sang them in a bit of a low register that I was physically incapable of replicating at the time... Anyway, my dad was always trying to get me to be enthusiastic about music like he was, and that's something I'll always remember. I feel bad that I used to shout at him when he'd sing in the car. I wanted to hear the song on the radio, not his version, and I'd tell him he was an awful singer. It seems to have really hurt his feelings and I feel bad about that, especially now that he's no longer around. But he was a great singer. People shout the same thing at me now, and I know they're wrong. Karma?

 

5. Name one song which resonates with a character trait you want to encourage in yourself.

I'm going to have to get back to you on this one...

 

6. Name one song that you find really interesting on a compositional level. (Lyrics, chord structure, sound effects, timbre of instruments, etc.)

"I Am the Walrus" by The Beatles really fascinates me. There are a number of songs like this, really compicated, wordplayish songs that nobody can figure out but I think I can, but this foremost, partly because so many people strongly insist it's nonsense, and partly because I think the supposedly nonsensical song is actually about very violent and highly-unethical content. I'm not saying John Lennon ENDORSED the content, so much as that he was screwing with our heads which he did enjoy doing. Not sure I can go into the details here though...

 

7. Name one song that you didn't like at first, that you eventually came to really enjoy.

Pretty much all of it. The first time I noticed it really dramatically though, was "Aqualung" by Jethro Tull. I thought it was jarringly loud and unpleasant when I first heard it, because I wasn't used to anything heavier than Sgt. Pepper at the time. >_< But it's a wonderful song from a wonderful album.

 

*. Say something positive that happened in your life today.

My mother unexpectedly decided to come help me pack today instead of waiting until tomorrow, which will make me feel calmer.

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Edgwyn   

1. Name one song that makes you feel really, really happy.

Edge of Seventeen (Stevie Nicks)

2. Name one song that helped you get through a difficult period of your life, or still does.

There is a variety

3. Name one song that makes you feel calm and serene.

The Rose (Bette Midler)

4. Name one song that you associate strongly with a good memory.

In your eyes (Peter Gabriel)

5. Name one song which resonates with a character trait you want to encourage in yourself.

I will stand by you (Pretenders)

6. Name one song that you find really interesting on a compositional level. (Lyrics, chord structure, sound effects, timbre of instruments, etc.)

Beethoven's ninth symphony

7. Name one song that you didn't like at first, that you eventually came to really enjoy.

Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin)

Then, as a bonus,

 

*. Say something positive that happened in your life today.

I had a productive day that was also relaxing and non-stressful with my immediate family

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Owenmoz   

1-Happy Pills, Norah Jones

I don't really know why. Its a silly song but i love it and makes me smile

2-Lost One, Jay-Z

Well.. its complicated to explain. I think the music shows that life tends to be a strugle one way or another but you pull through. And that everyone has problems at the same time yours are important and meaningless. Plus the rythm is pretty amazing

3-Dreams, Fleetwood Mac

Ha! Another childhood song. I can actually only enjoy it when im alone/at peace. The rythm is very very relaxed.

4-Ты У Меня Одна, Юрий Визбор

My mother used to sing this. But i would interchange it with inner smile by texas which reminds me when i was 6 i and my siblimgs decided to start a rock band. It lasted a week. Good times

5-Hard one... I guess 3005, Childish Gambino. Im sure it resonates with something i like about myself. I'm just not sure what. I guess not constant. Which im sure is a bad thing. But i like it.

6-Pretty Things, Tulpa. Are you kidding me? This is classic, street, makes you wanna move it makes you wanna chill. This is gold! Hours later and here i am again explaining that it has the violin there to making it and edging in. This song is very interesting.

7-Female Dog Don't Kill My Vibe, Kendrick Lamar. My best friend kept insisting i'd love this song. We have very similar taste in music so i trusted her. I hated it. Years later i started to apreciate every part of it. It really is a great song.

*- I woke up extra early giving me extra hours to study for my exam today. That i am here speaks a lot about my commitment to it though :p

 

EDITED: Version 2.0.0.3. Now with small explanations.

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Blxz   

1. Name one song that makes you feel really, really happy.

2. Name one song that helped you get through a difficult period of your life, or still does.

Lemon Tree by Fool's Garden

3. Name one song that makes you feel calm and serene.

Lemon Tree by Fool's Garden

4. Name one song that you associate strongly with a good memory.

Lemon Tree by Fool's Garden

5. Name one song which resonates with a character trait you want to encourage in yourself.

Lemon Tree by Fool's Garden

6. Name one song that you find really interesting on a compositional level. (Lyrics, chord structure, sound effects, timbre of instruments, etc.)

Lemon Tree by Fool's Garden

7. Name one song that you didn't like at first, that you eventually came to really enjoy.

by Appletreeeducation

Then, as a bonus,

 

*. Say something positive that happened in your life today.

 

I finally completed my Biology subject and have been able to rid my house of the 45 petri dishes filled with disgusting bacteria that have been crowding my house for the past 2 weeks. My favourite was the one that looked like a lemontree. The yellow staph growths contrasted nicely with the green growth from my shoe scrapings.

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Callie   

1. Name one song that makes you feel really, really happy.

Nick Drake - "From the Morning"

 

2. Name one song that helped you get through a difficult period of your life, or still does.

The Velvet Underground - "Heroin"

 

3. Name one song that makes you feel calm and serene.

David Bowie - "Lady Grinning Soul"

 

4. Name one song that you associate strongly with a good memory.

The Smiths - "There is a Light that Never Goes Out"

 

5. Name one song which resonates with a character trait you want to encourage in yourself.

?

 

6. Name one song that you find really interesting on a compositional level. (Lyrics, chord structure, sound effects, timbre of instruments, etc.)

Sonic Youth - "'Cross the Breeze" (by far the most listened to track in my music library)

 

7. Name one song that you didn't like at first, that you eventually came to really enjoy.

Jeff Buckley's cover of "Hallelujah"

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Hey guys, don't forget:

 

Give a little bit of information about the song, maybe how you heard it, what it means to you, etc. I'll post the blank template here and then answer it myself.

 

5. Name one song which resonates with a character trait you want to encourage in yourself.

"Climbing the Walls" by They Might Be Giants has been a "theme" of mine since I decided to stop chasing a life I couldn't handle, just because everyone wanted me to. The song is about self-compassion and sticking to what one knows is right for one, specifically in the context of tending to one's mental health and refusing to give in to people telling one not to listen to one's inner cues. I can't force myself to not be ill, even if people want me to. I'm getting better and I'm a much stronger, more mature, better person for it, and this song helps me keep MY goals and needs in mind, and reminds me to be patient with myself and stand up to others.

 

*. Say something positive that happened in your life today.

I got out of bed reasonably on time! Maybe I'll make it to the clubhouse in time for breakfast today.

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Sudanna   

1. Name one song that makes you feel really, really happy.

.

Exaltation.

 

2. Name one song that helped you get through a difficult period of your life, or still does.

.
Because I’m afraid to look the world in the eye.

If nothing’s gonna change, well, then I’d rather die.

And I’m too unemployed to organize a union.

I’m too intoxicated to tear down a building.

I’m too hopeless to look for a solution, I’m afraid that if I found one,

I’d be out of excuses for the way

I waste away in the gutters that I chose,

Like fashion accessories to go with my dirty clothes.

I haven’t bathed in months, but you know it’s not because

I’ve been fighting bourgeois morals, I’m just lazy and I’m young.

 

[. . .]

 

I want something more than an apology to say

When I look the world in the eye.

I’ll tell you, man, my friend William came to me with a message of hope.

It went: “[censored] you and everything that you think you know.

If you don’t step outside the things that you believe

They’re gonna kill you.”

He said: “No one’s gonna stop you from dying young, and miserable, and right.

If you want something better, you gotta put that [censored] aside.”

 

The mutilation of the self is the only path towards real personal growth.

 

3. Name one song that makes you feel calm and serene.

.

 

4. Name one song that you associate strongly with a good memory.

.

I have a very poor memory. I think I remember something good from this. I'm not sure what.

 

5. Name one song which resonates with a character trait you want to encourage in yourself.

.

There's only one way to get wisdom.

 

6. Name one song that you find really interesting on a compositional level. (Lyrics, chord structure, sound effects, timbre of instruments, etc.)

Feeling Good, by Nina Simone.

I'm a huge sucker for big, dramatic brass instruments on the frontline of a song, first of all. But I like how deceptively few moving parts this has, while still feeling super full. Nina Simone's voice could fill all the craters of the Moon.

 

7. Name one song that you didn't like at first, that you eventually came to really enjoy.

.

Or anything by Metric, really, but this is the first thing of theirs I grew to like. Now I like a ton of their stuff.

 

*. Say something positive that happened in your life today.

I bought a car.

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1. Name one song that makes you feel really, really happy.

"Stuck Like Glue" by Sugarland. Sometimes, I feel like I can hear people smiling while they sing. This is one of those songs, and it's infectious.

 

2. Name one song that helped you get through a difficult period of your life, or still does.

The first time death crept up to my door at a close level, I listened to Pachelbel's "Canon in D" for months. It's still really charged for me, and so hauntingly beautiful. And it reminds me that each transformation builds on what comes before, and what is here will still change yet.

 

3. Name one song that makes you feel calm and serene.

The Paper Kites, anything really, but let's say "Halcyon," is so calming. A private spring or summer afternoon in a park, a light breeze, it's all just lovely.

 

4. Name one song that you associate strongly with a good memory.

As a youth, "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People, though pretty messed up, makes me think of an amazing summer experience I had at debate camp making lifelong friends.

 

5. Name one song which resonates with a character trait you want to encourage in yourself.

"Everything at Once," by Lenka, is about becoming everything at once. That unbridled ambition is something I haven't had in a long time, and I want to stop being so timid and scared. I want to stop apologizing for existing.

 

6. Name one song that you find really interesting on a compositional level. (Lyrics, chord structure, sound effects, timbre of instruments, etc.)

Mogwai's "Auto Rock" is hauntingly beautiful. "Mars" by King Crimson, similarly, is the only song that evokes fear in me.

 

7. Name one song that you didn't like at first, that you eventually came to really enjoy.

I really didn't like pop music at first, I was too much of a try-hard hipster to stoop to that level, but I'm an amazing fan of anything kesha produces. Among others, of course.

 

*. Say something positive that happened in your life today.

I've been very productive on studying for my senior thesis today, which has been an amazing districation from... life.

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Sometimes, I feel like I can hear people smiling while they sing.

 

You can, it affects your voice. One song I can think of in particular is "The Inner Light" by the Beatles. George Harrison very audibly had a big grin on his face while recording it.

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1. Name one song that makes you feel really, really happy.

 

Time, As a Symptom by Joanna Newsom always makes me feel happy in a steady way. The lyrics "the moments of your greatest joy sustains/ not axe nor hammer, tomb or tremor, can take it away/ And it remains. It remains." reminds me that no matter what hardships I go through in the future, nothing can take away the good experiences I've had with friends and loved ones. The whole song is a joyful experience really.

 

2. Name one song that helped you get through a difficult period of your life, or still does.

 

Blinding by Florence and the Machine helped me get through an abusive relationship. It perfectly captures how alive I felt after I got out and how miserable that person had been making me feel.

 

3. Name one song that makes you feel calm and serene.

 

Bridges and Balloons by Joanna Newsom makes me feel pretty cozy. It's like the feeling of reading a dreamy fantasy book before bed, captured in a song. I love the little Narnia reference in it.

 

4. Name one song that you associate strongly with a good memory.

 

Say My Name by Odesza reminds me of a really good summer I had in NY one year. Specifically sitting in my cousin's car with the sunroof open watching the stars whiz by with the bass cranked up, and Times Square at night with all the signs and neon lights lit up.

 

5. Name one song which resonates with a character trait you want to encourage in yourself.

 

Inflammatory Writ by Joanna Newsom is about overcoming writer's block with ambition and determination, which are two qualities I try to maintain when I get bogged down by writer's block.

 

6. Name one song that you find really interesting on a compositional level. (Lyrics, chord structure, sound effects, timbre of instruments, etc.)

 

RIP Burn Face by Cocorosie has so much going on in it that it's a joy to listen to even though the subject matter is melancholy. The Black Session recording of this song (which was only ever uploaded to youtube I think) is especially good.

 

7. Name one song that you didn't like at first, that you eventually came to really enjoy.

 

I would always skip over Only Skin in Joanna Newsom's album Ys because the song is 17 minutes long and it seemed to drag. I wound up listening to it on a road trip through rural CT and I realized it was an excellent song, and now it's one of my favorites. I practically know the lyrics by heart.

 

*. Say something positive that happened in your life today

 

I hung out with my best friend, put some money in the bank, bought some fancy makeup I'd been wanting for a while and had hot jasmine tea with some fresh cookies. A cozy afternoon so far.

Juan Carlo and nikki. like this

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nikki.   

I would always skip over Only Skin in Joanna Newsom's album Ys because the song is 17 minutes long and it seemed to drag. I wound up listening to it on a road trip through rural CT and I realized it was an excellent song, and now it's one of my favorites. I practically know the lyrics by heart.

 

Ys is an album I usually skip entirely (not because I dislike it, but because 'Only Skin', in particular, does drag a little), but sometimes I'm not paying attention and 'Emily' or 'Sawdust and Diamonds' comes on, and I'm completely blown away and I remember how much I love Joanna Newsom.

 

Anyway, your post made me start listening to The Milk-Eyed Mender, for the first time in about 8 months, so thanks! Also, +1 for Cocorosie. :)

Galactic Maiden likes this

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Heh. In belated response to the OP: I love Jethro Tull. Including "Aqualung."

 

1. I don't have any songs that make me uncompromisingly happy. Generally, I don't do pure happy; hopeful is the best you'll get...

 

But for that, I always have Delain:

 

 

2. I once picked up a heavy metal habit from someone I knew. I left her behind a while ago, but the habit didn't leave me. And in those times when I feel emotionally overwhelmed, I usually listen to an album:

 

"Hope" by Swallow the Sun

 

I'm not linking it here because it's... pretty hardcore. But it's still the album that takes my hand and says, "I know the world sucks, but you're going to make it through this time."

 

(And no, I have no idea why I find emotional solace in doom metal. I'm weird.)

 

3. Jan Garbarek does serenity well. I should probably start listening to him again; it might help.

 

 

Not sure I'd call it calm, but definitely serene.

 

4. I, uh... yeah, I don't think I've got anything there. On we go.

 

5. That would be

 

 

by Within Temptation. Because, you know... actually get out and doing stuff, instead of moping around and kvetching.

 

6. Interesting compositions by Pain of Salvation are... not exactly uncommon, but my favorite is probably

 

"Enter Rain"

 

which I'm not linking because of disturbing lyrics. But, it hits me really hard on both musical and lyrical levels. It also helps that Daniel Gildenlow is gorgeous:

 

http://i.imgur.com/5sgOLCI.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/8n0A1rZ.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/FYoZHFY.jpg

 

Seriously, tell me the guy doesn't look like an angel.

 

7. "Starships" by Nicki Minaj

 

Well, maybe not "really enjoy", but it has its heart in the right place.

 

and

 

*. I found out that an old acquaintance is actually doing okay, despite my worries.

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