Sunday, May 16, 2010

Musical Moods And Memories

There is a lot of power in music. Many times I listen to a song and it takes me back to some event. The Crash Test Dummies song Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm reminds me of a bus ride in middle school when I threw up my breakfast of a protein bar and Tang. To this day I hate that song, and I've never had Tang again. Another time I was at a dance with a boy that was definitely "friend" territory. The song One came on and he said, "I love you too." I spent half the song worrying he had misinterpreted my feelings, until I realized he actually said, "I love U2."

Like many writers, I have a special playlist to whip out as mood music. I'm a sucker for really good lyrics. The right words can either be poetry to my ears, or make me laugh so hard I cry. Here are a few snippets of songs that I've listened to numerous times because the lyrics keep calling me back (By the way, the links aren't great, but at least you can hear the song):

"Tell me would you kill to save a life?
Tell me would you kill to prove you're right?
Crash, crash, burn let it all burn
This hurricane's chasing us all underground."

"You’re a parasitic, psycho, filthy creature
finger-bangin’ my heart.
You call me up drunk, does the fun ever start?
You’re hideous... and sexy!"

"Inside my mouth I can hear all the voices say
do not lean over the ledge
I shouldn't look down and I shouldn't have found
that your lips I still taste in my head."

What music do you like? Are there any lyrics that inspire you? Do you have special mood music? How about a memory associated with a song?

And just for fun, I wanted to leave a link to one of my favorite music videos. Enjoy!


  1. I love U2! That is hysterical!!!!

    There are tons of songs that I love. Simon and Garfunkel and Neil Diamond are easily some of my favorites. The Boxer being a great one, and almost all of The Jazz Singer soundtrack.

    (I know I am a total geek)

    I keep wanting to put together a writing CD. Maybe I'll do that today while I conquer the laundry. :)

  2. So the music I listen to has a lot to do with what I'm working on. Lately while writing about a teenage girl who is her own worst enemy I have listened to a lot of pop and an eclectic mix of moody music:
    I'm only me when I'm with You--Taylor Swift
    So What? --Pink
    Then there are the many days lately when I get Ludobrain--a condition caused by listening to Ludo to many times a day at full volume. Here are some of my favorite lines:
    Lake Pontchartrain- "Then out of the bayou came a man like the lake had a tongue...I was driving out of there as fast as a Camry could" Love those lines.
    Topeka-"I found God in a catalytic converter in Topeka on a Monday night"
    In Space-
    The moon is old
    All dusty craters
    Fear and panic
    Orbit mars
    Saturn's dark side rings
    Are just plain beautiful

    Back on earth
    You're waking up soon
    Stretching in
    The morning light
    No celestial body
    Could compare to you

    Next writing list will include:
    Who wants to live forever? by Queen

  3. I don't really have a writing list. In fact, my ideal writing conditions would be in complete silence. However, my kids don't agree with me on that subject so I have to improvise. I love music, though, and certain songs do influence me, but I usually don't listen to anything while I'm writing unless I'm trying to drown out other annoying sounds. i.e. at McDonald's.

  4. I do have a lot of mood music and I love certain lyrics. One of my favorites is The Ocean by The Bravery.

    "All of these moments are trapped in time
    but you're caught in my head like a thorn on a vine
    to forever torment me and I wonder why
    do I wish I'd never known you at all?"

  5. I've got a couple for ya Deb:

    Wrong - Depeche Mode

    The Bird and the Worm - The Used

    Sometime Around Midnight - The Airborne Toxic Event
    Uprising - Muse
    I Don't Care - Apocalyptica

    These are all kind of dark, but make me feel creative in a some strange way. Must be my dark brooding side coming out. If I want to get jazzed up for a good workout then I stick to P!ink, Lady Gaga and that kind of thing. :)

  6. I'm with Arlene in that I can't have music on while I'm writing. In my case it's because I'm too easily distracted and would spend too much time focused on the music instead of writing.

    However, when I'm listening to music I often find myself thinking, "This is what (so and so character) would listen to," or "This song would be great on the soundtrack of the film adaptation of my novel," etc.

    There is one song that whenever I hear it always cuts right through to my soul. It goes something like...

    "...Everybody have fun tonight, everybody Wang Chung tonight..."

    Wait, maybe that's not it.

  7. Linda, that is so funny . . .

  8. Good instrumental music helps, especially scores--Hans Zimmer is a winner, but there are others too. Two Steps From Hell is very diverse, however theirs are all very short.

    Yellowcard and Starting Line take me back to the summer of 03 before my mission. Fall Out Boy takes me to the summer of 2007, I must have listened to "Thnks fr th mmrs" 150 times riding my motorcycle back and forth to work that summer.

    "Feeling this" and "I miss you" by Blink 182 remind me of running late at night last summer. And if we get into particular songs about particular girls, I'll be here all day :-)