31 songs / music

31 songs

Music was my refuge.  I could crawl into the space

between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. 

Maya Angelou

I read a book with this very peculiar title…“31 songs”, a couple of years ago. Its author, Nick Hornby, writes about 31 songs that he has loved throughout his life.  Hornby’s very original, personal “soundtrack” has then brought me to consider  that each of us has a personal “soundtrack”, made of the songs that we have listened to and loved since we were children.

Some people may have very similar personal soundtracks, although I doubt  there are two people in the world who share exactly the same list of favourite songs.

Moreover, you should consider that very often the songs in your list are not always the ones you would “expect” yourself to appreciate… I mean, they are not always “right” for your age, social status, cultural background. I felt I totally agreed with Hornby when reading the following passage in the book:

Oh, of course I can understand people dismissing pop music. I know that a lot of it, nearly all of it, is trashy, unimaginative, poorly written, slickly produced, inane, repetitive and juvenile (…) I know, too, that Cole Porter was ‘better’ than Madonna, or Travis, that most pop songs are aimed cynically at a target audience three decades younger than I am, that in any case the golden age was thirty-five years ago and there has been little value since. It’s just that there’s this song I heard on the radio, and I bought the CD, and now I have to hear it ten or fifteen times a day…

You don’t “choose” which songs to like and which not to… songs come to you, and simply strike something in you. Or they don’t. Very often they are “right” for you, they are “in accord” with your age, or with your musical tastes up to that moment… while sometimes… well, you simply find yourself whistling a tune, or you wake up with a refrain playing in your head… and that’s not the kind of music you usually listen to!!! How can this be???

I’ve picked up that book again for some reason recently, and I’ve had this idea of sharing my “31 songs” with you while at the same time inviting you to do the same on this blog, whether writing about them in a post or simply leaving your comments.

My only hope is that, just as it has been for me when reading Hornby’s 31 songs (as I didn’t know all the songs he wrote about), you’ll very likely “get curious” and feel the need to “know more” about a musician, his songs or its lyrics, or simply to “understand” why a song in particular has meant so much for someone else… and maybe decide to make that song also one of your songs, or decide it is definitely NOT the kind of song you might like, who knows… 😉

What matters, as far as I am concerned, is that you further practise the language while having fun, widening your horizons… linguistically, culturally and – why not – musically speaking! 🙂

“ Music is enough for a lifetime,

but a lifetime is not enough for music”

Sergei Rachmaninov

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0 thoughts on “31 songs

  1. This is a very interesting post, actually. 🙂 Right yesterday evening I was thinking about writing a chart of the 40 songs that belong to the soundrack of my life. For my 18th birthday I made myself a present recording a CD with the 18 most meaningful songs of my life. It was a hard work and, to be honest, I’m not still satisfied with the result, and I regret having included some of them because I don’t like them anymore. Maybe I’ll write about this list (31 songs or 18… I’m not sure) in a next comment or in a post 😉

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