Eminem’s performance of “Lose Yourself” on the Academy Awards tonight was amazing. 17 years ago, he was nominated and won for, “8 Mile.” He didn’t show up then to receive the award nor to perform, as he was asked to do. Well, retribution awaits all of us. “Lose Yourself” is such a powerful and vulnerable song. It struck me watching the audience, comprised of many races and persons from various ethnic backgrounds; all of which were singing back the words. All words, word for word.
I felt a chill as I watched, as I listened. Surprisingly I felt a tear in my eye. I was filled hope and felt a part of a much bigger world, it felt good. This is what music can do. This is what a song can be. In today’s isolating work and social culture, shared experiences are far and few between. What is it that music does do us? For you? “If you had one shot or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment Would you capture it or just let it slip?”
More than most things, music can bring people together for a common interest. We come to hear it, to see the band/artist play the show, to buy a t shirt, etc., but what about the words? What do you think the meaning behind the catchy shout-out-loud chorus? Or the melancholy pop verses of Elliot Smith? What does it mean to you? The experiences we have with song are imprinted in us, ever reminding of us of former break-ups, love, experiences, moments, etc. The music is invigorating and something we can feel, but when we dive deeper into the words/lyrics we can find many similarities between the rock star we celebrate; he, she they, are more similar to us than we thought ever-binding us together forever; words can elevate the experience to something meaningful, personal, and shared.
At first when I watched Eminem I was thinking, “I don’t like his beard,” and then without notice the moment took over. I began to bob my head and singing along. These unexpected moments can come from anywhere but happen a lot to me when I hear a song or read lyrics of a song. Moments like these can spur hope, build courage, and offer a connection that we did not know exists. Is your choice of music mood-driven? What is your song when you are depressed? When you are happy? What artist do you relate to? Is it Eminem? He grew up in poverty with a violent home-life, was an active addict, now he is in recovery; is this your story? Which song do you listen to screams back at you, “This is my story too?”
These are rich moments to show we are all human, despite fame, fortune, stardom we are all vulnerable, emotional humans. I often use music and lyrics in session to help identify hard to name emotions and or feelings or as a conduit to help communicate difficult traumas and or experiences we have had. What song/s would you bring in the office that would help you talk about yourself?
Write your thoughts down as if you were writing a song. It could be about anything, but make it personal. Think about writing a song for someone else to sing. Who would you have sing it?
Thank you reading, please comment as you feel compelled to. We are really never alone.