Ever since I was little, I have experienced the power of music.
For example, when I was five I went with my sister Bonnie to a local pizza restaurant and she selected my favourite song on the juke box. I lifted my head when I heard the music and began to sing. First, the waitress joined me and, before the end of the song, the whole restaurant was singing. The song was “You Light Up My lLfe” by Debby Boone. I know about this event from my mother’s book “Mary: a Mother Story.“
When I was ten. my parents got me a radio for Christmas, and it became a permanent fixture on the kitchen table or on my desk—wherever I was sitting. My mother called it “Mary’s Music Centre” and I had this set-up wherever we moved house, until I moved to my own present home over twenty years ago. Over those years my mother has tried to help me recreate this music centre—but to no avail. However, I’ve now discovered something new—I have Spotify on my phone. I’ve rediscovered the power of music again. I can even choose the music which suits my mood.
I am not the only one to be affected by the power of music. I know from watching TV documentaries that music has a positive effect on people with dementia who cannot communicate, or physically do very much. When they hear a song or songs from much earlier times, such as when they were growing up, they can remember and sing all the words of the song or songs when they hear them.
Another example of the power of music is the strong connection that happens when people hear their national anthem at a sports event, or have a feeling of connection even watching or listening to a broadcasted event, or to a sports match such as “Ireland’s Call,” with rugby.
I was also touched a couple of months ago when a girl about eight or nine was televised singing the national anthem of Ukraine while she was down in a bomb shelter with many others. There was complete silence when she had finished and then the whole shelter broke into applause.
My joy about Spotify is that I can listen not just to my favourite songs but to even more different songs that Spotify suggests. My favourite songs are from 70s and 80s, because I feel more meaning from those songs rather than from today’s music. What about you?