“For heights and depths no words can reach, music is the soul’s own speech.” Or: Fuck you, music.

For blowing me apart with a single album. Song after song. Unrelenting, reflecting pain and heartbreak and hope back at me like a full length mirror in a room flooded with daylight. It hurts my eyes. It hurts my heart. It just hurts.

It’s not like I’m new to music doing this. It’s why I love music even while I curse it. The Dresden Dolls did it to me with their eponymous album; “Half Jack” dropped a bomb in me that exploded over the course of years. “Delilah,” which found a studio recording (finally) on a later Dolls’ album and “Have To Drive,” which started out as a Dolls’ song but wound up on Amanda Palmer’s first solo album, are still two of my most favorite songs ever. The orchestral and choral crescendo that “Have to Drive” crashes into on the studio version had me sobbing in my car, driving a dark highway the first time I listened to it.

Fuck you, music.

Fleetwood Mac’s “The Dance” wrapped it’s arms around me and spirited me away into the first stages of womanhood and true spirituality. “Gypsy” and “Rhiannon” and “Gold Dust Woman”…they’re like parts of me now. They speak to me of the imperfect mother that I warred with but love immensely, the boy I fell in love with who turned into the man that divorced me, the first woman I was ever able to say “I love you” to because she cornered me in the middle of garden and forced it out of me. I’ve used “Gypsy” in an audition; people smiled and clapped. I worked it into one of my own songs. My sister, aunt, a dear friend, and I sang it in the car right before we got out and I married my now ex-husband. That experience was empowering and perfect, even though the marriage wasn’t.

Of course there are others. I remember pretending to die, dramatically collapsing against the couch every time the cannon fire went off in Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (only to spring back up to “die” once more by the time the next one rolled around.) I never knew, at seven years old, how much that song would impact my life later on.

Dear Gods, don’t even get me started on Harry Chapin. Introducing me to his music is one of the best gifts my ex-husband ever gave me. “Burning Herself” was the first song he sang to me and…he couldn’t’ve known how spot on he it was. I trusted him with the painful secret of why that song resonated so deeply with me. He was the first person outside of my mom and dad whom I ever told. I’ve been working on a blog about that for months now…

Fuck you, music.

For getting into places inside me that I’m afraid of or hurt too badly so I don’t want to see. For making sense of the chaos I feel. For showing me that I’m not alone. When I find myself thinking I have this crazy stupid life that no one else can relate to, I’m proven wrong, yet again, by music. Musicians are out there who may not’ve gone through the exact same things I have, but since we’re all human, it’s pretty damn close enough.

This time around, the fucks go to Tylan (of the folk-pop trio Girlyman). Her solo album, “One True Thing” finally dropped on Spotify today and I’ve been listening to it. And just…weeping. It’s too close. Too right. Too much.

Fuck you, music.

And by that, I mean thank you. A thousand times over thank you. Please don’t ever stop. Bring me back to myself. Give me courage. Unite me with people I never knew I had things in common with. Lend me your eyes so I can see further, loan me your heart so I can feel deeper, love me even though you’ve never met me. Thank you.


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