The Power of Music

I found my i-pod last year. It was tucked away in a box with a load of old photos. I synced it up with the intention of using it again. When I looked through it I realised it hadn’t been updated since 2011, just before my eldest child was born. I’d updated it to take into hospital to while away the hours of boredom and pain that is childbirth. I’m not even sure I used it when we had our second child. The Ashes was on in August 2013 so we had the dulcet, calming tones of Test Match Special and Absolute 90’s oozing from our DAB radio.

Even at home music wasn’t a big part of life for a long time. After we moved house in 2013 our hi-fi broke and I had no means by which to play the extensive collection of cd’s sat on our bookshelves.

Over time my husband’s transferred all of those CD’s to digital format and they’ve been packed away in the loft. A former lifetime of music and influence now hidden away with old baby clothes and the photos of my youth.

But it’s not all lost.

It’s taken a while but finally I’ve transferred to digital. A phone upgrade last year, technology getting quicker and easier to use and me having the time and space to value it again means I’ve finally got all my music to hand again.

All available with the touch of a button. On headphones, in the car, via Bluetooth speakers in the house. It’s back and I’ve realised again how wonderful music is. For changing your mood. Boosting, calming, reminiscing, occasionally making you cry.

As a child, teen, through university and in my 20s music was always there. I was influenced by my Dad’s love of the Beatles and two older brothers who exposed me to music 10 years ahead of what my peers were listening to. They gifted me the latest Now compilation each Birthday and Christmas. A love of indie and rock developed from an early age.

Throughout A-levels music, to be expected of any self respecting late teen, held a large focus of life. Even in class sometimes. I did A-level art and it was often the only way I could switch off from the burble around me and concentrate on what I was doing. My teacher at the time approved of the Beatles CDs and portable CD player that occasionally skipped if the table got knocked.

At University my love expanded. A regular at Indie nights but also anything that I could dance to. Cheesy discos, metal, heavy house, funk and folk. My flatmate and I were regulars on the termly trip down to Cream in Liverpool to get high on the drug fuelled house music scene. We didn’t partake of the eye popping, hyper inducing illicit substances though. We didn’t need it, a few vodka & redbulls on the bus, a vast amount of water and the music was all we needed to keep us going until 3am.

We immersed ourselves in Glastonbury and every gig that came to our small university town of Lancaster.

Many a lecture was missed because I’d been out……….again. Thank goodness that was back in the days of old licensing laws when pubs stopped serving at 11 and clubs had their doors firmly closed by 2am. I’m not sure how I’d have fared with today’s 24 hour licensing laws!

There were playlists for trips. A cassette tape for the minibus on field trips or a canoe club adventure. Eventually upgraded to a freshly burned CD of the current top tunes to prepare us for whatever lay ahead.

University wasn’t the end of it. My travels in Chile and Argentina were fuelled by an upgrade to a mini-disc player. It was often passed around on expedition for anyone that needed a switch off. Many a tune from that trip takes me back to a bus journey, a sunrise, a particular place.

When I started working I would often have my i-pod on in the office, again to drown out distraction of the burble in an open plan office. Sometimes my own archive, sometimes the calming classic of Radio 3 or the dulcet tones of TMS if there was cricket on. My commutes were always plugged in to something too.

And then I became a Mum!

Life got too busy, too full of kids TV and what they wanted on or wanted to do. I’ve always had the radio on in the car but it became background noise that I didn’t pay much attention to. My priorities changed, that’s all, and I forgot about music.

But in the last year or so the boys have started to pick up on it. Singing songs from a film they’ve watched or rocking out in the back of the car when a particular tune comes on the radio.

My youngest has developed a penchant for rock music. His favourite is a particular beauty from the Lego Batman movie that could be from the archives of Iron Maiden in their prime.

So we’ve all started listening to music more. An impromptu disco in the living room, a repeat request for George Ezra on the school run. Whatever I feel in the mood for when I’m on my own.

I’m loving it. I’m mostly harking back to the happy memories of my old library but I’m discovering new music too. Older bands that I’d never really listened to before as well as new music recommended by Spotify or itunes.

Isn’t modern tech wonderful. Where I used to rely on friends recommendations or what was on the radio, now an algorithm somewhere makes suggestions on previous choices. Alright so that sounds quite unsociable but I rarely have time to talk about music with anyone, life is still too busy so I’ll take the help of modern tech for now.

And so we come to what’s prompted my ramblings here? I have, without question, rediscovered the power of music in the last year. It’s had the power to lift my mood when it’s been low and give me motivation when I’ve been feeling a bit “meh” about life.

The Short One, The Even Taller One and I are formulating a playlist for our Celtman trip. The Short One’s started it and she’s just given me free reign to add to it (though she has veto’d it with final editing rights ;)).

Hopefully, it will fuel our long trip up North and even more importantly psych The Short One up for what lies ahead on race day. Suggestions welcome. Anything uplifting…………..but please no RnB.

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