“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” ~Victor Hugo
The Perfect Song.
Is there one? doubtful. I believe there are hundreds, no thousands of perfect songs floating around this planet of ours at any given moment. How can that much perfection exist without us noticing it? Because perfect songs are 30% song value and 70% timing. While the song itself is of the utmost importance, the way and time in which we experience the song makes all the difference. The best song at the wrong time is just a good song. The worst song at the best time is much more important. Perfect songs help us to escape, to cope, to relish, or to cry. They are our best friend.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve driven my car just to listen to that one song. That one song, that perfect song. For a while it was Jimmy Eat World, I wore the Futures CD out like it was going out of style. For some reason, I connected with that album in ways that went beyond a musical appreciation. At the time, every line, every harmony echoed in my heart something deep and personal. I didn’t hear catchy lyrics or up tempo hooks. I heard my life. Now when I listen to Jimmy Eat World (as I am at this very moment) I am taken back to that time and I can feel everything just as vividly as ever. In this way, perfect songs can also be like time capsules. They not only capture an emotion, but they store it away for later use.
Then there are the songs that make you laugh. While I wouldn’t call it the high point of my life, I went through a certain obsession with Taking Back Sunday and to this day I can recite every line from every song (what’s very ironic is that my itunes just pulled up TBS randomly after I typed that sentence). Even more embarrassing was my obsession with Creed. Yes, Creed. I worshipped the golden-locked power trio of Scott Stapp, Mark Tremonti, and Scott Phillips. I would sit in front of my sound system every day in middle school after school and listen to their cds on repeat while I did my homework. I would then stand in the middle of my room and pretend that I was Scott Stapp and I was performing in front of thousands of people. I have actually never admitted to doing this until now, so there it is. I’m that guy. I so connected with Creed that I wouldn’t listen to any other band. I fought hard for Creed too because they really weren’t ever that cool. At least, not cool enough for me to be addicted to them.
So some perfect songs make us laugh, some make us cry, and some just make us smile. Remember the time you listened to Bob marley or 311 on the first day of summer? Or that time you let Death Cab for Cutie speak to your soul when you didn’t even know you were sad? Or maybe you’re like me and you created a playlist on your computer of “the best songs ever written” that’s a guaranteed emotional roller coaster when put on shuffle. Whatever songs you love, however long you’ve loved them for, the important thing is that they’re more than songs to you. And the common thread is that they became a perfect song when you heard them at the perfect moment. You see, the perfection is the relationship that exists between those melodies and those feelings.
“Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies.”
~Edward George Bulwer-Lytton