Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dance Alone Songs

Yes, dance alone songs, not dance along songs. Dance alone songs are songs that, no matter where you are or what your mood is, when you hear it you find yourself instantly in a better state of mind; everything seems right again…..everything is suddenly once again possible!

So come on, admit it, we all have songs that feed on that secret pleasure…the one we’re all guilty of. You know the moment I’m talking about; the moment when you find yourself reacting to that music that seems to be touching your very soul and driving you instantly into a better mood. Sure, some times you might check to make sure no one is watching, but other times, it doesn’t matter because that song just takes over you and for that brief moment, you don’t have a care in the world and you dance with your kids down the grocery isle as if it was what you were born to do!

What is that song for you? “Thriller?” “Call Me Al?” “King Tut?” Maybe it's “The Coconut Song?” Perhaps it’s anything by the great Earth, Wind and Fire? These songs are typically upbeat and uplifting. Most of the time they are silly, somewhat random songs, but other times they actually have a more serious message; something the song composer is reacting to like “Bye, Bye Miss American Pie.” Take Marvin Gaye for example; one moment he’s guiding you through the emotions of sexual attraction with “Let’s Get it On” and the next, he’s taking on war and a country in turmoil with “What’s Going On?” Like “Rolling On the River”, you hear the title and suddenly the songs just floods in, filling your head with that particular melody. Whatever you were thinking about suddenly is pushed out by the music and the instant feelings it leaves you with.

Now that I’ve got you thinking, I’m sure your head is starting to fill with your own examples of just such songs. As you’re starting to enjoy them, look at yourself. What are you doing? Are humming? Are you tapping your toe? Are you smiling? When that song comes on and you’re in your car, do you sing and dance? Play air guitar? Pound along on your steering wheel as you sit idly in traffic? Why not, I mean, isn’t it an unofficial rule of driving that whatever happens in your car is something private, something no one else can hear or see? Regardless of how dark your glass is, in your car, you are invisible to the world; all alone, surrounded by the beating rhythm of the pounding music and free to dance and respond outwardly however you see compelled.

Wait, perhaps your one of those few who have better control than the rest of us and you sit with a calm appearance, just enjoying the music, appreciating the nuances of the lyrics, while inside, inside that inner child has taken over and you’re dancing and bouncing around uncontrollably singing as loud as you possibly can. But why? Why not let it out? Why not, just for a moment, throw that grown-up persona aside and dance, dance madly, sing loudly and find that feeling of uncontrollable laughter that you used to feel on a daily basis as a child?

Maybe that’s it, that’s the key to this whole phenomenon. Perhaps it all just boils down to one thing – it’s not the messages of these songs or the amazing, modern Bach-like qualities these melodies display, but rather the feeling of shear joy and momentary relief that makes them great. Like a great movie, these songs have hit a nerve that instantly hits your internal reset button, giving you that sudden rush of adrenaline you need to push through the rest of the task at hand.

Considering the state of the state these days and the amount of pressure and stress that just juggling those daily activities can pile on, I say dance! Get in your cars and trucks, crank that music up and sing! And whenever you have a chance, be it at home in your living room or while you’re pushing that cart down the grocery store isle, if one of those songs comes on and the moment presents itself to you, grab your child and dance as if you haven’t a care in the world; for in that moment, as that shear joy washes over you and you listen to the laughter coming from you child, you won’t.

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't agree more, music can instantly change my mood. I love to put on music when I'm cleaning house - Rick James, B52s or A Chorus Line Soundtrack - all of them will get me moving. Sunday mornings are more of a quiet time give me Carol King, James Taylor or Willie Nelson then. And anytime is Beatles time. You named one of my alltime favorite songs in your post "American Pie". I had the 45 (that's how old I am) when I was a kid. The song was so long that you had to listen to the first part of the song on Side A and then flip it to Side B for the remainder, but I knew (and still do know) every single word. As someone said "Music is good for the Soul".