Which band sings the soundtrack of your life?

Source: mtv.com

Source: mtv.com

A while back, I did a blog post of my soundtrack, which included a variety of my favorite songs.

The soundtrack of one’s life, however, digs deeper than that. Our lives are complex, weaving in and out of happy, dark, and brilliant moments.

My musical tastes include classic rock, punk, 90’s alternative, a bit of reggaeton, and many other genres in between.

As a writer, I am obsessed with song lyrics while discovering unfamiliar bands or new songs. I can’t help but interpret their meanings and attempt to relate them to my life.

Some bands touch a nerve more than others, and I’m sure that’s true for many people. We have our favorite bands for different reasons, and mine include the quality and depth of the lyrics and how inspired the music makes me.

The Cranberries, above all other bands (even my favorite voice of all time, Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine) for me, is like listening to my journal entries in the beautiful Irish tones of Dolores O’Riordan.

The band’s songs vacillate from almost naive happiness, which I have been guilty of feeling in the beginning of relationships, to depressing tones in the midst of break ups.

Their 1993 debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? is my life in a nutshell.

The blissful lyrics of “Dreams” are reminiscent of those first few months of a relationship: the honeymoon phase. As if I’m walking on a cloud, dreaming, making grand statements like, “He’s perfect for me!” Dolores expresses this better than I do:

And now I tell you openly, you have my heart so don’t hurt me.
You’re what I couldn’t find.
A totally amazing mind, so understanding and so kind;
You’re everything to me.

Oh, my life,
Is changing every day,
In every possible way.

And oh, my dreams,
It’s never quite as it seems,
‘Cause you’re a dream to me,
Dream to me.

Once the honeymoon phase ends, I crash. I feel like I was hit by a truck. When in the early stages of the relationships I had nervous butterflies, now I have anxiety in the pit of my stomach. The Cranberries tune “Wanted” describes this relationship stage perfectly. The stage in which fights erupt out of nowhere, emotional jabs fly back and forth, and I realize the person I met is different from who I thought he was. Or maybe I was just blind from the start:

You know that all I wanted was
To be there by your side
And if you didn’t want it
Well you shouldn’t have denied

You knew that you were someone special
Right from the start
But if you treat me badly
We’d be better off apart

Oh, if this is the way you wanted it
Oh, I didn’t understand
Oh, if this is the way you wanted it
Oh, I didn’t understand, understand

Yet through the fights and the red flags that scream, “Get out now, while you still can!”, I continue wasting my time on someone who I know is wrong for me. I stubbornly believe in the relationship, no matter what my friends, family, or even acquaintances say. I try to “work on things” and “talk it out,” even though it’s clear (like in one of my previous posts) that you can’t fix Jerk.

I become so wrapped up in the delusion that the relationship could last, and it’s as if nothing could bring me back to reality. But I’m always given a painful punch to the face to tear me into pieces and realize I have to move on. But the process is dark and dangerous. It brings to mind The Cranberries’ song “How”:

Now you’re just walking away (Walking away),
When you said you always would stay (Always would stay.)
Never before, never again,
You will ignore, I will pretend.
Never before, never again,
You will ignore, I will pretend.

In your world, you’re alone in your face.
You’re alone in your world, you’re alone in your face.
How you said you never would leave me alone, oh.
How you said you never would leave me alone.

The process of moving on is messy. It’s waking up from nightmares only to wake up and realize that I’m also living a nightmare. Sleep is the only escape. Writing becomes therapy that must save my life. I bleed out the pain through ink on blank paper. Some of those thoughts reach my blog. Comments from other bloggers help me realize I’m not alone. I’m not the only one who has been mistreated, lied to, crushed, deceived, chewed, and spit back out onto the pavement.

During those dark and achingly long time periods of moving on, I travel through a whirlwind of a million emotions. Mainly it’s back and forth between depression and anger. In those times, I turn to the song “Still Can’t.” It expresses the complexity of a breakup just how I live it:

Nothing of what you said to me was real.
And you still can’t find the strength,
To apologize, (-ogize, -ogize).
You just go on laughing and telling everyone lies.

‘Cause you wanted it all, you wanted it all, you wanted it all.
No, and there’s nothing at all,
There’s nothing at all, there’s nothing at all.

Maybe if you could see beyond,
Your nose, (your nose, your nose).
Nothing of what has happened surely shows.
But your ego excelled and then your attitude.
And you went on laughing and shouting,
It’s all too shrewd.

‘Cause you wanted it all, you wanted it all, you wanted it all.
No, and there’s nothing at all,
There’s nothing at all, there’s nothing at all.

After feeling more emotionally stable (or even before then), the cycle repeats itself. I’ll always need The Cranberries in my life, because I feel less alone knowing that Dolores O’Riordan “gets it.” Give me some headphones, a pen, some paper, and I’ll be okay.

Who writes the soundtrack of your life?


22 thoughts on “Which band sings the soundtrack of your life?

  1. I love how you’re so passionate about music you like. Saw you on The Journal and i’m so glad i found you.
    Check out the band- The Civil Wars. I love their song Dust to Dust.
    Hope you like it! Happy blogging!!

  2. For me, it’s definitely Lana Del Rey. I’m pretty much obsessed with all of her music and have hunted down even the early, unreleased stuff because I just want more. But her newest album, Ultraviolence, very well COULD be the soundtrack to my life. Especially the song “Cruel World,” which perfectly captured how I felt/feel about the dissolution of my friendship with my “best” friend.

    I definitely adore The Cranberries… I want to listen to them now after reading this, haha. As a kid growing up in the 90’s, it was often on the radio in the background of my life.

    And the song “Linger” definitely describes my first disappointment in love… Every time I listen to it it evokes that feeling of disappointment. It’s pretty haunting.

    • Lana Del Rey is amazing! I can completely understand your obsession with her music. She’s fabulous.

      I was almost going to include lyrics from “Linger” for this post. I love that song, and I can completely relate to it. It’s so hard to narrow it down to a few song lyrics to include.

      Thanks for reading and commenting! 🙂

  3. I ask myself this same question periodically and I’ve found that I can’t pinpoint just one band or singer who sings my overall life soundtrack. But if anyone’s lyrics are relatable more than any other, it’s definitely John Mayer. He has a way of saying exactly what I’m feeling and as he grows as an artist, the changes always seem to be spot on with my life changes as well.

    • Very cool! Yes, it can be difficult to pinpoint one band out of the millions in existence that we can relate to the most.

      That’s interesting how you describe the way John Mayer grows as an artist is similar to the changes throughout your life.

      Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  4. I can’t pinpoint one band to sing my overall life soundtrack. But John Mayer has always had a way of saying exactly what I am feeling. I’ve noticed that as he grows as an artist, his changes seem to coincide with mine in a very poignant way. He might just be my spirit animal.

    I do enjoy The Cranberries, awesome choice 🙂

  5. Pingback: Why you should listen to your intuition | Humyn

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