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Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof

Because I’m happyyyyyyyyy

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth

Because I’m happyyyyyyyyy

Those are some of the lyrics to the song “Happy”, a well-known pop tune that came out in 2013. We all have certain songs that make us feel happy, at peace, confident, content, etc.

I hesitated on doing the writing assignment “Emotional lyrics” from the ds106 Assignment Bank, because although I thought it would be enjoyable to write about three songs, I wasn’t sure what emotion to pick at first. This is the description of the assignment:

Choose an emotion (happy, sad, excited, hyper, sleepy, surprised, inspired, etc.) and then choose three songs that reflect that emotion. Name the emotion, the song, and why it makes you feel that way. This can be done in three separate tweets to allow for character count. Have fun with this!

Stars: 3

I decided to pick three songs that made me feel happy or positive in general. (Also, I didn’t follow the suggestion to write these just as tweets, because I felt that that would be too limiting.) It was incredibly hard to pick only three songs. I have amassed a giant collection of music, and I’ve got tons of Spotify playlists.

In the end, I chose “Carry On” by fun., “Hold On” by Yes, and “The Girl Who Listened to Rush” by Nerf Herder. (The order of these songs is arbitrary.)

1. Carry On – fun.

This song always makes me feel happy in a summery sort of way. I first heard it in the spring of 2019, and then I listened to it a few more times over that summer. When my family took a trip out to California, I listened to it on one of our hikes at the top of a mountain, and I felt so free and happy.

There are some songs that I love for their lyrics, and then there are some I love for the feeling. “Carry On” is more of the second, although there are some lyrics (like the chorus) that I really like. The music is very upbeat and hopeful. The drums are deep and confident, and the guitar and piano complement each other well in a sweet melody. The bagpipes are a nice touch, too.

If you’re lost and alone, or you’re sinking like a stone,

Carry o-o-o-o-on

May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground, and

Carry o-o-o-o-on

Carry on, carry on

2. Hold On – Yes

This song draws me in and pulls me along with its pulsing drum beat, fluid and relaxed guitar, and deep underlying bass. It gives off calm and unhurried vibes. There are some songs that are just inexplicably sweet to my ears and musically feel so good, and this is one of them. My dad introduced me to this song, along with a few others by Yes, on our drive home from UMW last spring (this was when we were sent home because of COVID). As soon as I heard the opening drum hits on the snare and toms, I immediately knew I would really, really enjoy this song. I also sensed that it would be one I’d have on repeat, and I did indeed replay it over and over throughout the following months of spring. In addition, I taught myself to play it on drums—it’s probably one of the easiest songs I know how to play, and it brings me so much satisfaction.

I’ve already explained how good this song feels to me and how much I love it musically. I also like it lyrically, although the meanings of some of the lyrics don’t make a lot of sense. However, the chorus is encouraging, and it seems perfect for 2020:

Hold on, hold on
Wait, maybe the answer’s looking for you

Hold on, hold on
Wait, take your time, think it through
Yes, I can make it through
!

Hold on, hold on
Sunshine shine on through
Hold on, hold on
Sunshine shine on you

See it through

3. The Girl Who Listened to Rush – Nerf Herder

If you’ve read my post about my favorite rock band, Rush, you’ll understand why this song makes me so happy. I found this song through a Rush music reaction video on YouTube—someone had commented the first verse and chorus of the song. Intrigued, I copied and pasted it into a new tab. As soon as I saw that there was an actual song called “The Girl Who Listened to Rush”, I freaked out for a minute and then found it on Spotify.

Now, for those of you who don’t know much about Rush and its fandom, the band is known for having a male-dominated fanbase. I know there are other girls out there who like Rush too, but I haven’t met any who hold it up as one of their favorite rock bands. I’ve definitely met more guys who are into Rush.

I was delighted to listen along and read the lyrics, which are chock-full of Rush references. It was so much fun hearing it for the first time, and I still very much get a kick out of it today. I can’t *not* sing along (or at least mouth the words to) this song. The lyrics aren’t the only reason I really like it—the band brings so much energy to the music, and they clearly added some elements that sound like Rush.

No, she doesn’t say “Pert”, and she doesn’t say “Part”

Yeah, she knows it’s “Neil Peart”

‘Cause he’s close to her heart

Say a prayer for John Rutsey, he was there at the start

She’s the girl who listened to Rush

Philosophers and ploughmen

They can’t resist her call

They cannot choose not to decide, so they’ve got no choice at all

They’ve gotta love her

Like I mentioned above, it was very difficult to pick out the three songs I liked most among those that make me feel happiness. I think that was both because I have a large library of music and because each of these songs give me that positive feeling of happiness in different ways.

“Carry On” feels quite anthemic, and it provides this feeling of confidence and content happiness. “Don’t It Feel Good” by Home Free is similar to me, but instead of confidence, it exudes very chill vibes. “Joy” by Newsboys dives into catchy verses before springing into an energetic, celebratory chorus. These songs are a few of the ones on my “feelgood/chill tunes” Spotify playlist. They are the ones that come to mind when I think of happy songs.

“Hold On” is one of those songs that fills me up; it just sounds so good. There are other songs that have the same effect on me—for example, “Orion” by Metallica, which is a masterpiece of an instrumental with fantastically crunchy guitar and phenomenal bass, and “La Villa Strangiato” by Rush, an amazingly well-crafted ten-minute beauty that I could listen to over and over again. “Your Love Is Beautiful” by Hillsong Worship is one of the earliest songs I can remember hearing that made me feel this way. I simply feel pure joy listening to these kind of songs because to me, this feels like the artists are creating music the way it was meant to be played, listened to, and experienced.

“The Girl Who Listened to Rush” makes me smile because the lyrics have a fun personal meaning to them. I am the girl who listened (listens!) to Rush, and it’s cool to have that part of my identity recognized in song. Examples of other songs loosely in this category are “Offended” and “My Love Is Conditional For You” by Adler Davidson—I found these hilarious tunes one day and showed them to my sister, and now we sing them to each other occasionally. Collectively, these are songs of inside jokes and parodies; these are songs that hit a personal note in a positive way. Although I can appreciate the music in these songs, I tend to mainly focus on the lyrics.

A few other categories would be worship songs that encourage me, songs that I love singing along with, and songs that I love playing on drums.

This is the kind of post that I’ve come to realize I really enjoy writing, but it also makes me feel more vulnerable than I’d like to admit. As I talked about in my YouTube video in Week One, it’s weird posting things publicly. It makes me feel conflicted, because I both do and don’t want to discuss things online that matter to me. On the one hand, I love analyzing music, but on the other hand, it means so much to me that I feel like I’m giving the other person a view into my soul if I explore certain songs. I love talking about music, I love talking about my favorite songs, I love suggesting new ones and taking recommendations from my friends or just about anyone. However, there are some songs that touch me so deeply and understand the things I keep in my heart. It’s usually the lyrics that find their way under my skin the most, but it can also be the musical sounds that seem to be expressing my exact emotion or thought.

Those are songs that I can’t share with just anyone. Even if I didn’t say anything about myself when I shared one of them, I’d feel like I was exposing myself because those lyrics and music mean so much to me. Writing about them feels like I’m spilling my heart onto the page.

I usually think about sharing songs with someone in person or over text, so considering what that would be like on the internet is different. It’s interesting that in a way, I think I’d feel less exposed if I talked about them online. However, I’d want to be anonymous. On this blog, my name is all over the place, so it’s not really possible here.

That feels like a bit of a bittersweet note to end this post on, but it’s one component of the larger discussion of digital privacy, privacy in general, and our theme “What’s your story?”. We all get to choose how much of our story we share with others. My hope is that we can respect each other’s right to share we want and receive what others share without harsh criticism, but I also hope we will feel safe enough to share things with each other. That involves trust and treating each other with kindness. I’m primarily thinking of “we” as the students in this class, but it could also be applied on a larger scale as well—to those closest to us, to those in our community, to those who need connection (and honestly, I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t need connection on some level).

Music touches all of us in numerous ways, and I think it’s cool that we all have different perspectives on it. To me, that’s one of the many ways that we stand as unique individuals, yet we are all connected.

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