Music for Your Mood #AtoZChallenge

Oh my, I guess I’m growing a bit weary of the #AtoZChallenge. That is, even though a ton of topics were available for the letter M post, I’m still not sure I have any substantial material to share. Today, I want to talk about using music to help your mental health.

Music, both listening to it and playing an instrument or singing yourself, can really help your mental wellbeing. I find, for example, that it gives me something to focus my senses on when I’m overloaded. Like I’ve said before, exposing yourself to a strong sensation can really help you feel more aware of your body. It can also help override other strong internal or external stimuli.

It really depends on you what type of music will help you when you’re in which mood. For example, for me, listening to peaceful piano or guitar music or soundscapes, helps me calm down. My husband says the same music winds him up.

When I need a mood booster, it helps me to listen to faster-paced songs, often with funny lyrics. For example, Tom Lehrer’s music really lifts up my mood.

Song lyrics can also help you describe your mood boost your self-worth. English being my second language means, however, that I don’t often completely comprehend them. I find “powerful” songs in Dutch to be really annoying most times. That being said, I do at times listen to songs with strong lyrics, such as contemporary Christian.

Also, my favorite song of all time is I’m a Survivor by Reba McEntire, which does have strong, relatable lyrics. However, most times even when I don’t fully know what a song is about, its rhythm, beat or melody appeals to me. That’s why I like ABBA, even though their lyrics aren’t all that powerful.

When I’m angry, I like to listen to the likes of Cock Sparrer, Booze and Glory and The Business. I do have an inkling of what their songs are about, but the essential bit is really the beat.

I can’t sing or play an instrument myself. When you can, it can be a true outlet for your feelings. Even when you don’t have any talent, you can still feel better by playing an instrument.

What music helps you right now?

Monday’s Music Moves Me (December 23, 2019): My Favorite Christmas Songs

It’s already past 10PM Monday here and I really need to be in bed, but I really want to have a blog post up today too. Don’t ask me why, as I’ve gone days without blogging before and it’s never been a problem. I originally intended on doing another Reading Wrap-Up, but then spent so much time actually reading that I don’t think I’ve got time for one now. Instead, I’m for the first time in forever joining in with Monday’s Music Moves Me.

The theme all December is Christmas. I wonder whether next Monday people aren’t seriously tired of all the Christmas songs, as it’s nearly New Year’s then. Anyway, I’m not yet tired of them, though I must admit I rarely consciously listen to Christmas music. I remember when I had my radio preprogrammed on Sky Radio close to Christmas one year when I was around fourteen. Sky Radio is broadcasted as “the Christmas station” here around that time and it practically airs just Christmas music then. My father-in-law, who usually has Sky Radio on in his dentistry practice, changes to another station as soon as he hears the first Christmas song, usually sometime in the third week of November.

Anyway, I know quite a few Christmas songs through Sky Radio, but this station doesn’t air any of the newer ones. Or maybe it does now. I honestly haven’t been consciously listening in years. So I guess all my favorite Christmas songs are rather outdated.

My favorite one is It’s Gonna Be a Cold Cold Christmas by Dana. I somehow love her voice.

Next I guess would be Last Christmas by Wham as it’s practically the first Christmas song you’ll hear each year here. It’s a pretty bad earworm, but oh well.

Then of course I need to include a not-so-serious one and I’m obviously going with Tom Lehrer’s A Christmas Carol.

What are your favorite Christmas songs?

Song Lyric Sunday: Movies

I am rather late to join in with Song Lyric Sunday and I’m twisting the prompt a little. After all, I rarely if ever watch movies, so I have no idea what songs are in them. For this reason, I’m going with a song that wasn’t a movie title song, but should have been. Tom Lehrer famously introduces this song that he proposes as the motion picture title song for the movie Oedipus Rex. I am too lazy to look up the lyrics that include the introduction though.

Song Title: Oedipus Rex
Singer/Songwriter: Tom Lehrer
Release Date: 1959

From the Bible to the popular song
There’s one theme that we find right along
Of all ideals they hail as good
The most sublime is motherhood

There was a man though, who it seems
Once carried this ideal to extremes
He loved his mother and she loved him
And yet his story is rather grim

There once lived a man named Oedipus Rex
You may have heard about his odd complex
His name appears in Freud’s index
Cause he loved his mother

His rivals used to say quite a bit
That as a monarch he was most unfit
But still in all they had to admit
That he loved his mother

Yes, he loved his mother like no other
His daughter was his sister and his son was his brother
One thing on which you can depend is
He sure knew who a boy’s best friend is

When he found what he had done
He tore his eyes out, one by one
A tragic end to a loyal son
Who loved his mother

So be sweet and kind to mother
Now and then have a chat
Buy her candy or some flowers
Or a brand new hat
But maybe you had better let it go at that

Or you may find yourself with a quite complex complex
And you may end up like Oedipus
I’d rather marry a duck-billed platypus
Than end up like old Oedipus Rex

Song Lyric Sunday: Desire/Lust/Romance/Passion

It’s Sunday and once again, I am participating in Song Lyric Sunday. Today, the theme is Desire/Lust/Romance/Passion. I am sharing a little song, which I already wanted to share several weeks ago when the theme was Fire or something like it.

In 2008 or 2009, my husband introduced me to Tom Lehrer. The first songs I heard were I Hold Your Hand in Mine and Poisoning Pigeons in the Park. For my 23rd birthday, I however got a CD with lots of songs by Lehrer. One of them is The Masochism Tango, which I am sharing here. I love the upbeat tune and the lyrics, of course.

Title: The Masochism Tango
Singer and Songwriter: Tom Lehrer

Another familiar type of love song is the passionate or
fiery variety, usually in tango tempo, in which the singer exhorts his partner to haunt him and taunt him and, if at
all possible, to consume him with a kiss of fire. This particular illustration of this genre is called
„The Masochism Tango”.
I ache for the touch of your lips, dear
But much more for the touch of your whips, dear
You can raise welts
Like nobody else
As we dance to the Masochism Tango
Let our love be a flame, not an ember
Say it’s me that you want to dismember
Blacken my eye
Set fire to my tie
As we dance to the Masochism Tango
At your command
Before you here I stand
My heart is in my hand . . .
(Yeechh!)
It’s here that I must be
My heart entreats
Just hear those savage beats
And go put on your cleats
And come and trample me
Your heart is hard as stone or mahogany
That’s why I’m in such exquisite agony
My soul is on fire
It’s aflame with desire
Which is why I perspire when we tango
You caught my nose
In your left castanet, love
I can feel the pain yet, love
Ev’ry time I hear drums
And I envy the rose
That you held in your teeth, love
With the thorns underneath, love
Sticking into your gums
Your eyes cast a spell that bewitches
The last time I needed twenty stitches
To sew up the gash
You made with your lash
As we danced to the Masochism Tango
Bash in my brain
And make me scream with pain
Then kick me once again
And say we’ll never part
I know too well
I’m underneath your spell
So, darling, if you smell
Something burning, it’s my heart . . . (hiccup)
‘Scuse me!
Take your cigarette from its holder
And burn your initials in my shoulder
Fracture my spine
And swear that you’re mine
As we dance to the Masochism Tango