last week, i wrote a post about an alan watts video that equated life to a symphony. it got me thinking about the role of music in expressing human emotion and, at the core, making us feel. love, hate, joy, sorrow, suspense, excitement, connection, loneliness, defeat, triumph—there are few things that can move us, that can truly capture our raw feelings, like music.
so this post is about anthems. what do i mean by "anthems"? not the songs they play on the radio ad infinitum, on ten different stations, nearly every minute of every day, so by default they are seared onto your brain, and your lips mouth the words, whether voluntarily or not ("p-p-p-po-ker-face...").
no i'm talking about songs that stir you. that make you stop in your tracks. that interrupt your pattern of daily existence and rock you...to the core.
anthems can be motivating, inspiring—but the true power lies in the fact that they're timeless: they are at once emblems of where you came from and the spark to get you where you're going. when you're in a funk, they can fuel your fire. when you're running out of gas and you can't run another minute, an anthem comes on and you can run another mile.
i could list off countless anthems that move me, in just about every genre from rock to pop to r&b and punk, but i'll pick one of my all time favorites, and it's not just because it was the sopranos' swan song (i was after all in the journey fan club back in the day). it's an oldie, but still such a goodie: "don't stop believing".
this song had all the essential ingredients for a killer anthem: great lyrics, a catchy hook, sweet guitar riffs, big hair and bad outfits. but just in case you'd beg to differ, that's another reason anthems rock: because they're personal.
they sum up you, your ethos, your call to arms...and they make great fodder for "best song ever" debates. so fire up your lighter, put your pinky, thumb and index finger in their best devil horn formation, or throw on your dancing shoes if that's your flavor...and rock on!