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Musick has Charms to sooth
a savage Breast,
To soften Rocks, or bend a
knotted Oak.

-William Congreve, 1697

Music is such a universal joy in this life. With so many styles and genres, I think it would be the rare person who couldn’t find some sort of music that brings joy or comfort.

Several of my musician friends have spoken about hearing music, a sort of soundtrack for their lives. And just like in movies, some of the music is original and some has already been composedโ€”the lyrics and tempo and melody just seamlessly fitting in to the action.

But life soundtracks change. What might be compelling or important to you may not stay that way indefinitely. This is why I’m hard-pressed to select specific songs as favourites. That changes, depending on mood, circumstances, even location. But if I’m unable to settle on favourites, I can point to songs that have made a lasting impression on me. And while there would be quite a few to choose from if I were forced to make a list, here’s a representative sample:

‘I Can See Clearly Now’, Johnny Nashโ€”I remember my mother once telling me that this was one of her favourite songs. After she was killed in a car accident, choosing the music proved to be one of the most difficult aspects of planning the funeral service. My brother, sister, and I each chose a song that we felt represented our mom. I chose this.

‘Dance of the Blessed Spirits’ from Orfeo ed Euridice, Christoph Willibald Gluckโ€”I played the flute from the time I was in the 4th grade through my freshman year of high school (after which time I gave up band for drama classes). I didn’t play for a long time after that. Several years ago, though, I picked it up again (and have since pretty much stopped). A medical condition has compromised my fine motor skills, and I thought playing the flute would help preserve the dexterity of my fingers. (It’s also why I taught myself how to knit.) I chose this solo to practice during my lessons, and it still makes me smile whenever I hear it.

‘Bus Stop’, The Holliesโ€”My best friend introduced me to this song many (many) years ago. Such fond memories connected with this song, as well as numerous others I associate with our friendship. Whenever this song comes on, I can’t help but crank up the volume and sing along.

My list could go on and on, but I’ll stop there. What are the important songs in the soundtrack to your life?

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Patricia relished her nights at the symphony, letting the music infuse her spirit with beauty. And sometimes, with just a bit of ever-elusive hope. But since her husband had said it wasn’t ladylike she never played her violin again. Even after the divorce.

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