Musical masochism

There are certain songs I shouldn’t listen to. Not because they are bad songs–quite the contrary. There are just some songs that have such an impact on me that I really shouldn’t listen to them unless I have a few minutes to put myself back together again afterward. Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings is one. Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring is another, along with his Fanfare for the Common Man. The middle section of John Rutter’s Gloria also does it.

It’s not as common for pop music to have that level of impact on me. But one song that needs to go on that list is Five For Fighting’s 100 Years. And where some videos distract from the song, this one hammers it home all the harder. I can’t listen to it without getting caught up in thoughts of what my life has been, what it was supposed to be, and what it could still be. I get reminded once again, painfully, that I’m not taking time to enjoy what I’ve got, and far too soon it will be gone.

It’s a powerful song all by itself. Add to that the fact that my best friend, whose musical tastes seldom coincide with mine, has a similar reaction, and the song takes on yet more meaning.

Jon Ondrasik (who wrote it) is a dangerous man. His song Superman (It’s not easy) comes close to hitting as hard. If you haven’t heard them, you probably should. If you have…well, I would understand completely if you might want to avoid them.


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