Music = Love

Let’s face it: Music’s a hard business. Whether you’re a band plugging away, making the best music that you can, or a booking agent trying to put all the pieces together, it’s still an uphill battle to get people out and to get recognized.

If we were to think rationally, we wouldn’t choose a career in music. Why would we? The hours are long, the process is hell, and the pay is often nonexistent. Odds are we’ll all fail; 99% of bands never hit the big-time, the golden ticket. Yet we continue to pursue our passion, taking time away from our families and friends while spending money we don’t have, struggling with our creative muse in the hopes that something bigger lies ahead.

The reason, my friends, is love. Quite honestly, we love music; it’s what fulfills us, nourishes us. We love listening to it; we love creating it; we love playing it. Truth is, we’re drawn to it like a moth to a flame; true, it may consume and ruin us, but it’s also what keeps us going.

British mellow rockers Prefab Sprout have a new album out entitled Let’s Change the World With Music. On it, the ruby-throated creative genius Paddy McAloon returns to the subject of music again and again in an attempt to capture what this muse does to us. Most of us can relate to his words.

On “I Love Music,” McAloon explains the reason for his love: “I love music, she holds the keys/ to unlock heartaches, and silver stardust memories…/ When that sweet angel sings/ I believe that/ I have wings, too.” How many of us can relate? Music is a mystical, beautiful, inspiring creature; by the art of listening or playing we, too, attain mystical status.

“Music Is a Princess” finds the singer admitting, “Music is a princess/ I’m just a boy, in rags/ I would gladly spend my life/ carrying her flags.// From the first time I heard her/ the sound of her voice/ and her beauty completely bewitched me./ I was lost then and there” We give ourselves completely to our muse, chasing greatness. It’s the breath we draw and the blood coursing through our veins; it’s what keeps us alive.

Finally, on “Sweet Gospel Music” (yes, there are that many songs with “music” in the title) shows music as salvation: “My poor heart was heavy/ my poor heart was stone./ Then I heard them—they were angels/ and they were singing: “You’re not alone.”

Love, that’s what it’s about: our love affair with music. Maybe she’s the one who’s bad for us but we just can’t stay away; maybe she’s the one who inspires us to be a better person than we are. But does it really matter? The best thing that can happen to a person is to have someone special to love—even if that someone is a beautiful, elusive, angelic muse. We’re in love, plain and simple…and maybe that’s enough.

Laura Hamlett

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