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  • Writer's pictureTara Vaughan

Music & Lyrics

I listened to music for the first time today without crying. I say listened but I didn’t truly listen, not to the lyrics, I did the best I could to ignore them. I tried to enjoy the motion of the music. Every time I found myself listening to the lyrics I would quickly try to distract myself.

Music has played a big part in my life. There are songs that remind me of certain friends, songs that remind of school, holidays, travelling, songs that remind me of a happier time. I have playlist after playlist, of music. Playlists for winter, playlists for summer, playlists from when I worked abroad, playlists for working out to, I have playlists titled sleep, soul, classics, love songs, big chill, rock ‘n’ roll, soul mates, and some even after various countries that I have visited.

When I lived in London, music became the background to my life. Everywhere I travelled I plugged in my headphones to drown out the noise of London and the people surrounding me. Waking up in the morning I’d put on music, I’d listen to music in the shower, listen to it when eating, plug in as soon as I stepped out of the house, whether I was going two minutes across the road to the supermarket, a restaurant or the park, I would plug in.

For the past year, every song I’ve heard reminds me of Hugo. For the first time in my life I heard the lyrics. I heard what the artist was trying to put across but the lyrics have always been drowned out by the music, always turned into a happy, joyful song, one that you dance the night away to not one where you sit and absorb the lyrics. In the past I have heard songs but never to this extent. I could sit and listen and absorb the music, letting it sink into my bones but I have never heard it like I did when Hugo left me.

When I had enough of my own thoughts I would plug in. When I wanted a distraction so that I could daydream, I’d plug in. When Hugo broke up with me, I turned to music. It was there for me. I’d find songs that I’d never heard of before, and listen to songs that I had heard thousands of times but never actually heard before. I listened and listened and listened until one day I had to stop. I realised that everything that I listened to, no matter what it was made me cry. Every song that I heard, whether for the first time or the hundredth brought me to

tears. I was left with silence. I was left with my thoughts.

One day someone recommended podcasts to me. I love them. For the past eight months that is all I have listened to. Podcast, after podcast, after podcast.

The day before my brother Jamie’s wedding, I booked myself in to see a beautician. We were talking away and I hadn’t noticed that Radio Two was on in the background. The beautician left me on my own for ten minutes and Steve Wright played four love songs in a row. I broke down. I couldn’t bare it. When she came back in I asked her to tune into Classic FM, I tried to meditate to calm myself down. But it was too late the music had got to me.

I have sat in car journeys with family or friends and they’ll put music on, and it brings me to tears. I feel too stupid to ask friends to turn it off or to change it to Classic FM or Radio Three. I automatically feel like my family put it on on purpose, thinking that they are trying to help the situation but in fact making it so much worse. In reality they will have forgotten that it has this effect on me, until I snap at them to turn it off.

Music used to be the most magical thing to me and for months it has sadly been a deadly poison. Music had the ability to transfer me to any country or place that I have visited, make me smile thinking of various friends, pick me up when I’m in a mood and bring me somewhere brighter. For a year now it has made me cry. Perhaps now I can slowly re-introduce myself to it. A big part of me says no to that because I’d just be triggering myself and putting myself back into that painful situation. But I know that I cannot hide from music forever.

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