Alternate Title: Why do certain songs stick with us?
I know, I know. Sometimes you just like something and you can’t pinpoint a reason as to why. But, what about all the other times?
Well, here’s a little experiment to do for yourself. Just grab an original playlist and get to analyzing.
Create a Playlist
If you’re starting from scratch…
You need some songs. And preferably a theme to keep things concise. Here’s a few suggestions:
- Anthems. What’s the soundtrack to your life?
- Flashback. Create a playlist to reflect on an old event or year.
- Moods. What songs do you blast when you’re angry? Happy? Disappointed?
- Relationships. Whether it be romantic, platonic, or familial, see if you can make a playlist about it.
- Stories. Let’s be honest, sometimes we don’t personally relate to a song. But we like it anyway because it tells a story well. So, what kind of stories do you like hearing about?
Note: this isn’t guaranteed to be easy. Finding the right songs can be difficult, especially depending on the topic. So if you do make a playlist, accept that you might be working on it for a while before it feels anywhere near complete.
I’m horrible at remembering lyrics, even with songs I’ve heard over-and-over for years. I tend to just recall the vibe of a song. You know, like how Weightless by All Time Low, is basically about wanting to have a good year and feel like you’re going somewhere in life without being weighed down, I think…
Whatever, chances are most of the songs you’ll be picking have their lyrics uploaded online. So, you’re just a Google search away from having the lyrics before you.
Get them. Read them. And then explain them or at least, what you like about it or what makes them relatable.
Here’s an example using Kill Our Way to Heaven by Michl (lyrics from MusixMatch):
You don’t need to explain every line. Or even follow the creator’s interpretation. What matters is what the lyrics means to you.
I usually just listen to music as background noise. So, I want something exciting or chill in a way that I feel like like I’m going on a video game adventure. Those are my main choices.
However, you might like something different. Maybe you’re looking for certain instruments or styles of layering. Perhaps you need a certain rhythm to really connect to a song.
Sometimes a song leaves a lasting impression because of the memories you associate with it. Like maybe you have a song that brings you back to a fun road trip.
You might be the type of person that listens to a certain song when you’re angry or feeling down. Or perhaps you have a “good luck” song.
It’s possible your playlist is filled with these kinds of memorable tunes.
What a playlist says about you
If just analyzing a song isn’t helping you, then consider keeping track of when you like to listen to a song. How do you feel in that moment or has anything particular happened recently?
You don’t have to write an essay or even sentences. Feel free to just jot down a few words that summarize what you have in mind. Or draw an emoji. Just do what works for you.
And here’s a bonus: see if you can get someone else to play along. Ask someone what they think you like about the song or just their personal opinion. After all, aren’t you curious to know what other people think? Or to just hear some new interpretations of your favorite songs? Trade songs and have a little chat about it.