When I was a teenager, I used to make “life soundtracks”. My friends and I would round up all the songs that touched us at that moment, download them on Kazaa, and burn them to CDs (for any younger readers: here and here) (side note to self — have a talk with Peter Pan about this whole growing up thing).
Even then, I was astonished by how vast our music likes were. Country, classic rock, alternative, ska, emo, techno (back when Dubstep wasn’t taking over the world), pop, oldies, classical, swing, etc., etc. I don’t even know how we discovered half the songs we did. But they were all perfect.
A particular gem was Sleep, by The Dandy Warhols. My friend Rick and I latched onto it; I can’t tell you how many times the lyrics appeared as our AIM away messages or MySpace statuses (oh, here and here again). To this day, if I post a line on my Facebook, he chimes in with the rest.
Well I could sleep forever,
But it’s of her I dream.
If I could sleep forever,
I could forget about everything.
That verse makes up nearly the entire vocal part of the song, and can be interpreted so many different ways. I listened repeatedly ten years ago, when I was simply tired, or in a deep What’s the meaning of life? mood, or when I was having romantic difficulties, or feeling rather poetic (which was often).
I suppose it’s only fitting that this particular song has been on my mind recently. I’ve been lacking sleep, pondering life, dreaming constantly about romantic endeavors (which, even when good, leave me feeling rather confused and maybe somewhat empty when I wake), and committing myself to getting back on my writing game. I’m the almost-but-not-quite grown up version of my teenage self (only without a lot of the chaos and angst, thank god).
(Sadly, that teenage angst has turned into my Eeyore Syndrome, so I guess it’s really just as bad.)
I could talk about how music changes people’s lives and does this and that, but everyone else in the world has already said that.
I could tell you what this song means to me, but it doesn’t mean anything, really. It just feels like something — something that is quite impossible to explain.
It makes me feel okay about not feeling okay.