Thursday, 23 December 2010

Music and melancholy

"What came first, the music or the misery? Did I listen to music because I was miserable? Or was I simply miserable because I listened to music? Do all those records turn you into a melancholy person? People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of cultural violence will take them over. No one worries about kids listening to thousands - literally thousands - of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss."

"... sentimental music has this great way of taking you back somewhere at the same time that it takes you forward, so you feel nostalgic and hopeful at the same time."

From 'High Fidelity', a novel by Nick Hornby.

When I listen to a sad song, I embed myself within its lyrics whether I have actually felt that form of heartbreak or not, and in this way, there is a melancholic pleasure in the suffering of sentimental music. This duet by Fiest and Ben Gibbard from the amazing Dark Was the Night compilation sums up how I feel about love at the moment, or at least how I've felt about it since I started listening to this song on repeat...