Sweet Emotion

One evening recently, while watching tv, I heard the music of a Chopin prelude during a commercial.  The music immediately took me back to my childhood.  Hours and hours of piano lessons and practice have left me, sadly, still unable to play well.  I have no musical talent and even the most patient teacher could not help me.  However, those hours of practice did instill in me a love of Chopin.  I can’t play his pieces, but I love to listen to them.

My very favorite Chopin prelude is Op. 28 No. 4.  Here it is

I find this piece to be so beautiful and full of emotions.  I love to listen to it when I have strong feelings – anger, sadness, joy, frustration.  The music seems to mix with my own emotions and helps me to make sense of whatever is going on inside of me.

Chopin published his Op 28 preludes in 1839.  The 24 preludes are wonderful as individual pieces and even more glorious together.  Franz Liszt said that, in these preludes, Chopin is like a great “poet, who cradles the soul in golden dreams.”  The short, poetic pieces are in sync with the contemporary mood.  To me, No. 4 seems especially current.  Haunting, deep, poignant – the perfect soundtrack for America now, as we approach the ten year anniversary of the 911 tragedy.

Do you have a song that you love to listen to?  A song that cradles your soul in golden dreams?  A song that you can go to for comfort, for exhileration, for answers to the questions in your heart?  If so, please share your song in the comments section.  If not, I encourage you to find such a song.  Op. 28 No. 4 has been my traveling companion for most of my life.  I am grateful for this song.  And, because they introduced me to this prelude, I would not erase all those hours of seemingly fruitless piano practice.


12 thoughts on “Sweet Emotion

  1. Oh so many songs…I love music so much and it often dictates my mood, alters my mood or emphasizes my mood. One of the most mellow songs I have is “Woods” by Bon Iver. I could list a plethora of songs, but I’ll chose this one because it only has 19 words repeating over and over, but that’s all it needs. Those words have so much meaning. It’s introspective. Stop, think, reflect, feel, slow down, live. Love it!

    “I’m up in the woods
    I’m down on my mind
    I’m building a still
    to slow down the time”

    • As far as classical goes, I always loved playing Handel’s Sarabande on the piano. I was not very good either, but always adored that piece and was very emotional about playing it. Sometimes I’d do it soft and sweet and other times fierce with anger.

      • Oh, yeah, I spent hours playing that song badly. My piano teacher always had this kind of sad look on his face when I finished playing it for him.

    • I had never heard that song, but I found it and it is beautiful. I love that it has just a few words that repeat, kind of sinking into you as you listen. The words remind me of a song by Depeche Mode, Stripped, “Come with me into the trees. We’ll lay in the grass and let the hours pass.” Sort of a similar theme of the healing power of nature. Thanks for sharing your song.

      • I clicked on the video KNOWING it would make me cry, lol! Must be a glutton for punishment. I love you, Belinda. (more a response to your most recent post than this one).

      • I heard John playing this song as he was posting it in the comments and I started crying right away. We are wondering what it is about this song that resonates with the family camp staff. Is it the belonging? the laying down of burdens? the closeness of God there? What do you think?

      • For me, it resonates because it says that I BELONG in a place that is so supportive. I think when our teen staff are out there in their normal lives, they don’t feel like their true selves are validated, but Family Camp strips that down and allows them to be their best selves. Colleen is looking over my shoulder and she has a simple answer: “It feels like HOME to ME!”

      • There is something really special about the way we belong to each other at camp – and the way we accept each other. Families as well as teen staff, it is so powerful to realize how much we are loved.

  2. Wow, Your blog entry has blown me away again. The song I most want to hear when I’m feeling emotional and introspective is “In My Life” by the Beatles. I usually listen to it 3 or 4 times in a row and by the time I’m done, I’ve remembered an old friend or experience I hadn’t thought about in years. Peace and Thanx, Jim P.

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