Words are powerful. Music is powerful. When the two come together they can create magic!
Music can not only elevate good lyrics to greatness though; it can also, unfortunately, elevate crap lyrics through catchy (read: irritating) melodies. You know what I mean – that song you hear in the morning that gets stuck in your head and you find yourself singing it throughout day even though you hate it!
It can also mean that, because of a song, you can unconsciously let thoughts and values into your head that you wouldn’t necessarily want there. I can sometimes find myself singing along to a song that expresses a belief about love or an outlook on life that I just don’t agree with.
Music is a powerful memory jogger. I heard Madonna’s “Crazy For You” on the radio last week and was instantly transported back to slow dances at the end of teen discos :-/ In fact, whenever I hear 80s music I realise why my memory is so bad nowadays. It’s nothing to do with age. It’s because my brain is completely full of 80s song lyrics and there’s minimal room left in it for anything new!!
Songs have had a big influence on the writing of my teen space opera, “You, Me and The Universe” (yes, another title change – I’ll explain another time!). I can’t listen to music while I’m writing – I need complete quiet – but I often listen to songs from the soundtrack I’ve put together on Spotify in between writing stints or as a warm-up. If I’ve been away from the story for a few weeks, it’s also incredibly useful at helping me to reconnect and fall in love with it all over again.
Sometimes the lyrics or part of them reflect part of the story, other times it’s the emotion of the song that resounds with the emotional landscape of a scene, a character or a relationship.
I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time because I’ve been really looking forward to sharing some of the songs that have inspired “You, Me and the Universe”. I have over 70 songs on my playlist currently – some fit the whole series, some this first book, others later books. I was gonna share a whole month’s worth – one a day – but have realised that might be overkill so, for now, it’s the Top 10! Coming to a social media outlet near you very soon 🙂