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Music hath charm

What’s in a song, fellas?

Tradition tells us that the Greek Odysseus nearly drowned when he was lured by the song of sea sirens. He had to be tied to be saved. Alexander The Great’s paramour, Thais, allegedly led in the burning of the city of Persepolis after the army bard sang of yesteryears including the persecutions of the Greeks by the Persians.

When Cyrus was still courting Jenny, he gifted her with a flash drive containing the ballads of Rey Valera. The songs touched Jenny so much that in a matter of time, she gave her precious yes. She played Valera’s songs regularly in her room every night before she slept.

One day, they had a bitter quarrel which stemmed from Jenny’s jealous tantrums on Cyrus’ former girlfriend. The girl, Zia, had been contacting him lately and Jenny found out that she was trying to win him back. In her fit of rage, Jenny decided to leave Cyrus.

As she was talking, Cyrus suddenly played in his cellphone the song, “Pangako Sa Iyo,” and Jenny stopped talking. She cried in remorse and embraced the guy whom she loved so much.

They have been married the last 10 years and they now have 3 children.

Their relationship was saved by a Valera song.

How about sad songs, fellas?

What’s in a sad song?

Many people have turned to Adele’s song in times of trouble. Studies show that adolescents listen to music for approximately two to three hours per day, especially when feeling distressed.

“Makapalagip ti utang,” Mang Maing would say if the emotional music he used to sing in his high school and college days would be played via FM every Sunday. The expression means it’s reminiscing again one’s youthful adventures with friends, acquaintances and girls.

“When all hope is gone, sad songs say so much.”

It turns out that Elton John knew what he was talking about: Several studies have found that many people do choose to listen to sad music when they’re feeling down—and the desire to listen to sad music is strongest directly after the onset of a negative mood.

Researchers Annemieke Van den Tol and Jane Edwards were curious about why this should be so—what do people hope to achieve by listening to sad music when they’re already feeling down?

They found that we choose sad music for one of four reasons:

Connection. Listeners identify with the emotions expressed by the music or the meaning of the lyrics. They seek this kind of identification when they want to re-experience those same emotions.

Message. Another way listeners achieve the goal of cognitive reappraisal is through seeking out music with a message they wanted to relate to. From the , people draw inspiration in order to keep fighting on as in listening to Lea Salonga’s “The Journey.”

Sad listeners can reassess their situation, they use music as a distraction. In this scenario, music of high aesthetic value—music believed to be particularly good or beautiful—is the most sought out. Van den Tol and Edwards hypothesize that the more beautiful the music, the easier it is for listeners to concentrate on it, thereby achieving the goal of being distracted from their present situation.

But while music can be an effective distraction, the researchers warn that (as with nearly everything) there can be too much of a good thing. Excessive use of sad music in this way can be a sign of avoidance, and even an indication of poor psychological adjustment.

Memory trigger. Finally, listeners used sad music as a memory trigger, when it had association with past events or people, and they wanted to retrieve those memories. Interestingly, when listeners chose music for this purpose, it seemed not to enhance their moods, as music did in other situations.

I use to listen via earphones to the songs in my cellphone whenever I’m driving home from work, fellas.

The music seem to soothe my tired muscles and my brain especially when I hear these lines from Barry Manilow:

There were no violins, there were no soft guitars

Hot summer love under the city stars

I was your Mr. Dynamite and you were my only girl

We held each other through the night lost in a whirl

No other love in all of the world

In all of my life, there was no other love

I don’t know where it went, turned into yesterday

Time comes and goes like music in a play

All the words we used to say, all the crazy plans we made

We were so naive that way, so unafraid…

And those romantic days which I secretly hope would return once more sana suddenly come alive in me, hoping that I would make it work better the second time.

And there, while driving home every evening back to the kids and wife, I am suddenly caught in a whirl, in a world of imagination and make believe, creating a lump in the throat and a pain in the chest.

Ah, music really hath charm.#

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