It’s true, the music I usually love is all about the beats. The groove. The snappy-sassy-pantsy-ness of it that makes me get up and do a small jig around the place. But some times, just some times its about melody.
Who am I kidding. Most times its about the melody. The stickiest music is usually equal parts soulful tunes and equal parts rhythm, I’d say. And the words? Words don’t matter all the time.
Like when you’re about to dismiss a whole episode of a spanking new season of a largely shitty show, based on one or two tracks that you heard. And in the nick of time you decide to pause and listen to a Tamil track. The one you’d probably not pick instinctively, because you don’t understand the words, right?
But I listened to this one. And then something made me listen to it again. And again. And again. Until I realised I couldn’t stop. Pretty soon it was on loop. On my phone. In my car. On my laptop. On my music player.
I’ve been listening to it every where. While roaming around the house, going about my life. It’s blaring off dinky speakers in my kitchen as I cook. It’s plugged into my ears when I’m reading myself to sleep. It’s on loop in the car, where ever I go. It’s on all the time on my laptop, as I work, browse, write.
I paused for a moment when I had a passing thought this morning. Maybe my neighbours think I’m crazy? Or maybe they would have huge issues being subjected to the same song, in an indecipherable language, approx 37642 times over a few days. But I brushed it aside. And then I hit play again.
Because it’s just that mellow and smooth. The words glide effortlessly from note to note. The band is glued in tight. The song comes together like a power-packed punch that slams itself into my gut. Touching a chord I didn’t know it could. And just like that the song speaks to me. It says something. It makes me feel something, does something to me. All without understanding a single word that’s being uttered.
Really, words don’t matter, I told myself. This is all music. All melody.
But just out of curiosity, I googled the poem, looked up the lyrics and a translation. Then I died a little, and when I hit play again, the next punch came harder still and it continues to hit me, in waves, every time the song repeats. It’s just words, but it took the song from 100 to infinity on my imaginary scale of song-stickiness.
Music has that incredible capacity to touch you and move you, no matter what language it is in. No matter whether you know what the words say. Music speaks and some times that’s all that matters.
Most times, that’s all that matters.
This is all music. All melody. Except, there is this little added nuance. The words. Only words. Except, I now know what they mean.