They say that the life of a person can be told by what music they have listened to, songs which sing of loss and success, pain and jubilation, memories and ambition, places they have been and places they’ve yet to visit. For as long as history can remember music has been used to convey stories, to inspire people, and to carry people through hard times. It doesn’t matter whether it is the spoken epics of Vergil, the Viking Sagas, or the songs of war times truly each song (the ones that have a soul) tells a story.
Having gotten that brief but adequate introduction out of the way I present to you some of the songs which I feel resonate with me the most, the songs which speak volumes about my life and experiences. Pay particular attention to the lyrics of these songs and you might be able to piece together a picture of what kind of man I am.
Ozzy Osbourne – Fire in the Sky
There’s a good chance that Ozzy has a song in most people’s hearts but Fire in the Sky resonates strongly with me for a very good reason. As far I can interpret this rock ballad tells the story of a pretender “who hid his feelings in walls he imagined” being found out and accepting who he really is. I’ve spent much of my life thus far having to put on a mask to fit in wherever I have gone and there was only so long I could have kept that up for. My interests, hobbies, and mannerisms these days might seem out-of-place, shaped by a unique upbringing, but hell… it’s me!
Gary Numan – Walking with Shadows
I first got into Gary Numan’s unique sound when I went through my parents CD collection and found a copy of 2000’s Pure there. Shortly after I found this artist my father had to leave New Zealand for a year to work overseas, and this album always reminded me of him during that time – helping me through a rough year. Numan’s work also holds the honor of being one of the few sounds that my brother and I both admire. Walking with Shadows in particular holds a special place in my heart because it is a song I used as ambient noise during revising for my NCEA examinations.
If you’ve never heard Gary Numan’s songs listen to the link provided and see what you think, it’s really something.
Judas Priest – Electric Eye
I discovered Judas Priest through a friend shortly after I returned to the UK for a second time and have kicked myself ever since for not getting into their music sooner. Shortly after I got back to the UK I found myself working full-time as a dental nurse (not the most masculine job I know but that doesn’t bother me) learning a skill first hand whilst studying through Open University to try get into the University of Exeter. For the first time in years I genuinely felt good about myself: independent, determined, focused, with goals in mind and the impetus to achieve them. The fast paced metal of Judas Priest, embodied in Electric Eye, to this day reminds me of those times and inspires me by reminding me what I can achieve when I set myself to something.
The Feelers – Dasvidaniya
This is an interesting one, how does this little known New Zealand band merit a place here? I myself must have completely missed their existence during my stay in New Zealand because I only first heard of them during a holiday in Italy with my father who happened to have Hope Nature Forgives on his IPod. This holiday was a special one because it was a trip I had been meaning to go on for the longest time, ever since I studied Ancient Rome back in high school, and that it was just me and my father. It was also an important moment for me because I knew then that it would be the last holiday I would go on for a while as I was due to start a three/four year course at the University of Exeter where I had just been accepted.
Dasvidaniya is a genuine feel-good song despite it’s theme of overcoming the death of a loved one, something else I came dangerously close to experiencing myself. However, there is one other New Zealand group who sits atop my musical throne…
Crowded House – Weather With You
This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best song I have heard so far in my life. Weather With You by the New Zealand group Crowded House is not only a cultural gem in Aotearoa but it is also a song which underlines the main theme of my life, traveling… At least that’s how I interpret it. Not only is the song phenomenally good in it’s own right it is found in an absolutely stunning album called Woodface. When asked about the meaning of the song Tim & Neill Finn, the group’s founders, said “Weather With You is about the effect a person has on their surroundings by the type of person they are, whether it be good or bad“. My family has lived in so many places never really having had long-term plans to stay rooted to one spot but still I tried my best to keep upbeat about it all in the face of adversity. I’ve always taken my good weather with me, I’ve always taken my good family with me, and I’d like to think I’ve had a good effect on those I’ve met in my travels – many of whom I’m still in touch with today thanks to social media.
Crowded House – Weather With You: Song of my Life!