“…but don’t forget the songs that saved your life…”

Now Playing: Rubber Ring – The Smiths

Everyone has that one thing don’t they? That girl at school with the weird horse obsession. The guy who just loved cars (started compensating at an early age?).

What’s my thing, you ask? Music. Or perhaps more specifically, men who are mentally disturbed. Fall Out Boy quite recently sang about how you are what you love. I guess that makes me a montage of heck clinically depressed but life-changing musicians.

Metaphorically speaking, I have a heart-shaped box piled high with records and CDs I’ve collected over the years. I’m forever in debt to my parents for starting off this collection for me before I was even born. (They didn’t need them anymore, did they?)

Music is one of the only things that actually means anything to me. Only literature and football come close, and football fucks me over most of the time. Being able to see and feel your music is something I wish more people could appreciate. Watching a record spin, spinning a CD on your finger whilst waiting for the player to turn on, gawping in awe at some new and beautiful album art. Downloads and streaming is just like sex without the foreplay. For a music lover, anyway.

Kurt Cobain with his famous sunglasses (and a fag in hand)

A few of my favourite artists worth mentioning are The Smiths, Manic Street Preachers and Nirvana. Frontman of the latter is very famous for committing suicide (or, if you don’t see it that way, at least being depressed) and Richey Edwards, formerly of the Manics, also suffered heavily from depression and went missing in 1995. And then Morrissey of The Smiths is just very depressing. There’s a pattern isn’t there?

When I was around 14 I too became very depressed, and it has since been something that has never fully left me, and probably never will. But music honestly helps with that. There’s something unerringly comforting in knowing some other person had the same feelings as you some 20 years ago and felt them so strongly they had to write them down and scream about them on a stage. I’ll never do that, so I’m glad they did it for me.

A specific lyric that always sticks with me is “…There’s nothing I want to see, there’s nowhere I want to go.” (Condemned to Rock ‘n’ Roll – Manic Street Preachers). It perfectly encapsulates the worst symptom of depression – the loss of interest in things you actually like. This line also ends Generation Terrorists, an album that marks the beginning of the astonishing career of the Manics. I had the pleasure of seeing them on tour last year (2016 – I also saw Morrissey that year) and it is something I will never forget. Furthermore, I took a friend to this gig with me who didn’t like them (she had never listen to them). She left the gig totally won over and is now a big fan, and decided to take up the guitar afterwards. The Songs that save your Life. 

I guess what I’m saying is music is power. “And if you’ve lost your faith in love and music, oh the end won’t be long…”


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