I know I have written about music before, but this is going to be much deeper and more self-centered. I have songs that evoke certain emotions in me and I think it is time I share those with you. I lost my grandfather on my mom’s side, who I called Pop, when I was six. I was looking through a photo album years ago and Pink Floyd’s WISH YOU WERE HERE came on the radio as I saw an old photo of me and Pop. I completely broke down. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t contain it. I don’t remember much of Pop, except that he was religious and, in my mind, super nice because he always gave me the best toys at Christmas. Now, those toys were kid toys like Legos and Tinker Toys or LiteBrite, but still that’s how I remember him. I also have a GloWorm on my bed that Pop gave me after my original open heart surgery when I was 4 months old. I keep it on my bed to honor Pop and as a comfort item. A little piece of him is always with me.

My grandfather on my dad’s side, Da, passed away on March 16 of 2018. To me, that’s actually kind of funny and ironic because Da’s side of the family is Irish. I just find some coincidence in the fact someone who sang Danny Boy to us as kids died the day before the most Irish holiday ever. Anyway, I love the song Danny Boy for a few reasons. One because it is such a deeply haunting and beautiful song, plain and simple. And another reason is for sentimental reasons. I vividly remember Da singing Danny Boy to me and my sisters and cousins when we were little kids. It was one of Da’s favorite songs, so it seemed fitting that it was sung at the memorial service. So yeah, I get nostalgic and choked up whenever I hear Danny Boy. Rest in Peace to both my grandfathers.

Another song I listen to to get me out of a negative funk is Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. The main line of the chorus is, “Don’t worry ‘bout a thing because every little thing gonna be alright.” I think that is such a positive message, especially with all the shit that has been going on in the world lately. So hearing a message of hope and love and reassurance is comforting to me. So not all songs I listen to are downers. I am not really into reggae music, but come on…it’s Bob Marley. How can you go wrong with Bob Marley?

The last song I want to discuss is kind of a weird one. It’s A Whole New World from the Disney movie Aladdin. Why do I want to talk about that song? Two reasons. One is nostalgia. I grew up watching Disney movies and Lion King and Aladdin are tied for my #1 favorite animated classic Disney movie from that era. So that song brings back memories of my youth and watching those movies with my dad. The other reason is because A Whole New World is the song Allie and I picked for each other. It’s probably going to be our First Dance song when we get married. We threw some other song ideas around, including—and I promise I am not exaggerating when I say this— “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw” by Jimmy Buffett. But we thought that was too inappropriate and for awhile we could not figure out what song we should “adopt” for our relationship. So one day, Allie sent me the song A Whole New World from Aladdin and it just seemed to fit us so well. So I feel loved and wanted whenever I hear that song, as well as nostalgic.

I do think it’s weird that songs can evoke so many different emotions in so many people. With Wish You Were Here, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that song, but it kinda bums me out. I like the fact that music can have such an impact on people…and that it varies from person-to-person. Some people have killed themselves listening to Metallica’s Fade to Black while others claim the song has saved their lives. That’s interesting to me. Music is a huge part of my life and has the power and ability to make me change my mood with just one note. I could be in the shittiest mood ever, but once I hear the opening notes to Three Little Birds, my mood changes. It’s amazing! Cliché as it sounds, I think music is a universal language. Not necessarily the lyrics and words, but the music itself. I think it’s the instruments that make music so universal. To me, it’s the sounds and nuances of the instruments and the lyrics that hit me. Take Danny Boy for example. The last line of that song is, “And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me”. Granted, that line is about dying, but I see it as almost optimistic. I’ll see Da in the afterlife. Wish You Were Here has a line that says, “Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?” I idolized Pop and Da growing up and they were my kind of heroes. Now they are gone, aka “ghosts”. I do not know if that is what Pink Floyd, Disney, Bob Marley, or whoever wrote Danny Boy intended, but sure enough, that’s the impact those songs have on me.

So I want to hear from you guys. Do you have any songs that hold a special place in your heart? If so what are they and what makes them so close to you? Thanks for reading!


Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

One thought on “EMOTIONAL SONGS”

  1. A Whole New World which is our song. Amazing Grace which was played at my Nan’s funeral. I am so sad whenever I hear that song. You are my sunshine which always makes me happy since it’s me and my mom’s song. Let’s All Get Drunk And Screw makes me laugh. Disney songs make me happy since they are from our childhood. When I hear music from the Jewish high holidays especially the Unetanneh Tokef and Kol Nidre send shivers down my spine and puts me in the right space mentally for the high holidays. Jewish rock music helps to lift my spirits when I am down. The music has a really positive message and is really uplifting happy music. That is what music means to me.


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