I'm going to deviate a bit today and talk about another creative outlet-music. Like many as I was growing up, I did play an instrument. It was the clarinet. I wanted to play the alto saxophone when we picked in 5th grade, but there were already too many of those. I played from 5th grade all the way through high school. When I got braces, they told me to give it up, that it was bad for my overbite, but I kept on playing. There was something about making your own music and playing as part of a band. I've always been a creative person, whether it was those years playing music or all the years that I've been writing. I recently tried to pick my clarinet back up again, but my embouchure had grown weak and it made my thumb ache. I was too far out of practice.
While I no longer play a musical instrument, I still delight in listening to music. No music has solicited such an emotional response from me as Frank Sinatra's. I can only describe it as an inner calm that travels throughout my body. It can make me cry and smile at the same time. There are two songs in particular. "The Right Girl for Me" which I walked down the aisle to and Time After Time which my bridesmaids walked in to. They are absolutely beautiful songs. Frank also carries another place in my heart as he was in the first short story I had published this year, "Wishful Thinking."
I have a hard time listening to music when I write, although I recently discovered that I can put on instrumental music. Anything with lyrics just makes me want to sing along or dance.
While a lot of music created now has a good beat and there are definitely ones well written, not many have the lyrics that contain such beauty as they used to. The music written around Sinatra's type and style have something extra and are some of the best written. Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin...they all had something special. It was a very different time. The combination of the voices and writing in the 30's, 40's and 50's produced magic. Don't believe me? Really listen to the links above.