October 15, 2023

While walking to my haircut appointment this afternoon, I realised that I don’t actually listen to the words in songs. It’s been a while since I’ve taken a walk with my headphones on, something I love to do, so I haven’t been paying such close attention to what I’ve been listening to. Chelsea Cutler has a new album that I thought I’d give a listen to. I don’t know what she’s singing about.

I like how music sounds. That’s as far as I’m able to go with it. Singers’ voices are just part of that noise. If I don’t like the sound of their voice, I won’t listen to their songs. I like Chelsea Cutler’s voice. At least, I thought I did. There are a lot of rappers whose voices I don’t like. R&B is different now than it was in the 90s. Their voices sounded better. I used to listen to house music a lot. The lyrics are simple and repetitive, rarely more than a few words.

The issue is that I don’t know what the songs I’ve been listening to are about. Hannah sings along to Taylor Swift songs all the time, sometimes even when the stereo is off. She tells me what the songs are about. I forgot what she’s told me, but I do like the sound of Hannah’s voice. Taylor Swift…meh.

Hannah and I will send each other songs over text. More than once, I’ve had to listen to a song over again because I hear a line that doesn’t quite send the message I’m hoping to. I’ve sent Hannah break-up songs because I liked how they sounded. 

“Passionfruit” by Drake. I like how it sounds. I have no idea what it’s about. All of Oasis’s albums, same thing. Michael Jackson: nope. Boyz II Men: every song is about falling in or out of love. Mariah Carey: I tell people that “Dreamlover” is my favourite song and I’m starting to think it’s because I don’t have one but people ask you so I just chose something. The same thing happened with my favourite colour.

I remember when I learned about “Brick” by Ben Folds Five. I really have to listen very carefully to hear what the story he’s telling is about, and I can only hear the message because somebody told me what it is. Matthew Good, forget about it. I can get a little closer with Blue Rodeo and Brad Paisley but never enough to be sure. 

Thing is, I can sing along with most of these songs. So, I know what the words are, I just don’t know why they’ve been strung together. 

Luckily, though, I think I finally found a barber I’m happy with. Picture day is coming up and I gotta look fresh. I can’t wear my glasses while getting a haircut so I’m never sure what it looks like until the very end. At least I get there.


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