Music has played a very crucial role on my journey. It reminds me that I am not alone. When I listen to music, I enjoy the rhythm, the complexity of sounds, the transition of melodies, and I pay close attention to semantics.
I remember 6th grade very clearly because a new page had opened in front of me and music found me with the feeling to decipher the words of a foreign language. Our family had recently moved to a new house and my siblings and I had for the very first time the freedom to listen to music in the privacy of our rooms. Even though I shared the room with my brother, our taste for music was the same.
Every Friday morning, I was willing to volunteer to buy bread and milk for breakfast because I didn’t want to miss a chance to get the newspaper. What was so special about Friday’s edition? It was the day that lyrics of a new rock song were printed in the music section. This section was sponsored by a radio station and their biography was displayed on paper. The song of the week aired during the weekend and I tried my best to sing along.
Aside from my fascination with Friday’s newspaper, I waited with high expectations my visits to see my grandma because I could go to the only store with magazines full of song lyrics. Posters of hair metal bands decorated my room and rock music invaded our house every day.
Throughout the academic year, I excelled at English as a foreign language, and our teacher let us take home his weekly news magazines as part of our homework. Our assignments consisted of translating articles and finding new vocabulary.
Time went on and I was able to save enough money to buy CDs of my favorite artists. Do you know the best part of this? Each of them included a book of lyrics. While I memorized a good portion of Metallica’s music, I started wondering about the real meaning of their words and the depiction of images on their videos.
Heavy metal has many flavors, and the art of albums does not compare to any other because it is always controversial and unapologetic. This is something I call: Freedom of Speech. I have written poems such as the one below,
Metal is hard and does not care for your neck
Ecstasy filled with the rhythm of brutality
Tantalizing soft melodies of power
Accelerating the formation of dopamine
Libation in honor to the gods of speed
No matter how we interpret the lyrics of a song, someone out there is speaking through the language of music by making us feel what they felt. The words of Chester Bennington carried more pain than we imagined but he lived to tell his story.
I submerge in the lyrics of bands that speak on behalf of those without a representative voice, bands that speak about depression, bands that speak with a critical voice, bands speaking about love, compassion and kindness.
Let music be the universal language
Let music transport us to other worlds
Let music impact your life for the common good
Let music inspire the verses of poems