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A man playing guitar and singing sits in front of music notes

Music Can Save Our Mortal Souls

My wife and I have always loved music, and we have an incredibly eclectic music collection ranging from Abba to Opera. In fact we are the only people we know who were lucky enough to see Abba perform live when they were right at their prime in 1979!

Missing live concerts

We’ve been blessed to see lots of the music greats live including Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, Adelle, Dire Straits, and the list just goes on. Then some 10 years ago we stumbled across the modern country music scene, and that’s what we listen to 75% of the time nowadays. We’ve managed to see live performances from many of the top country artists as well.

In a normal year we would probably see 20-30 live gigs and attend 3 festivals. But 2020 obviously wasn’t a normal year, and we are missing live music so much. Our last live music in the flesh was back at the start of March.

Music evokes emotion

Since my diagnosis with stage 4 prostate cancer in May 2017, music has been incredibly important to me. But it has also evoked huge amounts of emotion. I’m blaming the ability to burst into tears at every sad song entirely on the hormone therapy. That’s okay isn’t it?

In June 2017 we went to a country music festival, and one of the sessions was an “In the round” where 3 artists tell you the story behind their songs and perform them acoustically. One of the artists was an American called Jenn Bostic, and she played an incredibly moving song called Jealous of the Angels.

I was in floods of tears as she explained that she wrote the song to show how she felt on her wedding day when her father, who had passed away some time before, wasn’t there to walk her down the aisle.

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Since my diagnosis only weeks earlier, I had been a total wreck and thought of little else than walking my daughter down the aisle and seeing my then-3-year-old grandson become a teenager. The song was beautiful, but it cut me in pieces. And that is the power of music.

An escape from prostate cancer

Once I settled down and learned to live with my diagnosis, music was one of the things that pulled me through. Attending a live gig gave me the chance to be normal again, to forget about my cancer, to suspend the harsh reality of life living with cancer.

I was able to just enjoy living in the moment, in the now, and engulfing myself in the beauty of the songs, of an amazing guitar riff or drum solo or a magnificent vocal piece. It really gives those of us living with cancer a moment of respite from the harsh reality of our day-to-day lives.

I find total escapism in live music and can’t wait for the day that we can return to concert halls and see our heroes perform magic again. I’ve actually got about $2,000 of tickets from postponed 2020 gigs that have been re-arranged until 2021. I am really looking forward to seeing Genesis, in particular.

Songs that offer support

I still find music incredibly emotive and can still burst into tears at the drop of a hat, but that’s why music is so important. It speaks to us and suspends reality. It touches our hearts and souls. It soothes us and helps us forget about our worries.

Never have these words - “to live without my music would be impossible to do; in this world of troubles my music pulls me through” - been so fitting for the madness of the current covid world, but also for people like me who love music passionately and for whom it makes such a difference to our lives.

Long live rock n roll!

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