Saturday 10 Dec 2016

Speak Now
Carmel Regatta

The power of music is an energy that baffles experts. Music has almost inexplicable power.  It can rouse men to battle, it can soothe babies to sleep, it sends peaks of joy and depths of sorrow that words, alone, can’t express.  Humans are uniquely sensitive to music.  Many researchers believe that in primitive cultures music and speech were not distinct.  Maybe our vast human vocabulary explains our unique appreciation for music, as when words melodically entwine with instrumental sound.

I have an appreciation for a wide variety of music.  I can enjoy a nice classical piece by Chopin, flip the channel and enjoy a modern beat by Beyoncé.   I enjoy music that expresses an artist thought or life experiences through their gift of song.  A short three-minute song can express a lifetime of pain or a moment of joy.  It can leave the listener questioning themselves or giving them confidence in their decision.  It can express to a friend your words of sympathy or announce to a crowd your joy of a marriage.  Music can speak from the soul where words sometimes fail.

My current favorite music CD, “Speak Now”, is by the young female country artist Taylor Swift.  I’ve been a huge fan since her 2006 debut, when at just age 16, Taylor released of her first album.  I was just 14 at the time but the words she sang expressed many of the emotions my friends and I felt growing up in a small town in Kansas.  Her ability to put into words and song the feelings of 14-16 year old girls was like nothing else we heard on the radio.  Songs of heartbreaks, chasing boys and snubbing by preppy girls related to my friends and me.  We sang these songs on the bus and at slumber parties and knew every word.  The songs written and sung by Taylor were as though she lived in our town and attended our schools.

My love of Taylor’s music didn’t end with Junior High or even High School.  Her music and lyrics have traveled the road of life as a young woman in the world today.  The simple high school dance breakup has become the live-in boyfriend breakup.  Her lyrics now tell the storyline of life as a young twenty-year-old woman struggling for romance and family while chasing her dreams.  The lyrics she writes and songs she sings still exemplify struggles of young women my age even though she’s achieved a high level of stardom.  She personally writes most of her music and I think that is why her fans love her so.  She keeps it “real” although her life today is almost surreal.

Taylor’s style of song writing and vocabulary as matured as well over the last 7 years.  On “Speak Now,” the song, “Dear John, which is(rumoured to be written for John Mayer, shows her ability to put into words the hurt feelings she felt from being used and tossed aside.  It is her uncanny writing ability; her ability to put into words exactly how she feels. This, along with her fearless stage performance, her willingness to sing her words, makes her my all-time favorite artist.  Her album, “Speak Now,” clearly follows what does. She shares how she feels through her songs.   This CD clearly speaks of a typical twenty-something young woman just as her earlier CDs clearly expressed her experiences at a much younger age.  I hope she continues to write and sing as life continues to mature both of us.  Her songs still sound as though she wrote each one specifically for me.  This is why Taylor Swift’s CD, “Speak Now,” is my current favourite.

Carmel Regatta is an unusual woman and a superb writer.

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