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What's in a Song?


What do Napoleon Dynamite, Places in the Heart and O Brother, Where Art Thou? have in common? Not only are they on my top 5 favorite movie list, songs from their soundtrack hit my list of favorites too.

I've never been so sidetracked writing a blog before. One minute I'm chasing down research from a blog about music and introverts, and the next I'm tearing up at the history behind field holler songs.

When I was on track, some of my research showed how detrimental even the slightest distractions can be to the introverted mind. Music can limit recall while studying or reading, because introverts tend to process music as information, and therefore don't have as much room for the information they are supposed to be learning.

Other research showed, particularly with highly sensitive introverts, that music greatly affects mood. And since I'm learning more and more what a highly sensitive person is (by the way, highly sensitive does not equal easily offended), the more I'm learning how important the choice in our music is to the duration of our day.

You can learn a lot about a person by the music that penetrates their soul. So, as an introvert (and I think, a highly sensitive person - more on that in the future), I asked myself about the music that attached itself to my soul. Each tune I recalled came from a soundtrack. I guess you can learn a lot about someone by they movies they love as well. Here are a few of mine:

Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby - My husband and I (despite our introvert/extrovert differences) agree on a few of our all-time favorite movies, and O Brother, Where Art Thou? remains in our top five. When my daughter was a baby, I'd sing, Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby . It's a field holler song performed by Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, and Gillian Welch. As I wrote this, I called her in to the room and tried to play the video for her but she ran away screaming. Apparently hearing one song over 2,000 times in her lifetime is upsetting. (Any Barney, Baby Shark or Blue's Clues moms out there?????)

I got distracted again. Listening to this song had me searching for other field holler songs. I watched video after video and read quite a few articles. This research had me in tears and I made a note to dig into this more deeply.

Music for a Found Harmonium - Also on our top five list is Napoleon Dynamite. You either love it or hate it and we love it. For years I refused to watch it, but my husband laughed so hard every time it was on TV, I had to find out what was so funny. And you know what? I LOVE IT. They whole movie is one long string of one-liners. The musical piece I love, Music for a Found Harmonium, as played here by Patrick Street, is Irish genius. It's played throughout the film and brings a fun, light air. In fact, I can't sit still listening to this song. I'm dancing like La-Fawn-Duh at the bus station right now. "Don't be jealous I've been sitting around chatting online with babes all day."

Blessed Assurance - One of the first songs I recall from a soundtrack is Blessed Assurance from Places in the Heart (Tri-Star Pictures). I was in fourth grade when this movie released and it has stayed with me as my favorite hymn all these years. The song opens the movie and it's mellow harmonizing sets the tone for the entire show. Surely in 1984 and most certainly today, it is a reminder of slower, more humbling days. A lone piano is accompanied by voices from a full church. Though you can pick out dozens of individual voices with ease, they come together perfectly as one voice singing to God. The movie is set in the early thirty's when America is recovering from the depression and you can hear the exhaustion in the voices. Even the piano tells its story.

There are so many others from plays and movies that have made my heart race from Amadeus to Phantom, but I'll leave you with these three. What are your favorites?

What songs cling to your heart? Comment below with your story behind a song.

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Citations:

Harris, Emmylou, Kraus, Alison, Welch, Gillian. Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby. O Brother, Where Art Thou. T Bone Burnett. 2000. Accessed April 2019.

Penguine Cafe Orchestra. Performed by Patrick Street. Music for a Found Harmonium. Conor Losty. . Accessed April 2019.

The Texas Playboys/Doc Watson. Blessed Assurance. Published on Youtube by w3tno. Places in the Heart. 1984. Accessed April 2019.

#music #movies #introverts #soul

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