If you missed out on my various tweets during #OneLoveManchester then you won’t have seen my breakdown because of how much I love music. Every ounce of my heart, body and soul was filled with any and every emotion because of music’s power and I needed to get it out.
A LOVE LETTER TO MUSIC
I used to dance around my bedroom listening to you when I was a little girl. I’d create dance routines to cheesy boyband tunes and you’d make me feel like I was a pop superstar. I’d daydream about being the next big star or becoming a backing dancer for bands like Blue and Five, not only because I fancied the band members but because it seemed perfect for me.
In primary school my friends and I used you to form friendships, break up relationships and fill our lunchtimes with dodgy sing-a-longs.
You were the soundtrack to family camping trips to Cornwall. Naive by The Kooks will forever take me back to sunny days on the beach and bodyboarding on the waves in a *very* small wetsuit.
My final years of primary school are defined by my High School Musical sleepover and final few years of innocent pop bops. My best friend Vicki and I could do an entire two-woman show of the movies and of course we had the Bop To The Top dance routine nailed.
Secondary school was where our relationship was really tested. I pushed you to the point of obsession and most people thought I was insane for doing so. It’d be impossible to catch me without my headphones in. I’d put so much of my life into you that I could guess what songs my friends were listening to on the bus from about 5 seconds of them lip singing it to me.
You defined my identity throughout the first few years or so of my time there. I refused to wear skirts, I wore trousers everyday to school and god forbid I wear makeup because it’d ruin my wannabe pop-punk girl image. Fast forward to 2010 and everything changed. I still wasn’t overly fond of getting my legs out but I became one of *those* screaming 14 year olds over a certain X Factor boyband.
Little did I know that the dance routine making 5 year old girl that would prance around her bedroom, would turn into a 15 year old sat in front of a screen with a fan account on Twitter. The moment I’d get in from school I’d go straight onto my iPod, load up Twitter and start talking and sharing my love for music with hundreds of people who shared it with me. Seeing my timeline fill up with gossip and love for leaked songs filled me with joy, I felt like I had my own secret group of friends separate to those in real life. A group where you brought us all together and fuelled our love for everything about you.
I could talk in detail about what happened at the One Direction concert but I’ll keep it short – I cried. A lot.
It was towards the end of my time at secondary school where our relationship got tested. There was this boy. He mocked me for my Twitter account, claimed I looked better in something other than band tees and skinny jeans and completely turned this identity that you’d help me create on its head. Someone that I’d known for such a small fraction of my life had come in and closed the lid on something that had been there from the start. And I let him.
When I look back on it now I can pinpoint different parts of that hellish rollercoaster with different songs and for the longest time after that I resented my relationship with you. I’d spend my 2 ams having my heart broken by you because it’d been broken by someone else. Songs by bands that I’d previously loved just created a foul taste in my mouth and I put you on the back burner. You broke my heart. Chewed it up, spat it out and trod on it. And with it went my love for you. My iPod sat gathering dust on my bookshelf whilst I began investing myself in other things and other people.
But in came Connor.
I say in came Connor, he’d been in my life as a friend for about 2 years, but things changed. He embraced my dodgy music choices (albeit unwillingly but now he’ll jam along to a bit of Hazza with with no shame) and it was because of you that we had some of our first memories and adventures together. Our tangled up bodies can be defined by Please Be Naked by The 1975 (which BROKE me when we saw it live) and our long car journeys to and from Southampton would be nothing without our failed attempts at Mariah’s high notes in Emotions.
There are so many more moments of my relationship with you that I could mention. Connor and I being side stage at Truck Festival, you being the soundtrack to my dreams of being a dancer and finally seeing Green Day live in 2013 (a subject I’m purposefully avoiding because it would be an emotional unreadable mess).
Our relationship has been a rocky one but it took last night to show me just how much I love you. Music for myself and many other people is a safe place. A place filled with bubble wrap and coffee where no one and nothing can come between you and the songs that you love and no one should have that so cruelly taken away from them.
One Love Manchester was simply incredible. I’ve always had a soft spot for Ariana but what she managed to achieve in such a short amount of time was just amazing. It left me feeling like a new woman. The raw and powerful emotions (soppy but true) I felt during Fix You ironically broke me. I haven’t been able to describe it since last night but in that moment I felt like the little girl that danced around her bedroom to Five. In that moment everything came back to me and I just knew. It seemed like every choice I’d made up until that point – the dodgy dance moves, the fangirling, even choosing to start writing about you her on the blog – was for a reason and a bloody fantastic one at that.
I guess what I’m trying to say music is that you’re incredible. You’re the hip swaying, heart breaking language that everyone can understand – no matter who you are, where you come from or what you believe.
Boy am I glad to have met you.