It’s tough to know your own heart. My feelings flip around faster than my head can track them. But I’ve recently made an interesting discovery. The type of music I listen to when I drive can pinpoint where I’m at emotionally. The channel selection on my Pandora music app reveals what’s going on beneath the surface.
Actually, when I’m downright depressed I don’t listen to music at all. I guess it’s because my wheels are spinning which can be dangerous–I’m probably just digging my hole deeper.
So if you find me listening to music at all it’s a good sign. Here’s the breakdown. If you’re like this too let me know so we can compare channels.
If I’m a bit down: I listen to jazz. My favorite Pandora channels? Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Dave Brubeck. Not very loud.
If better than average but not great: It’s opera. Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli and “Italian Traditional.” A little bit louder.
If solid good: Contemporary Christian music. I pretty much stick with Chris Tomlin, David Crowder and Hillsong United. Medium volume.
Feeling great: If you hear me playing secular music it means I’m really happy. And it will be full blast. I will work my way through my Bob’s Faves Secular iTunes Playlist and then switch to the Pandora 60’s, 70’s and 80’s Hits Channel. From there, if I’m in a crazy good mood I move on to Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Collective Soul, and Mumford & Sons. It was there I recently hit pay dirt with a song, which means I listen to it over and over until I can hear it in my sleep.
I will break it down the lyrics for you. See my commentary in blue. I hope you are having a good enough day to listen as your read the lyrics below:
After the Storm by Mumford and Sons
And after the storm, I run and run as the rains come
And I look up. I look up. On my knees and out of luck, I look up.
This is the voice of a man, a Sufferer. Something happened and it wasn’t good. And even when it was over, the rains kept coming. It’s near rock bottom. Near hopeless. Except for one thing. He knows where to look. Up.
Night has always pushed up day. You must know life to see decay.
Darkness and decay remind the Sufferer that daylight and life exist. And they just might be around the corner. There is hope, maybe not for our body, but for our soul:
But I won’t rot. I won’t rot. Not this mind and not this heart. I won’t rot.
This song is a conversation between Sufferer and Savior. At least that’s the way I hear it. The next part is the Spirit of Jesus answering the man’s cry:
And I took you by the hand. (our union with Christ)
And we stood tall, (our justification)
And remembered our own land. What we lived for. (It’s the Kingdom of Christ)
And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears. (Revelation 21:4 hello)
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears. (1 John 4:18 “perfect loves casts out all fear”)
Get over your hill (die) and see what you find there,
with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.
Flowers in your hair is a reference to the Crown of Life. The Sufferer remembers. He hears the promises. But still he’s hanging by a thread:
And now I cling to what I knew. I saw exactly what was true. But oh no more.
That’s why I hold. That’s why I hold with all I have. That’s why I hold.
I will die alone and be left there. Well I guess I’ll just go home, oh God knows where.
Because death is just so full and man so small.
Well I’m scared of what’s behind (the sins of the past)
and what’s before. (judgment)
The Spirit of the Savior is the Relentless Remembrancer. There’s reassurance in the repetition:
And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.
Aren’t you glad I’ve been in such a good mood lately? You might have never heard this great song. How about an encore? Here’s a great one:
An afterthought: I put this way down here because it’s a little bit embarrassing and I’m hoping no one will see it. When I’m doing really, really really crazy great, I tune my Pandora to Steve Martin Banjo. It’s the happiest music on the planet. When my wife or kids catch me listening to it, I get persecuted. They just don’t understand. You probably don’t either. But don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.