Liner Notes: Background music

Anna Taylor, Features Editor

Whether you realize it or not, music plays a huge role in your life.

Think about it. For any major event that has occurred during your lifetime so far, there was most likely music being played in the background.

When you have a birthday, people sing. When you graduate high school, “Pomp and Circumstance” is generally what you hear when you finally get your diploma. When a new year arrives, we celebrate by listening to “Auld Lang Syne.” Walking down the aisle, and then dancing at your wedding, there is music. Hopefully, these things will never change.

Thinking back to some of those important life events, I don’t know how they would have been for me without the music. I’ve never been to a silent wedding but, I guarantee you that it wouldn’t be nearly as memorable without the cheesy love songs.

My high school and future college graduation wouldn’t be the same without the music either. My point is, what would we do without this life soundtrack we hardly take notice of?

On Tuesday this week I traveled home for a family member’s funeral. My aunt, who had previously fought a year-long battle with leukemia, passed away last weekend. Something that I didn’t know about her until recently was that she was a big music fan.

Although her favorites were based on the generation in which she grew up, she still listened to music that was current and would even share songs with her friends on Facebook when she heard something she liked. I don’t know many people her age that take time to fully appreciate songs like that.

Because my aunt knew that her time was coming, she had the chance to prepare for it ahead of time. She was given time to write notes to her children and husband and choose the songs that she wanted played at her funeral.

Being there with my family and friends on Wednesday and listening to the songs that she picked out made me think of how much music means to people and how important it was to her. Maybe it’s not even the music that is so meaningful but how it affects people. The sad songs bring tears and the happy, upbeat songs bring joy ­­— that’s just the way it is.

It was a natural reaction on Wednesday to cry even more when we listened to the songs that were meant to celebrate my aunt’s life. The music in the background made everyone’s emotions even stronger.

The fact that she picked them out made them mean that much more to everyone because the songs weren’t about dying or anything sad at all. They were meant to bring joy and relief to her family and friends.

But music also accompanies celebrating new life.

One moment that comes to mind when I think about more of life’s background music is the moment when my nephew was born. The hospital’s intercom broadcasted a lullaby to the entire building to celebrate a new birth. Even though it was only a jingle, it still meant something for my sister and our family.

Next time some kind of event or special moment happens to you, take a moment and just listen.

Column by Anna Taylor, Features Editor.