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Essay For Love Life Lyrics

The Music You Love Tells Me Who You Are

Ever been a bit judgey when you hear someone’s taste in music? Of course you have.

And you were right — music tells you a lot about someone’s personality.

Research has learned a great deal about the power of music:

  1. Your musical tastedoes accurately tell me about you, including your politics.
  2. Your musical taste is influenced by your parents.
  3. You love your favorite song because it’s associated with an intense emotional experience in your life.
  4. The music you enjoyed when you were 20 you will probably love for the rest of your life.
  5. And, yes, rockstars really do live fast and die young.

But enough trivia. It also turns out music affects your behavior — and much more than you might think.

Studies show music can lead you to drink more, spendmore, be kind, or even act unethically.

No, rock and heavy metal don’t lead people to commit suicide — but it’s possible that country music might:

The results of a multiple regression analysis of 49 metropolitan areas show that the greater the airtime devoted to country music, the greater the white suicide rate.

Music is so powerful it’s even possible to become addicted to music.

Eric Barker:What 10 things should you do every day to improve your life?

But can we really use scientific research on music to improve our lives? Absolutely.

Here are 9 ways:

1) Music Helps You Relax

Yes, research shows music is relaxing.

I know, I know, obvious, right? But what you might not know is the type of music that helps people relax best.

Need to chill out? Skip the pop and jazz and head for the classical.

Via Richard Wiseman’s excellent book 59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute:

Blood pressure readings revealed that listening to pop or jazz music had the same restorative effect as total silence. In contrast, those who listened to Pachelbel and Vivaldi relaxed much more quickly, and so their blood pressure dropped back to the normal level in far less time.

(More things that relieve stress are here.)

2) Angry Music Improves Your Performance

We usually think of anger as something that’s just universally bad. But the emotion has positive uses too.

Anger focuses attention on rewards, increases persistence, makes us feel in control and more optimistic about achieving our goals.

When test subjects listened to angry music while playing video games, they got higher scores.

Via The Science of Sin: The Psychology of the Seven Deadlies (and Why They Are So Good For You):

What Tamir and her colleagues found was that people preferred to listen to the angry music before playing Soldier of Fortune. Faced with a task in which anger might serve a useful function, facilitating the shooting of enemies, participants opted for an anger boost. What’s more, listening to the angry music actually improved performance…

(More on how to boost productivity here.)

3) Music Reduces Pain

When ibuprofen isn’t doing the job, might be time to put on your favorite song.

Research shows it can reduce pain:

Preferred music was found to significantly increase tolerance and perceived control over the painful stimulus and to decrease anxiety compared with both the visual distraction and silence conditions.

(More research based tricks for reducing pain here.)

Eric Barker:4 Lifehacks From Ancient Philosophers That Will Make You Happier

4) Music Can Give You A Better Workout

What’s the best thing to have on your iPod at the gym?

The weight room is no place to try new genres. Playing your favorites can boost performance:

The performance under Preferred Music (9.8 +/- 4.6 km) was greater than under Nonpreferred Music (7.1 +/- 3.5 km) conditions. Therefore, listening to Preferred Music during continuous cycling exercise at high intensity can increase the exercise distance, and individuals listening to Nonpreferred Music can perceive more discomfort caused by the exercise.

(More ways to improve your health here.)

5) Music Can Help You Find Love

Want to get the interest of that special someone? Put on the romantic music.

Women were more likely to give their number to men after hearing love songs:

…the male confederate asked the participant for her phone number. It was found that women previously exposed to romantic lyrics complied with the request more readily than women exposed to the neutral ones.

(More on how science can make you a better kisser here.)

6) Music Can Save A Life

Do you know the proper way to give CPR chest compressions? Turns out timing is key.

And how can you best remember that timing during an emergency?

Sing “Stayin’ Alive” by the BeeGees. Yes, I’m serious:

…Dr. John Hafner of the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria had 15 physicians and med students perform the 100-compression procedure (on mannequins) while listening to the Bee Gees classic “Stayin’ Alive.” As Hafner reports in the Journal of Emergency Medicine, their mean compression rate was an excellent 109.1. Five weeks later, they repeated the exercise while singing the song to themselves as a “musical memory aid.” Their mean rate increased to 113.2. The medical professionals reported that the “mental metronome” improved both “their technical ability and confidence in providing CPR.”

(More things that can improve your health and happiness here.)

7) Music Can Improve Your Work — Sometimes

Does music at the office make you work better or just distract you? It’s a much debated issue and the answer is not black and white.

For the most part, it seems music decreases work performance – but makes you happier while you work:

…a comparison of studies that examined background music compared to no music indicates that background music disturbs the reading process, has some small detrimental effects on memory, but has a positive impact on emotional reactions…

That said, a little bit of music can make you more creative. If you have ADHD, noise helps you focus:

Noise exerted a positive effect on cognitive performance for the ADHD group and deteriorated performance for the control group, indicating that ADHD subjects need more noise than controls for optimal cognitive performance.

And music with positive lyrics makes you more helpful and collaborative.

(More on what will make you successful here.)

Eric Barker:How To Make Your Life Better By Sending Five Simple Emails

8) Use Music To Make You Smarter

There is a ton of evidence that music lessons improve IQ.

But there’s even research that sayslistening to classical music might boost brainpower as well:

Within 15 minutes of hearing the lecture, all the students took a multiple-choice quiz featuring questions based on the lecture material. The results: the students who heard the music-enhanced lecture scored significantly higher on the quiz than those who heard the music-free version.

(More on the most powerful way to easily get smarter here.)

9) Music Can Make You A Better Person

Need to soften someone’s heart? Maybe even your own?

Playing music can make you more compassionate:

In a year-long program focused on group music-making, 8- to 11-year old children became markedly more compassionate, according to a just-published study from the University of Cambridge. The finding suggests kids who make music together aren’t just having fun: they’re absorbing a key component of emotional intelligence.

Venezuela made music lessons mandatory. What happened? Crime went down and fewer kids dropped out of school:

A simple cost-benefit framework is used to estimate substantive social benefits associated with a universal music training program in Venezuela (B/C ratio of 1.68). Those social benefits accrue from both reduced school drop-out and declining community victimization. This evidence of important social benefits adds to the abundant evidence of individual gains reported by the developmental psychology literature.

(More on how to be a better person here.)

Sum Up

So music not only says a lot about you, it provides a myriad of easy ways to make your life better:

  1. Music Can Help You Relax
  2. Angry Music Improves Your Performance
  3. Music Reduces Pain
  4. Music Can Give You A Better Workout
  5. Music Can Help You Find Love
  6. Music Can Save A Life
  7. Music Can Improve Your Work — Sometimes
  8. Use Music To Make You Smarter
  9. Music Can Make You A Better Person

Most importantly: Music makes us feel good, and in the end, that’s worth a lot.

Speaking of music that makes you feel good, ever wondered what English sounds like to people who don’t speak it?

Then you’ll love this song.

“An Italian singer wrote this song with gibberish to sound like English. If you’ve ever wondered what other people think Americans sound like, this is it.”

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This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree

THE LYRIC ESSAY

"Given its genre mingling, the lyric essay often accretes by fragments, taking shape mosaically - its import visible only when one stands back and sees it whole. The stories it tells may be no more than metaphors. Or, storyless, it may spiral in on itself, circling the core of a single image or idea, without climax, without a paraphrasable theme. The lyric essay stalks its subject like quarry but is never content to merely explain or confess. It elucidates through the dance of its own delving." - Deborah Tall
"Imagine a warp in time, centuries deep, where writers gather on full-moon nights.  Perhaps it surrounds a Concord bar where in the darkest corner sit Henry David Thoreau and Sylvia Plath.... Years later their progeny Lyric Essay—half-prose and half-poetry—dresses in loose tunics, wears his hair slightly too long to be considered conventional, and whiles away his days wandering through forests and meadows while contemplating metaphors for life and love.  He spends his nights lying in soft grass gazing at the constellations while neighbors gossip across the fence and cluck their tongues at his seeming lack of discipline.  These casual observers never notice that the maze Lyric Essay has worn in the grass is a labyrinthine path; they never notice that Lyric Essay’s wanderings are structuring a carefully crafted border."

"Like our fictitious 'wild child,' a progeny of poetry and prose, the literary lyric essay is often misunderstood, considered a self-indulgent, willy-nilly collection of disjointed thoughts and sentences that lead nowhere.  But a careful study of lyric essays will reveal a cornucopia of connectors and structures rooted in both poetry and prose—mythology, reflection, irony, repetition, spiraling perspective, lists, sensory details, voltas—binding the fragmented imagery within braided, hermit crab, collage, and elegy structures—bringing order to apparent literary chaos and allowing lyric essayists the freedom to push and prod poetic prose until an emotional message pops from the page. - Diana Wilson
"Loyal to that original sense of essay as a test or a quest, an attempt at making sense, the lyric essay sets off on an uncharted course through interlocking webs of idea, circumstance, and language - a pursuit with no foreknown conclusion, an arrival that might still leave the writer questioning. While it is ruminative, it leaves pieces of experience undigested and tacit, inviting the reader's participatory interpretation. Its voice, spoken from a privacy that we overhear and enter, has the intimacy we have come to expect in the personal essay. Yet in the lyric essay the voice is often more reticent, almost coy, aware of the compliment it pays the reader by dint of understatement."

and

"We turn to the lyric essay - with its malleability, ingenuity, immediacy, complexity, and use of poetic language - to give us a fresh way to make music of the world. But we must be willing to go out on an artistic limb with these writers, keep our balance on their sometimes vertiginous byways. Anne Carson, in her essay on the lyric, 'Why Did I Awake Lonely Among the Sleepers' (Published in Seneca Review Vol. XXVII, no. 2) quotes Paul Celan. What he says of the poem could well be said of the lyric essay: The poem holds its ground on its own margin.... The poem is lonely. It is lonely and en route. Its author stays with it. If the reader is willing to walk those margins, there are new worlds to be found." - both excerpts from Deborah Tall

"I would summarize thus: The lyric essay values the tension of juxtaposing objective and subjective material. The lyric essay emphasizes language as a means of engagement, equal to or exceeding its value in conveying information. The lyric essay does not emphasize argument or traditional closure.So why turn to the lyric essay? On a pragmatic level, here are some circumstances in which the lyric essay might prove advantageous:

-The essay concerns a personal episode in which the author lacked power. Lyric moves, particularly fragmentation and passive voice, enact a lack of agency on the page. ...

-The author does not have access to sources for key aspects of the traditional "story." Lyric moves, particularly litany and stimulative truth, bridge these troublesome gaps. 

-The language and images are the driving motivation of the piece, and stream-of-consciousness observation, sacrificing traditional narrative, is the only way to go." -  Sandra Beasley
"Although it does feature subjective consciousness, the lyric essay is not the same as a personal or memoir essay, in that its main purpose is not to narrate the personal experience of the writer. Instead of experience, the lyric essay engages primarily with ideas or inquiries, lending it an aspect of intellectual engagement that is not usually foregrounded in the personal essay. The tension comes when such engagement is blended with a poetic, subjective sensibility." - Laura Tetreault
“This past year, I attended a reading of 'lyric essays,' and nothing I heard was, to my mind, lyric. My ears did not quicken. My heart did not skip. What I heard was philosophical meditation, truncated memoir, slipshod research, and just-plain-discursive opinion. A wall of words. But not a lyric essay among them. The term had been minted (brilliantly, it seems to me) by Deborah Tall, then almost immediately undermined. Not all essays are lyric. Repeat. Not all essays are lyric. Not even all short essays are lyric. Some are merely short. Or plainly truncated. Or purely meditative. Or simply speculative. Or. Or. Or. But not lyric. Because, to be lyric, there must be a lyre.” - Judith Kitchen
"Writing the lyric essay offers the author a frolic in the pool of memoir, biography, poetry and personal essay mixed with a sprinkling of experimental. Sound confusing? It can be. .. In lyric essay the narrative might break up into sections, evolve and trail away into white space, poetry and often, repetition.The author’s imagination can explode with the possibilities. ...Lyric essay flourishes with the braiding of multiple themes, a back and forth weave of story and implication, the bending of narrative shape and insertion of poetic device such as broken lines, white space and repetition. There is a similarity between this form and flash fiction or prose poetry. In this genre, the author must offer his/her truth, a unique perspective, whatever that might be." - Kaye Linden
"A snippet of image here, a stray bit of dialog there, nested in the telling: the logic of the traditional story reversed. It purposefully avoids a steady progression towards meaning, a predictable arc of exposition, climax, revelation, and denouement, preferring instead allusive, anecdotal, and abstract swipes at an opaque theme. ...It is, in other words, a mash-up: borrowing from all, beholden to none. It likes to betray the genres from which it borrows, making wily little jabs at their most dearly held conventions. It mocks creative nonfiction in its manipulation of facts: sometimes reinventing them for the sake of “art,” sometimes subverting their claim to objective truth by repeating or removing them from context. It mocks fiction in using these untruths, these distorted or altered facts, not as story but as dry, lyrically stylized information." - Sarah Menkedick [Art for art's sake? And so much more.]
Personal thoughts:
  • An interview at 3288 Review where I opine on the lyric essay.
  • The lyric essay, by definition, will not easily fit into the category of "grounded" writing. Generally, markets that use the "grounded" terminology when referring to creative nonfiction want narrative, a constructed and followable story, but the lyric essay just wants to play. Larger issues can be addressed, are often addressed, in the lyric, but subserviently so. Don't take it too seriously; look for the playfulness in it; hear the music and dance.  
  • The first line(s) of a lyric essay should surprise the reader with its language or new idea or twist of thought, as should points between beginning and end. But of course this should be true of any genre. 
  • Maybe, in some ways, the lyric essay is but a playful, experimental, creative nonfiction essay hoping to contrive an entirely new tune using one of a variety of word instruments.
Favorite lyric essays, and those which we perceive to be truest to the lyric form:

Judith Kitchen's Circus Train

The 3 essays that comprise Annie Dillard's Holy the Firm. (Online excerpt.)
The essays that comprise Annie Dillard's Teaching a Stone to Talk. Online, find one of them: "Living Like Weasels."
Dillard's "Total Eclipse."
Anne Carson's essays.

Deborah Tall's essay on the lyric essay (link above) is also an excellent example.

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