“Science cannot tell us why an old song can move us to tears.” (Erwin Schrödinger) – a quote seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.
We all tend to have certain songs that can evoke strong emotional reactions – sometimes happy and sometimes very sad, but almost always involving someone else who immediately comes to mind. Many couples have what they call “our song”; some song that they associate with a special time in their relationship; maybe a first dance or their wedding dance or a first date. Many people also have very sad songs that cause long suppressed emotions of loss or a time in their life that they’d rather be able to put behind them. For me, the Paul McCartney song “Yesterday” is an especially strong emotional trigger that immediately takes me back to my college days – yes the song really is that old – and the loss of my first true love in college.
I am also fortunate to have many great songs that kick off the happy memories of meeting the eventual great love of my life (48 years of happy marriage this year), such as “Hang on Sloopy”, by the McCoys and “(You’re My) Soul And Inspiration”, by the Righteous Brothers. It was the Golden era of early rock and roll and we partied hearty in those days. There are many songs from that era that can make us both smile.
What songs move you? Which ones bring a smile and which cause tears to whelm up in your eyes? Science can’t explain why, but I’ll bet you have some good stories behind the reactions.
Some movies (whether big screen or made for TV) have the same impact. There are few, if any, men who can watch the made for TV movie Bryan’s Song without reaching for a tissue. The same is true of some movies that might have been thought to appeal to women only. Love Story, Ghost, and perhaps even Brokeback Mountain are great examples. There is just something about such movies that reaches into us and pulls at some strings in our hearts or dredges up long lost memories in our minds and causes our reactions. Science can’t explain it, but I think we can. Those are reactions that are causes by memories of things on our own lives of great joy or great pain or sense of loss. We aren’t really crying about what we see on the screen or hear on the radio; we’re reliving a similar moment in our own lives.
So long as we are able to have that quick cry and then move on, back in the present and not stuck in the past, we are OK. It’s good for us let it out every now and then; but only if we can then move on.