The power of a song :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

The power of a song

Makena Clawson

Guitar Player by Weyenbergh Jacky

My mouth waters at the thought of a tall glass of sweet tea. I picture a handsome man in a cowboy hat pick me up in his truck leaving only a cloud of dust on the gravel road behind us. He’s got chewing tobacco in his pocket and calluses on his hands.

Wait, wait, wait. Since when have I ever liked the taste of sweet tea? Have I ever ridden in truck with a cowboy? And I’m picturing Prince Charming chewing tobacco?

Ever since I started listening to country music, my suburban life left me dissatisfied and dreaming about cowboys. Why?

Because your favorite song is powerful. You hear it two to three times a day, you know every line backwards and forwards, when you’re not listening to it you’re humming it.

Do I really want country music lyrics about cowboys and tobacco to be the 300 words I hear several times a day and carry with me as a sort of mantra? Is this what I want to be shaping my life?

Somaybe you’re not a country music fan, but music is powerful no matter what genre it is. Maybe you find yourself wanting to put on glitter eyeliner and hit the town after listening to Katy Perry, it’s all the same.

Music tells us what to think, and it doesn’t just get one shot to do it. It will get its message across multiple times, even in the same day, all while providing a catchy tune for us to remember it by.

A 2014 Radio and Internet Newsletter article states a Kaiser study found youth spent on average almost two and half hours a day listening to music. This is part of an average of seven and a half hours of total media exposure.

But there is no other media that delivers a four-minute message that listeners will hear over and over again and eventually memorize.

Music holds the most power in shaping culture.

And music doesn’t just influence teens. While they may be the most susceptible to sway with the beat of popular music, music is universal and affects everyone.

Because of my love for country music, I find myself wanting nothing less than a country-crooning handsome cowboy, is it possible that other women are also dissatisfied in their relationships? Or just more preoccupied with love, the major theme across the genres?

So is this bad? Is it a problem that I want to drop everything and move to a small town where everyone sits on porch swings? Not necessarily. However, we can become dissatisfied with our current lives.

No relationship is as exciting as a Taylor Swift song. No one has as crazy of Friday nights as Katy Perry.

Maybe this is the first step, to realize music’s influence. If this influence is leaving me depressed or dissatisfied with my life, perhaps I should reevaluate my music choices and the amount of time I spend listening.

Nothing is as underrated in our culture as silence, but this might be the perfect prescription. Instead of turning on music during every task, go for a run without music, take a drive and appreciate the stillness, soak in every sound of cooking your favorite meal.

Music is powerful. I don’t know of any other influence able to convince me that pork rinds sound good right now.

Topics: Culture , Music , Young Women

Makena Clawson is a sophmore at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. She is studying English, mass communications and Spanish and hopes to start a magazine for young women after graduating.

View all articles by Makena Clawson

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