It is amazing how music evokes such powerful emotions within people. I know that smell is the sense that is most closely tied to memory, but a song can easily take me back to key moments in my life.
It is also strange to think about the twists and turns that a song can take, and how the associations can evolve, or in some cases morph quickly. Adele’s hit song “Hello” brought this home for me.
About the same time that the song was released, my brother called me, sobbing, to tell me that his best friend of 15 years had committed suicide. While his friend was not my friend, his friend had still been in my life since I was 17. My mom sobbed at the news and proclaimed, “He was one of us!” Which he was.
Later that week, after coming home from an social event, I heard “Hello” on the radio.
I had to change the channel. The mournful songs coupled with lyrics that seemed to speak directly to the suicide of my brother’s friend. “They say that time’s supposed to heal you, but I ain’t done much healing.” “Hello from the other side, at least I can say that I’ve tried, to tell you I’m sorry, for breaking your heart.” The latter one was especially painful. I could picture my brother’s friend, speaking from beyond the grave, telling my younger brother, his parents, and his sister, that he was sorry for breaking their hearts.
It was difficult for me because I love Adele. She is a wonderful singer and artist. Yet, I wondered if I would be able to listen to this song in the future.
Fortunately for me, SNL changed all of that.
Full disclosure. At Thanksgiving last year, my grandmother did ask everyone if they liked Adele.