Rinse and Repeat

I often listen to the same song on repeat. Enough times in a row that I’m glad I usually drive in my car alone and that I own a pair of headphones. One of my little quirks, I guess.

I mentioned this in an off-hand comment to a guy I was getting to know a while back. He asked me, “Why? Why do you listen the same song on repeat many times?” No one had ever asked me before. I only partially knew the answer then. I probably only slightly know the answer more now.

My dad is a musician, as was his mother before him, and music was an integral part of my life since before I can even remember. My family sang together, played music together, listened together. It’s part of my heritage.

Much more than that though, I find that music has the ability to work its inside my soul and become a part of me. Sometimes that process takes time. Meeting a new song is like meeting a new friend or the beginning of a relationship. I need time spent in its company to get to know it intimately, to understand why we are connected and what we have to offer each other.

Sometimes a melody or some lyrics will speak to me so deeply that I just have to keep listening, to soak it in until I feel replete (or complete?). It becomes a part of me. Or maybe it was a part of me that I just discovered, a piece I didn’t even know was missing.

I listen to songs over and over, because it’s someone else singing the words inside my heart. It’s lyrics weaving mysteries to capture my imagination. It’s melodies expressing emotions that make words superfluous.

It could also be my OCD tendencies coming out.


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