131. The Magic of Stories and Songs

I think there’s a special place in all our hearts for stories and songs alike.

(at least the part concerning songs is scientifically proven and explained. Something something the brain uses different parts to process music than text something something music and lyrics engages those parts something something, science)

After watching Disney’s Frozen, and a month before that, Box of Delights’ The Flowering Tree (which warrants a full blog post in its own right), I have come to the realization that there is something simply magical about stories and songs. Now, it has been a long-standing opinion of mine that stories ARE magic, or at least some variant of sorcery; but songs have always been that thing that lingered right on the edge of my radar.

When I was 4 years old, my mom asked me if I wanted to take piano lessons. At 4 years old, and seeing the torment that my then-6 years old elder sister had to go through in taking her lessons, I was quick to refuse the offer. It would not be until 10 years later that I hit myself on the head for being such a lazy fool.

So when it comes to music, I approach it as a stranger would to art: I can appreciate it reasonably, but I would not be able to deconstruct it into its individual parts and attempt to reconstruct it with the elements that I have thoroughly examined. But I guess in that, there is a unique sort of experience that I go through which is not shared by the members of the musical community. They see the beauty of music in scales and counterpoints. I simply feel the beauty of its melody and wonder how on earth do people conjure up such heartbreakingly wonderful things.

Then true to the principle of synergy, when stories and songs come together in that joyous thing we know as musicals, everything just ups a notch, and the experience is simply unlike any other.

Last year, when the long-awaited film adaptation of the legendary Les Misérables came out, I watched it in various movie theaters a record breaking total of 4 times. Not as many times as some of you may have watched Avatar, but it was definitely something for me. Why, some of you ask? To that I say: why not?

(plus, Samantha Barks as Éponine was simply gorgeous in every way imaginable)

Out hearts resonate with beauty, that much we already know about ourselves. So when something like Frozen comes along, smiling like the sun – I believe it strikes a chord within us, and it gives us a certain kind of hope about the beauty that’s in this world. That among the sadness, the darkness, and the tragedy that is going on all around, it gives us something to smile about. That is, I guess, the power of stories, and the power of songs.

Make-believe things matter, be they make-believe worlds set into words, or make-believe emotions set into notes. To say anything else would be a terrible, terrible lie.

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