Do you remember the last time you heard a song that made you cry?
I think the ultimate song is one that’s made me cry three different times. I cry all the time, so to me, if a song makes me cry once, it’s nothing too special. The song that makes me cry three times, that is a rare find; that is a perfect song.
The first time you hear it. I know it seems obvious, but it doesn’t have to literally be the first time you hear it. The first time you really hear a song is when it takes over your life for those three minutes or however long it is. In those moments, it’s the only thing in the world that you need, and it’s absolutely completing you. You’ll question what kind of joke your life has been up to this moment, and you’ll look to the future knowing that no matter what, this song will be a companion.
Second Cry (Option 1):
You see everyone online quoting, and misquoting, the song. It’s everywhere you go and it’s on every radio station and you get so mad, because no one gets it, you know? Not like the way you did. You feel betrayed, because now you’re sharing the intimate feeling you had with this song with people who love Dave Matthews.
It makes you question your taste, and you don’t want to be the one to say, “I’ve been listening to this since before it got on the radio.” But you do every time, even if it’s only to yourself.
You realize you’re really upset because that feeling you had, of it just being you and the song and nothing else, that doesn’t exist anymore and you’re just like everyone else. Even more than you want to admit. You’ll find yourself wondering if you really are a “Top 40” person, and if that’s something you’re ok with becoming. You’re not though, and this inner battle alone will make you want to cry.
Second Cry (Option 2):
The song is something that is shared between you and a significant other, or a best friend. There may come a time when your relationship comes to an end with the other person, and now every time you hear the song, it will fill you with the wrong emotions. The song is ruined for you now, and you may enter a mourning phase. Only time can heal this, but like many other things, you may not be the same after and there is a potential that you can never go back to this song again. This is the same with “Option 1”: if the song reaches a peak of no going back, you may turn your back on the song and never speak of it ever again. The song will grow to be an embarrassment, not even worthy of falling under the “guilty pleasure” category.
If the song is truly great, it will eventually transcend the struggles of the “Second Cry” and enter the next stage.
When you hear it again, one year…five years after you first heard it, after your first cry. This is after the craze of the song is over. After you’re completely over your ex and they no longer enter your thoughts, not even weekly. You’re by yourself again (or maybe with someone new) and the song comes up on your iTunes or Pandora or Spotify, but not Tidal. Whatever device you’re listening on, it’ll be a surprise when it shows up. It will totally catch you off guard.
The memories you have with this song, all the emotions, all “the feels.” They’ll come roaring back like a tidal wave and you won’t know what to do. You might have an insta-cry, where you’re immediately taken over and in one deep breath, your eyes well up, and a choke-sob may even come out. For your sake, I hope this happens when you are alone.
You’ll be left with your thoughts and the moment of the song. Maybe it really was just you and the song this whole time. Maybe the song isn’t the one that changed; it was you.
Listening to the song at this stage, you may be left to reflect on all the things in your life that have changed. Think of everything that has happened between then and now and try not to feel overwhelmed. People, places, items, moments: they’ve all come and gone. The only thing that’s been a constant, and this may hit you all at once, is this song. It stuck with you through it all, and now you are rewarded.
You may reflect on everything about yourself that has changed since the first listen. The song may once again give you hope for the future. No matter how much you and everything around you may have changed over the years, with this song, you still have an ounce, a shred, of your old self. At least three minutes of it, and you always will.