The Five Reasons We All Listen to Songs
Why have nearly all cultures, both past and present, embraced music so strongly? Why is it that songs draw out powerful emotions with their poetic lyrics and their soulful melodies? For some reason, it seems that all (or at least most) of us have a strong need for music in our lives.
If it is the CD buyers, the concert attenders, and the music streamers that fuel the multi-billion dollar music industry, then songwriters should pay close attention to the reasons why people love and need songs in their lives to write music that meets those needs. If songwriters touch on one or more core human emotions, they will not only make a greater difference in the lives of those that hear their songs, but will likely find greater market success as well.
The Need to Cry
Songs have a way of drawing out pain in a way that helps people tackle it head-on instead of avoiding it or letting it destroy them. Life is tough, for some more so than others, and many songs have the healing properties needed to help people cope with pain and trials and move forward.
The Need to Laugh
Life is packed full of humor. It’s all around us. Just like a good comedian helps people unwind and laugh, some songs help us find the funny in ourselves, our relationships, and our experiences.
The Need to Unwind
When Friday night, that summer concert, or that road trip roll around, songs are the fuel of the party. Sometimes it’s best to just relax, have fun, jam out, and worry about the more serious aspects of life on Monday.
The Need to Love
We all have a great need to love and be loved. Isn’t that why there are so many love songs? From first kiss to marriage and family, love songs help us connect with those that mean the most to us in our lives.
The Need to Be Inspired
As exciting as the daily grind can be, many people seek greater meaning and purpose in their lives. Songs have a way of getting us to reflect, envision a better us, country, and world, and then get to work making it happen well after the song is over.
When songwriters write songs just to get a cut, their songs often fail to touch one or more of these human needs. While a song does need to have commercial appeal and can’t be overly sentimental, if it combines its core message with a human emotion, a strong melody, and compelling lyrics, it is likely to be not only a commercial success, but a classic as well.