Memoir Prompt #116: I Love/Hate That Song

Today I want you to think about music. We all have our favorite music, our favorite artist and even our favorite song. But I don’t want you thinking about your favorite music, song or artist. No, today I want you to think about a song outside what you normally listen to, a song that caught you by surprise in either a really good way or a really bad way. So set your timer for twenty minutes and let’s get started. Remember to use all your senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.

Where were you the first time you heard the song? What were you doing? Who was with you? What caught your attention first: the music, the lyric, the singer’s voice? Describe the song. What was your initial reaction: positive or negative? How did this reaction appear in your body? Did it provoke a physical reaction inside of you? Did it make you act out in some way? Or perhaps both? If you were around other people how did they react to the song? Was it in alignment with your reaction or in opposition? Describe your interactions with other people as this song played out. What feelings did the song bring up for you? Were those feelings attached to a specific person or event in your life? If you initially liked or disliked the song and then changed your opinion as the song progressed, what caused you to change your thoughts and feelings about it? How did that change affect your body physically and your outward movements and interactions? Write through to the end of this moment.

Consider trying this for several songs and compare them. Are there certain triggers (music, lyric or voice) in the songs that create a positive or negative reaction in you? Are these emotions tied to people or events in your life? If so, what is about the people or events that creates such a strong reaction in you? What can you see and learn about yourself from this exercise and what other stories may be hiding behind the music? As you can see, this exercise not only helps us work on incorporating sound into our writing, but it can also be a catalyst to stories we may not have remembered otherwise.

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