(Even pop) music can capture the deepest of our innermost feelings, the ones where when we're having them it feels like we're the only ones having them, but actually are universal, shared across people, no matter their place or time.
The best songs are about those universal feelings and situations.
These past few days, I've been listening a lot to the song Breakeven, by The Script. It falls in that category.
It's about a break-up, where the guy is "falling to pieces," because he's still in love with her, and she has moved on. Sounds trite. The lyrics alone aren't breathtaking, and the music is by no means complex or deeply original (a repeating pattern of four simple chords). But the combination of the lead singer's voice with the simple guitar strum and . . . the universality of that feeling. . . it just works:
I'm still alive but I'm barely breathing
Just prayed to a God that I don't believe in
'Cause I got time while she got freedom
'Cause when a heart breaks, no, it don't break even
Her best days were some of my worst
She finally met a man that's gonna put her first
While I'm wide awake she's no trouble sleeping
'Cause when a heart breaks no it don't break even... even... no
What am I supposed to do when the best part of me was always you?
And what am I supposed to say when I'm all choked up and you're OK?
I'm falling to pieces, yeah,
I'm falling to pieces
Late last night, I was listening to music while doing some reading and searching online, and I came across a treasure-trove of covers of Breakeven. (Though admittedly I hadn't thought about it too much, these days I'm sure there are people covering every popular song.).
Men, women, girls, and boys.
From all around the world.
Musically, some are great and others are terrible. But I enjoyed almost all of them.
Playing guitar, alone in their bedrooms. They are simple musical renderings of a shared emotion, a feeling we have in common, video recorded and then placed out there for all to see: