I’ve got lots of favourite songs. Maybe first I should explain how music sounds to me, being a deaf person. I wear hearing aids, which amplifies the hearing I still have (I’m profoundly deaf but most deaf people have different levels of hearing/hearing loss – nobody’s audiogram is exactly the same). Without my hearing aids I can’t hear anything at all – maybe if there was a massive bang right next to my ear, but otherwise I have to wear my hearing aids to hear anything. I can hear quite a lot with them – music included. I can hear the melody and the music, perhaps the voices too but I can’t hear what they are actually singing (ie. the lyrics) unless I’m lipreading them or the video has subtitles or I’m reading the lyrics.
Now, when I was younger, I could hear more without my hearing aids (it has dropped over time), so I could hear certain songs and know what was being sung without reading lyrics, or at least be able to make out parts of what was being sung. So I’ve retained knowledge of certain songs and can sing along to some of them (badly). So basically Michael Jackson’s music has a huge emotional resonance with me, not just because of the songs themselves (and the dancing…), but because they have childhood memories attached to them and I can remember hearing them very clearly. I can say the same of certain other songs, like Madonna’s La Isla Bonita and The Beatles’ Love Me Do. Its interesting to me to realise that lots of the songs I love have distinctive bass lines and rhythms, and this is why I love Michael Jackson’s music so much – you can see the music when he dances and you can hear the rhythm clearly.
That’s not to say that I don’t love music that doesn’t have well defined bass beats – like Jazz, guitar led or vocal led music, but I do tend to LOVE songs that are well defined or distinctive in that way. Song like Billie Jean, Bad, Man in the Mirror and Thriller – they have incredible bass lines, and are instantly recognisable, not just to me, but to many people the world over. I know a lot of his songs off by heart – not just the lyrics but the beats and the melody. It takes me a few seconds to get my bearings but after those first few minutes I most likely know which song it is.
However, I really don’t know how to work out what my favourite song is – there are so many, because I listen to a lot of different music. I have a few favourites that crop up on my MP3 most played list, though, so I’ll attempt to narrow it down to a very small selection of some of the songs that mean a lot to me:
Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson
Love Me Do – The Beatles
Hey Jude – The Beatles
Who Needs Love – Razorlight
Supermassive Black Hole – Muse
Fallin’ – Alicia Keys
Here With Me – Dido
Temptation Waits – Garbage
Hunting for Witches – Bloc Party
No Woman, No Cry – Bob Marley
Underneath It All – No Doubt
In The Shadows – The Rasmus
You Can’t Always Get What You Want – The Rolling Stones
Wild Horses – The Rolling Stones
Fire With Fire – The Gossip
Night Light – Sleater Kinney
Sunday – Bloc Party
Put Your Records On – Corinne Bailey Rae
When Doves Cry – Prince
New Shoes – Paolo Nutini
Oh Boy! – Buddy Holly and the Crickets
Fix You – Coldplay
Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Aerosmith
Truly Madly Deeply – Savage Garden
Starlight – Muse
When You Were Young – The Killers
Rock With You – Michael Jackson
Anyway, I better stop before I go completely over the top and list 1oo songs! Talking of 100 songs, I want to read this book by Nick Hornby called 31 Songs – it was on one of my wish lists but I haven’t yet got round to reading it. Its meant to be a collection of essays about songs and the emotional resonance they carry. I’m also reading Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield at the moment which is brilliant so far.
Image 1 from here.
Image 2 from here.