“Each person who ever was or is or will be has a song. It isn’t a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has its own words. Very few people get to sing their song. Most of us fear that we cannot do it justice with our voices, or that our words are too foolish or too honest, or too odd. So people live their song instead.”
— Neil Gaiman
What’s Your Song? I recently read the book Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, which is about the son of the ancient God Anansi who is the keeper of all stories. Being the guardian of all stories makes for some interesting insights into the nature of people.
In this book Gaiman observes that each person has their own song to sing (see above quote), and that for most the song is quite simple. I think this is an interesting perspective on people, and to me it rings true.
I would guess that my song would be about looking for answers, not finding them, but having fun along the way. Maybe another verse would be about wanting to make people happy, or at least trying to do that.
Although many of us hold our songs to ourselves if you are around someone long enough, and are observant, you might be able to at least hum their tune. Donna Roberts observes that, “A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.” This is probably the most valuable thing a friend can do…help you find your way back to your song when you wander from it. I know Pam helps me do that from time to time.
With that in mind here are a few thoughts on the songs of the people who are closest to me:
My wife Pam’s song might be about the joys of herding rabbits and getting them to a better place; setting up pins and knocking them down, and retreating to her den at night with her own rabbits to recharge for the next day on the range.
My oldest son’s song to me seems to be about making new rhythms in life and dancing to the beat of his own drum. He may favor the rock genre in his music, but he has the improvisational ability of a Jazz musician in his life.
My youngest son’s song (I think) is about making people smile, hanging with friends, and taking it all in, a very pleasant song indeed.
These are all good songs, and I am sure there are nuances to their songs that I am not aware of, but those are the melodies that I am hearing when I am around them.
Our songs likely evolve/change as we grow in years, but I would guess the melody is still recognizable to most of us. It seems to me that the key to a happy life may be in knowing what your song is and in living in such a way that your life and your song are harmonious.
Here is wishing you luck in finding, living, and singing your own song! (Hint: A good place to try to find it is in the shower!).
If you are so inspired feel free to post what you think your song is in the comments section.