Which music gives you goosebumps?

Dries Van HooydonckListening, Music2 Comments

which music gives goosebumps - music is emotion

I was in the city of Leuven recently. I spent the afternoon working on my laptop in a cosy coffee bar.

Meanwhile, my girlfriend Clara was shopping with our son Tristan (two and a half) elsewhere in the city.

When the three of us were eating dinner in an Asian restaurant in the evening, I suddenly heard music coming from the street.

Tristan had finished eating and together, hand in hand, we went out to see what was going on. It turned out to be a street artist. Singing and playing guitar.

And then it happened: GOOSEBUMPS ALL OVER MY BODY…

And that was just the start of it…

The street artist was playing one of my favourite songs, by one of my favourite artists: “Wild Word” by Cat Stevens.

And what this triggered in me was so extremely intense.

Indescribable.

It ‘s been a long time since I was so compelled by music.

It’s also been a long time since I played “Wild World” at home.

“Wild World” by Cat Stevens

cat-stevens-tea-for-the-tillerman-goosebumps

Wild World is about letting go. With lyrics that seem very simple at first, Cat Stevens perfectly grasps how saying goodbye to a loved one feels, and sings about the mixed feelings that come into play. If you don’t know the lyrics, I don’t want to withhold them from you:

Now that I’ve lost everything to you

You say you wanna start something new

And it’s breakin’ my heart you’re leavin’

Baby, I’m grievin’

But if you wanna leave, take good care

I hope you have a lot of nice things to wear

But then a lot of nice things turn bad out there 

Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world

It’s hard to get by just upon a smile

Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world

I’ll always remember you like a child, girl

You know I’ve seen a lot of what the world can do

And it’s breakin’ my heart in two

Because I never wanna see you a sad girl

Don’t be a bad girl

But if you wanna leave, take good care

I hope you make a lot of nice friends out there

But just remember there’s a lot of bad and beware

Baby, I love you

But if you wanna leave, take good care

I hope you make a lot of nice friends out there

But just remember there’s a lot of bad and beware

Cat Stevens sings about feelings that are very difficult to put into words. He does this so pure and effortlessly. In the entire song, there’s barely any mentioning of the emotions itself, and still it touches you deeply.

It can be a consolation for everyone that’s in the same situation, or has been. It’s also hopeful, because Stevens seems to be at peace with the parting:

if you want to leave take good care, hope you make a lot of nice friends out there.

At the same time, there’s contradiction. The person that you’ve shared such a big part of your life with, is going to wear pretty clothes elsewhere, and make new friends. He wishes her the best, but meanwhile his heart is breaking.

And he warns her too:

But just remember there’s a lot of bad and beware Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world

At first glance these are such simple lyrics with such simple words, but this song goes so much deeper…

An avalanche of sorrow and ecstasy at once

street musician music goosebumps

And there stood the street musician, as simple and pure as the song itself, singing his heart out, thankful for every penny thrown into his guitar case. Sober outfit, unwashed, hair not brushed, barely any money for food or shelter.

And he delivered such a beautiful & pure message.

In my thoughts, memories started to come back to me. Past loved ones, my beautiful girlfriend and mother of our child, and then my son, still innocent & pure, holding my hand while we were listening to this message together.

All of this made the spectacle 10x more powerful.

Tristan loved the music. Especially when he could hand over some coins to the musician.

When he grows up, he too will be rejected by girlfriends. I too want to shield him from the bad out there. And I will have to say goodbye too, wishing him all the best on his path in life.

But if you wanna leave, take good care

I hope you have a lot of nice things to wear

But then a lot of nice things turn bad out there 

Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world

It’s hard to get by just upon a smile

Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world

I’ll always remember you like a child, girl

Other than GOOSEBUMPS over my whole entire body, I felt about every emotion a man could feel. Eyes tearful of sadness and happiness at the same time. An avalanche of sorrow and ecstasy at once.

Music is emotion

music is emotion

With this example, I want to make you feel one thing: music is emotion. It’s the transfer of feelings, from one human being to another. A universal language, that bring people closer together.

No matter religion, race, political preference, social or societal status. Because all people are emotional creatures. Everyone has experienced loss in their lives. A lot of people might even recognize themselves in Cat Stevens’ lyrics.

That’s why we audiophiles spend so much money on our high-end audio setup.

high end audio setup

That’s how we get closer to those emotions. That’s how we feel every note more intensely, every breath of the singer with more air, every keystroke of the piano with more expression, every movement of the singer’s mouth against the microphone better articulated, more tangible, more life-like.

Audiophiles want to feel emotions through their installation.

My advice: listen to music that gives you goosebumps!

listen to music that you love and gives goosebumps

Because music can compel you, touch you, and free your deepest emotions: listen to music that gives you goosebumps.

These days, there’s such a vast amount of music available. Streaming services have an infinite number of albums reserved for you, and maybe you have an exponentially growing collection yourself.

As an audiophile, it can sometimes be hard to be selective in your music choice.

Most of the time the criterium is: audiophile sound.

audiophile recording

So, optimally recorded. Or high resolution. An audiophile remaster. Or the best pressing.

While it can be an amazing experience to listen to high quality recorded music, you should also watch out:

You might get lost in these audiophile choices, and remain fixated only on audiophile quality, while overlooking the real gems, and overlooking one of the true purposes of music: musicians expressing their deepest emotions.

No matter the recording quality, or the audio setup you’re listening.

Such music should always be able to touch and move you.

Because the message is crystal clear.

Just like Cat Stevens.

He gave me intense goosebumps over my entire body.

And now that I’m writing this article, I feel those goosebumps building up again!

Therefore, my advice:

Listen to music that gives you goosebumps. It has the possibility to compel you like nothing else can.

Even if you are listening with your telephone, or using shabby laptop speakers…

…the message is still crystal clear.

Which music gives you goosebumps?

Maybe you feel like listening to a song that gives you goosebumps right now… Let me know which song you’ll play in the comments below. I’m very curious. 😉

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