Ten songs, ten stories

I love music. I love how it can change my mood instantly, and I love that there is always a song that I can listen to that fits with where I am at, emotionally. That is why I took the time to select ten songs that I picked as my candidates for voted for Song of the Year 2013 for 3 voor 12, a Dutch radio show.

And then I thought of the songs and how they touch me. That is where the idea for this post was born.

Here are ten flash fiction and non-fiction stories written while listening to the songs. When you click on the song, you get the video so you can listen along while reading.

I first thought that I would post these all as separate posts, but decided that I loved to see them altogether way too much 🙂

Atoms For Peace – Default
This song moves into my heart, grabs the strings and plays each and every one of them. I move along to the erratic beats, have tears streaming down my cheeks as Thom sings, and at the end, I just feel joyful. I get to listen to Atoms for Peace.

Editors – A Ton Of Love
Every time Jack saw Josie, he wanted to give her roses. He wanted to give her the most beautiful letter ever written. He wanted to kiss her until her cheeks were as red as the roses he would give her. He wanted to take her in his arms and dance with her to his favorite song. And yet, he never moved away from his post behind the newsstand.
All he did was put on his favorite song as she walked by, and then he watched her, stand still, listen to the music, tapping her foot and moving her head to the sound. The smile on her face was all he needed. And then she moved away again, her cane tapping the ground in front of her, cautiously continuing on her familiar way home.

Franz Ferdinand – Love Illumination
Berlin always looked crestfallen in the rain, as if it made the city flashback to a darker time in its life. The wall’s concrete still rose along the street where Stephan and his wife Elfride lived, now as a memory of what once was. He didn’t mind. Sometimes they both walked on either side of the wall, and greeted each other just like they had done when the wall had just fallen. East Germany held up his hand for West Germany, they smiled at each other and repeated the kiss they had given each other then, ten seconds after meeting.

Imagine Dragons – Radioactive
I saw the bomb fly into earth, a large silver grey bullet shape piloted by five of our bravest men. Five heroes. For one moment it seemed as large as the moon, then the earth imploded on itself, leaving a cloud of rubble and silence.
Our ships left moments later. I stared out into the universe and knew I had made the right decision. It was. We needed to move, make a new home for ourselves on a planet that was more habitable. More friendly. Less dragons. It took me a while before I could give the speech. I stood behind my Presidential desk and said the words I had rehearsed so well in the days before. They sounded hollow now. I had made us all homeless drifters in a sea of stars and planets. I could not help but wonder how long it would take them to kill me and if that moment would happen before our ships drowned us all in the radioactive waste the engines created. I remembered what my brother used to say. First world problems. The irony overwhelmed me and I couldn’t stop laughing.

James Blake – Retrograde
I heard this song for the first time on Jools Holland. It grabbed me by the heart and by the throat and wouldn’t let go. I hit the rewind button time and time again, moved beyond words..
The next day I played this song again, and I read the words along with the music, tears rolling down my cheeks as the whole song overtook me and dug in me for tears I forgot to shed so long ago. I knew I had found the song that would heal me. It did.

Kodaline – All I Want
Our romance ended the day autumn came. It ended as it had begun, with a dance on a roof top in New York. The sky shimmered like tears above us. We held each other close for one more moment and then she broke free, grabbed hold of her suitcase and took the elevator down to the taxi that would take her to the airport and out of my life. I let her go. I had no choice.
The stars fell down as I sank down on my knees and cried.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Mary Lambert – Same Love
Every time Roger told the story, it made James to be even more like a super hero. He told the story of how they met just after Roger’s parents kicked him to the street, ashamed of their gay son. James drove past in his silver Chevy, the jock of the school, always a girl on his arm.
James had stopped his car, his coat moving like Superman’s cape, and he had taken the suitcases from Roger’s fingers. He left for a few moments to put the suitcases away and then his hands held Roger’s as he confessed his undying love for him. Roger always ended his stories by saying it still felt like a dream, even now they were married and had three children he still had to pinch himself just after waking up in the morning.

Miles Kane – Better Than That
This song makes me want to dance with flailing arms and legs, wearing a sixties dress and clunky heels, my hair in a beehive, my face all a-smile. And then after dancing I want to put it on again until my heart just bursts with joy.

Pearl Jam – Sirens
The car slid across the icy road and crashed into a ditch beside it. The first thing I did was reach next to me. Tyler grinned at me and said, “I’m alright, my love. Are you too?”
“Gods, I thought I lost you!”
He smirked and removed our safety belts. “We were driving slow because of the ice, love. Now come here and let me kiss you.”
I slid in his lap and kissed him until I had no more breath. I kissed him again and again. Our hands pulled at each other’s clothes, our kiss deepened.
Then someone tapped our window.
A man in a bright yellow suit grinned at us and pointed at the tow truck, its lights like a spotlight on us. “Want a lift?”
Tyler was the first to find words, he pressed my half naked self against his chest, laughed and said, “Yes please. Mind if we put on some clothes?”
I can still hear the laughter of the man  as he walked back to his truck.

Vampire Weekend – Diane Young
This is music for singing along, for clapping, for dancing, for big joyful smiles. This is music for concerts, for silly dance moves, for crazy arm waving. This is music for sunlight in winter, for joy in dark days, for heart and warmth when the wind rages around the house.

This is the perfect song to end my list with.

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