+44 7879 440170 helen@unlikelygenius.com

Be honest, I have drawn you in with the swear haven’t I?

Some of you may recognise the title of this post. It is not me on a rant. But it is a lyric from a song which Spotify thankfully threw at me a few months back.

Immediately something in me stirred.

Something woke.

I was quickly entranced.

Addicted.

And singing very loudly.

…This is life on earth

It’s just life on earth.

I got totally caught up in the song. I zoned out from my work, so caught up that I suddenly realised that if I didn’t act quick I wouldn’t know what it was or who it was by. A furious scrabble to led to something of a surprise.

The track is called ‘Life on Earth’ by Snowpatrol. Lo and behold, Snowpatrol have risen from the ashes!

A huge band in the 00s, and one I quite liked, I thought they had fallen off the planet in recent years. Turns out they were plotting a hell of a comeback.

After the way that their hit ‘Cars’ infiltrated every tv show, advert, store, elevator and radio station, I think I was glad they semi-disappeared for a while. I liked ‘Cars’ at first but boy was that overplayed. If I had realised a Snowpatrol track was next on my playlist I might even have skipped it. I am so glad I didn’t.

I had never been a massive ‘music person’, into the coolest bands or the most brag worthy. Just for evidence:

  • I love Take That and have been to all but 2 tours.
  • I like absolute 80s cheese and a damn good musical.
  • My sister and I can regularly be seen bopping away and screaming proposals to The Overtones on their tours.

And that’s just for starters. (Should I be admitting all this?)

But in my 30s something changed, I suddenly understood what (good) music can do. The fact that music can stir your soul, uplift you and make your heart thump that little louder.

It can infiltrate your mind; I have awoke many a morning with this song running through my mind, silently hummed along in the dead of the night or belted it out like a good old power ballad whilst doing the most mundane tasks.

​There are much better bands out there than all this chart nonsense (I say this with no irony that I am talking about a chart topping band here – you know the ‘music’ I mean). I had been so phased by all the pish you hear on the radio I had almost switched off from music entirely. Then some colleagues introduced me to a few bands which piqued my interest, and the rest as they say is history. 

I no longer go anywhere without my phone, Spotify and my headphones. Music has become a sanctuary, a friend, a sympathetic ear.

Life on Earth – Snowpatrol

The first snow
First winter of my life
I was told it was the height of me
The first dance
Well, the first one that counted
Felt like my blood was built my from crackling lights

All this ancient wildness
That we don’t understand
The first sound of a heartbeat
To riots roaring on

This is not love you’ve had before
This is something else
This is something else
This is not the same as other days
This is something else
This is something else

It shouldn’t need to be so fucking hard
This is life on earth
It’s just life on earth
It doesn’t need to be the end of you, or me
This is life on earth
It’s just life on earth

The first light
First light on the silent shore
Just the ships at anchor, me and you

The way home
This is always the way home
So you can rip that map to shreds, my dear

But all we ever wanted
Seemed miles and miles from here
In the first days in a strange new land
Awaken beasts in us

This is not love you’ve had before
This is something else
This is something else
This is not the same as other days
This is something else
This is something else

It shouldn’t need to be so fucking hard
This is life on earth
It’s just life on earth
It doesn’t need to be the end of you, or me
This is life on earth
It’s just life on earth

It shouldn’t need to be so fucking hard
This is life on earth
It’s just life on earth
It doesn’t need to be the end of you, or me
This is life on earth
It’s just life on earth

 

I will probably never write about music as eloquently, or deep and reflective as others (yeah, looking at you @edcallow), but I can only attempt to explain why this particular song resonates. This marvellous beaut of a song resonates with so many areas of my life, I can’t/don’t want to even attempt to explain it all. But I’ll give an overview.

The first snow
First winter of my life

I was told it was the height of me

At the start, with the guitar and gentle tempo, it initially seems such a chilled out song. The beat reflects the snow that he sings about, settling into the first winter of his life. Any mention of snow, even without metaphors and I am there, running through the untouched snow making snow rabbits. But symbolically also, how I have been there. In fact I think I have had my third or fourth winter of late. I was led to believe I had reached my heights. How wrong they were. 

Felt like my blood was built from crackling lights

What a fantastic phrase (and one I should use with my doctors when he asks me to explain various pains – I hate that question).

Oh, how my medical marvel of a body knows this. Daily.

From moving aches and pains, to the feeling of static in the brain and a persistent fight against fatigue, I feel this discomfort. The constant crackle. Ever present, always electric. Moments of light in the darkness. You have to focus on the light.

This is not love you’ve had before… This is not the same as other days.

By the time the track finally explodes into the dramatic chorus, I can’t help myself. My neighbours must be sick of me belting this tune out. No, this isn’t a love I’ve had before. It is so much better than I’d imagined. And today is definitely not the same as other days.

I have made massive strides this last year to change my days and make sure they are not the same as they were. I am succeeding. I have moved on. I am triumphant (most days, but everyone has their off days).

It shouldn’t need to be so fucking hard

Usually it is the melody or the beat of a song that draws me in. And whilst this song does so, the lyrics absolutely resonated deep in my soul like no other song ever has. And anyone that knows me knows I do like good swear, so the repeated use of the F bomb is appreciated and for me it only emphasises the emotion in the lyrics.

As with any other song, it is open to interpretation and everyone will take it a different way. But after a tough couple of years I can totally relate to the sentiment of how life shouldn’t be so difficult or the end us. Why work ourselves into the grave, miss the finer things in life or worry about things out of our control?

You need to know your way home, and when you find it, life won’t be so fucking hard. Ain’t that the truth.

I have spent the last year teaching myself such skills and believe I have found my ship to anchor me home. I am still a work in progress, but with a daily listen of this song, it honestly makes me feel quite empowered and serves as an amazing reminder to live in the moment and enjoy what I have.

After all, life shouldn’t be this fucking hard.

​And it doesn’t have to be.

 


Write 52: Week 9
​Theme: A few of my favourite things