Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Phil Collins' Affect on Grocery Shopping ... An Extremely Informal Study

Not long ago, I was at the grocery store when Phil Collins' "You Can't Hurry Love" came blaring across the store speakers. I couldn't help but sing - out loud but discreetly - with the music, after quickly glancing to see if anyone else was in the aisle with me.

I stopped singing as I turned to go into the next aisle, only to discover the person in that aisle singing out loud, right along with Phil. I grinned as I passed that individual; and, then, chuckled out loud as I turned into the produce section to find an employee bopping up and down to the beat of the music. Before the song ended, I passed one more person swaying their head and shoulders to the catchy tune.

To my knowledge, none of them saw me or had the slightest inkling that I was secretly marveling at the fact that one song had just put four people in a very similar, happy, upbeat place. It may have only lasted three minutes, but we all had something in common during those brief moments.

Music is powerful ... it can bring people together; but it can also evoke a whole spectrum of emotions based on your time and place in life. A tune that one considers happy; another may consider sad. Lyrics that stir up longing in one person; may bring contentment to another. A beat that makes one person feel the need to dance; may make another person feel the need to sit.

I often think of Steven Curtis Chapman, who was inspired to write the beautiful song, "Cinderella", as he marveled at how quickly his oldest daughter had grown up. In the blink of an eye, it seemed, she was graduating from college and getting engaged. And, how the meaning of those lyrics changed so drastically and instantly for him with the tragic death of his youngest daughter. One song, one person ... with the words "she'll be gone" taking on a devastatingly different meaning.

Music, at its best, tells a story and pulls us in. We may be inspired by the beat, mesmerized by the tune, or drawn to the words.

As for Phil, he speaks the truth ... you simply can't hurry love; and, as it turns out, the tune through which he expresses that message really helps to kick the grocery-shopping experience up a notch!