Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Friday, February 11, 2011

Songs From Inside the Chrysalis: My Playlist for Befriending Change

On the heels of yesterday's post about change fatigue, I'm ready to change my tune (sorry, pun intended).  Many of the things I've been reading lately about neuroplasticity argue against staying stuck in word-mode--my favorite hang-out.  Music is often mentioned as another avenue to brain change.  Of course, my music therapist friend could have told me long ago (but didn't, probably because she couldn't get a word in edgewise!) about music's positive effects on brain waves, breathing and heart rate, and state of mind, as well as its other potential health benefits

I am not sure, not having made a thorough study of this area, if we should be looking to genre, tempo, rhythm, intonation, form, or some other musical aspect as we seek to employ this art form instrumentally (eek!  another pun!).  I have seen reference to possible negative effects of music, so I suppose I am taking some chances here.  But I decided to throw caution to wherever it is that hesitance might be jettisoned, and choose some tunes to listen to.  The hope is that their sentiments might inspire and move, if not sooth, this halting changer.  

This approach is clearly not neuroscience, or a valid investigation of--well, anything.  The idea is merely to try an aural wash of change, to see what happens when I listen to a dose of change songs.

In addition to  focusing, in typical word-aholic fashion, on lyrics, I chose the following songs for personal listenability, applying my own general taste along with a sense of adventure.  Every one of them has the word "change," or one of its declensions, in the title.   Each is linked to iTunes, to allow readers to hear a brief sample, or to purchase the entire song.  Because iTunes and I apparently don't use the same sampling criteria, I have provided lyrics excerpts. 

1.  Changing Inside,  Mark Abis
These days I’m walking the road alone
Returning once again to my only real home
Waking up early, staying up late
Reading a book I borrowed from my friend the heavy weight
Finding a new way to begin
Living without but living within
My eyes are opening to what might appear
As waking up to the simple fact that I’m here

2.  I Am Changing, Jennifer Holliday
I am changing, seeing everything so clear now
I am changing, I'm gonna start right now, right here
I'm hoping to work it out, and I know that I can

3.  Forever Changing, The Owls
the time to finally begin
will go right when you appear

forever changing
you don't have to hurry
forever changing
you don't have to worry

4.  Dream About Changing, Sally Seltmann
I close my eyes and dream about changing. 

I'm sailing a ship on a lake that never runs dry.
Something exciting because I'm a little I'm a little bit shy.

Girl comes running with a book in her hand
I open to the first page it says 'yes you can

5.  Changing All Those Changes, Buddy Holly
I should have reconsidered all those things I said I'd do
so now I'm changing all those changes
that I made when I left you

6.  Changing Horses, Dan Fogelberg

Looking farther than you'll ever hope to see
Takes you places you don't know
Search for someone you can't ever hope to be
And still you go
Oh, still you go

7.  Better Change, Fogelberg again

You better change before the sun goes down
You better leave before you are the last in town
You better raise your fortresses or tear them down
Tear them down...tear them down

8.  Ever Changing Times, Aretha Franklin
And me, ever changing time
Everything is going so much faster
It seems like I'm
Watching my life, and everything I do
Wonder if the dreams that I believed in
Can still come true

9.  Changing, Four Bitchin' Babes,
People I used to be
don't even say hello to me
I'd like to introduce my selves to each other
But they keep. . .

10.  Changing Opinions, Philip Glass
Maybe it's the hum
Of changing opinion
Or a foreign language
In prayer
Maybe it's the mantra
Of the walls and wiring
Deep breathing
In soft air
11.  Change, Tracy Chapman
How bad, how good does it need to get?
How many losses? How much regret?
What chain reaction would cause an effect?
Makes you turn around,
Makes you try to explain,
Makes you forgive and forget,
Makes you change?
Makes you change?
I welcome reader's suggestions for pieces to include in future playlists.  There are more change songs out there than I could wade through in a lifetime.  Apparently, more than a few of us are dealing with the metamorphosis thing.


  1. i don't know how to find the links to these,but here are lyrics of two of my favorites

    Tupac Changes

    We gotta start makin' changes
    learn to see me as a brother instead of 2 distant strangers
    and that's how it's supposed to be
    How can the Devil take a brother if he's close to me?
    I'd love to go back to when we played as kids
    but things changed, and that's the way it is

    Phil Ochs

    Sit by my side, come as close as the air,
    Share in a memory of gray;
    Wander in my words, dream about the pictures
    That I play of changes.

    And little known Dylan

    Gonna change my way of thinking
    Make myself a different set of rules (twice)
    gonna put my good foot forward
    And stop being influenced by fools

    Well, don't know which one is worse
    Doing your own thing or just being cool (twice)
    You remember only about the brass ring
    You forget about the golden rule

  2. Thanks for contributing to my "change library." Here are the titles with iTunes links.

    The Phil Ochs song, entitled
    was one I included in an earlier playlist--
    Songs for Turning Things Around.

    Thanks for the new suggestions of Tupac's

    and Dylan's Gonna Change My Way of Thinking