Music defines my life. I play it constantly – in the car, in the shower, at the gym, while I’m cooking, at work and sometimes even while I’m sleeping. And when there is only silence, a song just starts up in my head – maybe the lyrics to Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera, or Hall and Oats’ Private Eyes, or any Johnny Horton song (thanks dad) are always on repeat in my head.

They say that smell is the link to memory but I say its song. Memories I have of my life can be triggered by just hearing a few notes. I hear Billy Joel’s My Life and I flash back to my first year of college when I was trying to decide my major.  Play Alan Jackson’s When Daddy Let me drive and I’m back on a gravel road behind the wheel of my dad’s beat up Plymouth.

Change my mood

Songs can also change my mood. Play a great upbeat song and I’m singing right along and dancing. Who cannot help tap their feet to Katrina and the Waves’ Walking on Sunshine. It’s impossible not to, I dare you to try.  Hearing Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come is guaranteed to make me cry. And when I’m in a bad mood I love to blast Leonard Cohen.

Come together

Music also can bring people together and unite for a common goal. Songs like John Lennon’s Yesterday can make anyone stop and think.

All this talk of music made me wonder what my new co-workers at the Ranch thought of songs and how music affected their lives. So I thought I would ask. Turns out we are more alike than I thought.

When I asked Tracy from accounting what her go to bad mood song was: “I have always loved AC/DC for any kind of mood.”

VP Malcom is a musician. He plays the bagpipes with pride.

And Amanda, the therapeutic arts facilitator plays music constantly. “If I'm at the computer or in the studio it's just part of my routine. When I'm working with youth we will listen to music if it will assist with the environment and their work flow.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was right when he said, music really is the universal language of mankind.