"Music hath charms to soothe a savage beast, " said William Congreve way back in 1697.
His pithy saying still holds up today. I am living proof of that.
Yesterday the UW Badgers played in the Big 10 Conference Basketball Championship game. Being a diehard fan of all things UW, I, of course, planned to watch that game and cheer on my favorite team. There was a problem to overcome first, though. We would not be home in in time for the start of the game. I figured we would make it home from Zoe's 3rd birthday party about halftime. Solution? Record the game and watch it in its entirety while we had our dinner. We just had to avoid hearing anything about the game until we had the chance to watch it.
As we got closer to home and our recorded version of the game, Mary got more and more anxious. I have to emphasize here that Mary is as big a basketball fan as I am. She doesn't always understand the nuances of the game, but that doesn't dampen her enthusiasm and loyalty to her Badgers. So as we approached home, and halftime of the game, she was threatening to turn on the TV the minute we walked in the door so she could allay her anxiety. She really wanted to know the score. She hates surprises. I was getting more than a little pissed off at her for potentially ruining my enjoyment of the game.
What happened next she adamantly and vociferously claims was an accident. She went online for something and the score was just there. She couldn't avoid hearing it, or avoid watching the recap of the game. She was mesmerized by the information she was getting. Of course she insisted on telling me what she had heard, mainly because she couldn't bear to suffer alone. I begged her to keep her mouth shut and not ruin it for me, but she was so apologetic about what she had done and was begging my forgiveness for her reporting of the details. She was in shock to realize that her beloved Badgers were in imminent danger of losing the game. She was near tears as the game neared its conclusion, and I was nearing a murderous rage for her talking about the game that I wanted to experience, win or lose.
I was screaming and raging and nearly apoplectic as I stormed downstairs, trying not to hear what she was telling me. When she told me the final score, I was as angry at her for telling me as I was at the score. I vowed then not to watch any of the game I had so looked forward to seeing. Mary deleted the recording of the game, so I wouldn't be able to watch it anyway. I was so upset and not coping very well with the entire situation that I needed to escape and get calmed down before I exploded.
So I headed for my workshop, the one place I could go and lose myself and forget about the trauma I had suffered. Of course a key element of my escape was listening to music while I worked. So I turned on Pandora, cranked my speaker up, and sang along with some of my favorite tunes. I was fortunate that the first song playing was "Hey, Jude" by the Beatles which has a great sing along "na na na na na, hey Jude" that goes on and on, helping to release any tension you might have. Next up was Simon and Garfunkel's "the Boxer" and its long singalong, "li la lie, lie la la la li li lie, li la lie, li la li li li li lie" to close out the song. I was feeling rejuvenated by then, so hearing Crosby, Stills, and Nash finish "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" with the long finishing "du du du du du, dit dou du du du du, du du du du du, dit du du du du du..." was like the frosting on Zoe's birthday cake. Then when I heard The Beatles tell me to "Let it be" I knew everything would be alright.
Music does indeed sooth this savage beast.