Music to Feed Your Soul

“Music is the language of the spirit.

If you had told me that someone would be able to silence my opinions and thoughts I’d have said you were crazy. If you had told me someone would ever stop me from singing I’d have said “NEVER!” But when you are living with a narcissistic abuser it isn’t about what you need. It started after we moved in together. I’d shut myself in the bedroom to sing and he come in and tell me to stop because he had a headache. Then he just needed peace and quiet. Then I was unlistenable, devoid of any talent. After singing for hours a day for most of my life I didn’t sing a note except in quiet lullabies to my son for two years. That would have been enough to break me. But I still listened to music, quietly and alone. The melodies kept my pulse steady.

Glen Hansard has a magical way of knowing exactly what I need to hear! Each of his albums has gotten me through a dark time. This is my song for 2016. It is already choreographed in my head.

I first heard that song at a dance competition in 2007. If my talented husband ever needs a gift idea he can write a beautiful choral arrangement of this and call it a day.

Sometimes you just have to tell yourself a little lie long enough to believe it, like “I’m not afraid.”

I used to sing “A Broken Wing” in my bedroom as a teenager. I had no idea what it meant then but I knew it was powerful.

They weren’t all sad and slow. This next song was my theme song when I first started dating after leaving my ex-husband. We were still married so I felt a little guilty. But just a little. Sing it, Leah!

I wanted to sing this song starting in high school, and despite my life story, I was still too young to sing it. I’m technically STILL too young to sing it in public but that doesn’t stop me from doing it at home 🙂 Being sung by my personal hero is just a bonus.  At one point you can even see one of my best friends boppin’ in the background. Cherry on top for me.

Another of my idols reminds us that mistakes happen and we keep going. We move on. Thanks to Stephen Sondheim for writing these last two songs.

If you are a sucker for strings like I am you’ll love this album. This song is a beautiful tale of starting over after letting go of a dream.

This is from the first show I ever saw on Broadway in June of 1997. For those of us who are being forced to raise children with a narcissist or abuser it feels like we give our life every time we stand up for our kids. But we do it because we have no other choice.

Before I wanted to be a star on Broadway it was my goal to BE Reba McEntire. She has a whole catalog of strong female songs, but this one resonates.

 

I sang this next song for my college auditions. When I heard it a couple of years ago it cracked me open. It was the first time I realized that he hated me so much because I could do things that he would never be able to do. “It’s this day not you, that’s bound to go away.”

Did you know that Barbra Streisand was only 26 when she immortalized the role of Dolly Levi? We love Babs not only for her  belt and her fashion but for her neverending list of fearless female roles, including those of producer and director. She didn’t win an Oscar for Dolly though. She did  win for her portrayal of Fanny Brice in the 1968 hit FUNNY GIRL. “I’m gonna live and live now!”

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