I suspect we all do it. We listen to certain music only when we’re depressed; not to make us feel better, but just to wallow in it. Depression for me, is a break from mania. I don’t get suicidal. I don’t lack the will to get out of bed. I have little baby depression compared to my bipolar friends and family, and I’m totally fine with that. It’s that sinking feeling, like sinking down into a cool bed to rest. It’s barely a depression, maybe just a lack of mania, and boy do I nurse it along.
My depression music is an Irish singer-songwriter named Damien Rice and 70s pop superstar Barry Manilow. Of all the sad song writers, these guys are the absolute kings. They sing of heart break, loneliness, unrequited love, affairs, regrets, rejection, break ups, and wanting to sink away from life. I don’t truly want any of those things to happen to me, but I just want to feel a little bit of it; a fantasy of suffering.
I am a trained singer. I am a baritone which means I can sing a little high and a little low but mainly just somewhere in the middle which means a can sing Barry Manilow and Damien Rice pretty well. I am also an actor, which means I can experience the characters of their songs in a very real and strong way. They say music helps you express your feelings in healthy ways, but what feelings am I trying to express? Am I truly sad? Am I quietly suffer and need a way to express it in a way that is not destructive? I don’t think so. I’m addicted to feelings. WOW. That’s it! I love the rush of strong feelings. I feel alive when I’m feeling.
This is the chorus of Damien Rice’s The Animals are Gone:
Oh, I know that I’ve left you
In places of despair
Oh, I know that I love you
So please throw down your hairAt night, I trip without you
And hope I don’t wake up
‘Cause waking up without you
Is like drinking from an empty cup
Even now when I have come so far
I wonder where you are
I wonder why it’s still so hard without you
Even now when I come shining through
I swear I think of you
And how I wish you knew