Music and love go together

Sarah Contreras

“If music be the food of love, play on.”

– Twelfth Night, Act I, Scene I

Music and love, love and music. How can I separate the two? If I’m being honest, I can’t and I do not ever want to. To me, they are one and the same.

Throughout the years, I, like many others, have struggled to find an emotional outlet. Writing has always been therapeutic, but it was–and still is–music that has taught me how to understand love.

The first thing I ever truly loved was music. I loved it even before I knew what “love” meant. Now I know: Love is the emotion which propels us to dedicate ourselves to something other than ourselves. Love is what teaches us to be.

I am afraid that if I dig too deeply into the subject of love and music, I will end up with 5,000 words. So instead, I will keep it simple here:

Great music requires passion, and what is more passionate than love? The feelings required to create true masterpieces all stem from love–heartbreak, grief, adoration, confusion, dedication and even hatred. They are all facets of love, whether they are caused by the loss, rejection or acceptance of it. And every single one of these emotions is found in music.

With today being Valentine’s Day, I’ve been contemplating love songs quite a bit. All of my favorite songs deal with love in some way, whether they are lauding it or despairing the loss of it. I don’t purposely seek them out–love songs just happen to resonate the most with me. I’ve experienced more than my fair share of heartbreak (whether it be caused by romantic love or not), and to this day I am still patching together my heart from wounds that were caused long ago.

Thankfully, when the pain of love gets to be too much for me to bear, I have music to guide me through it. When the joy of love settles onto me, I have music to help me express it. Music is my heartbeat, and my heartbeat is music. There is truly nothing more to say.

In honor of Feb. 14, I have put together two separate playlists. One is filled with songs that are decidedly pro-love; the songs are sweet, passionate and brilliantly illustrate the good things associated with romantic love. The other playlist is maybe not so optimistic, but essential all the same.

Not everyone is lucky enough to be in love on Valentine’s Day. Indeed, a lot of people dislike the holiday and wish the world would tone the hearts and sappiness down a notch. The second playlist is for those people.

I hope you enjoy the songs I’ve picked out for you–I love them all with a deep, fiery fervor, and it is my dream that you will too.