1.04.2010

Musical Monday: Show Some Emotion by Joan Armatrading




One of the Moms from church taught me this exercise to shake things up a bit when your kid is so angry neither of you can find a way out. “Okay, everybody, make an angry face, make a sad face, make a surprised face, make a happy face…” It nearly always works. The song, "Show Some Emotion" by Joan Armatrading, is sort of like that for me. When you’re really upset, there’s nothing like being reminded of the many emotional states that are available.

Aren’t grief and hysterical laughter so often side-by-side, each on the other’s heels? Both on the edge. Remembering the wheel of feelings can bring you back to center.

“Show Some Emotion” is really valuable for reminding us all our feelings are valid and real, which is a big emphasis in kids’ culture stuff these days. (When I was a kid, I was usually told to “stop being angry.” Absurd!) Somewhere I have started a playlist of alternative songs for little kids. The Cure’s “Friday I’m in love” introduces the days of the week, this song runs through the emotions, Mack the Knife is in for its condescending tone and what toddler doesn’t love sharks? There’s others, but who knows if I’ll ever uncover the list. It’s not a priority now, Shortie’s past suggestion, confidently making her own taste and scene.

I have always loved this song. Joan Armatrading was timeless, a hero to hippie and punk alike at my college. My friends and I sung her songs, melancholy when biking home at night, or rejoicing while we did dishes together. In this serious, joyful, generous song, which emotional expression is me?

“Some people hurting
Someone choking up inside
Some poor souls dying
Too proud to say
They got no place to lie
And there’s people
If they hear a joke
Can’t keep the laugh
Out of their eye…”

When I hear her sing that last line, I know Joan Armatrading has met me somewhere, that she’s teasing me to get back to it in just a little bit. And I start to breathe again in the corner of that smile.

* * * Comments * * *

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is so true! What a refreshing way to look at the grief and trauma experienced after the loss of a husband. I feel like a lot of widows are defined by both society and themselves as the quintessential example of the experience itself rather than as the independent woman who went through it; the woman with her own unique personality, character, and emotional complex.

I've been researching this all morning and found an article not too long ago written by a woman named Carol Lin, a CNN anchor who lost her husband a few years ago to cancer. Here's an excerpt that I think goes well with what you're talking about:

"I ripped the envelope open and was absent-mindedly reviewing the papers when I noticed how the county office listed my name: Carol Lin Robinson, a single, unmarried woman. Widowed... The words cascaded off the page: Single. Unmarried. Woman. Widowed... Professionally, I was still a CNN anchor. Privately, though, I was now just a woman to be pitied. It was a crushing blow."

This identity can be devastating, but you just have to push through it, "show some emotion," and start to breathe again. It's not an easy time for anybody, and there's only so much that a woman can do to help herself out, but a lot of the times it's not so much exactly what you do, but the mere fact that you're doing something that shows the desire for progression through the grief and the eventual reinstallment of "normality," however you define what that is.

Oh, and if you want to read the rest of that article, here's the link: http://www.sharewik.com/blogs/85864
Again, great work!

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

Yes, I LOVE Sharewik.com and Carol Lin is such a great writer!

Thanks for your comment!

X

Supa

Roads said...

One of my friends was the first in our student halls to buy Me, Myself, I. He had huge Wharfedale speakers, each big and black and about the size of a wardrobe.

The bass line from that song still kills me. And my ears. Love this one, too.

Maroussia said...

It will be great to watch Joan Armatrading, i have bought tickets from
http://ticketfront.com/event/Joan_Armatrading-tickets looking forward to it.

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