Human (Rag n Bone Man) is a slightly different song to normal for us to be learning and performing in Rock Choir. It was/is a huge hit and described as “raw” and “honest”. It’s a departure from the more gentle romantic narratives we find in pop songs. As well as simply enjoying songs because they feel good, listeners are often drawn to songs which express how they personally feel. It gives them a voice and often an outlet to vent if that’s what’s needed. In the same way our anthem, ‘Something Inside so Strong’ inspires us to be courageous in the face of adversity, Human explores the reality that we are only Human and can only do so much. It’s honest and that’s what many fans love so much about it. The narrative doesn’t offer us solutions or a happy ending it stays with a bare “no-frills” reality.
The fact that we sometimes have an emotional reaction to the narrative and can connect the lyrics with our own personal situation suggests that we are totally in tune with the songwriter. That in the song Human for example, some of us will completely understand just how raw and difficult life can be and that we too are only human. When we experience something traumatic, our emotions are heightened and music can often make a much deeper connection than anything else, drawing out stronger feelings and even more emotions. An example of this might be when someone loses their loved one and all they seem to hear are love songs. Those love songs were in the background the whole time but suddenly their world changes and they are in tune with the love songs and the emotional lyrics in each one. Suddenly it all feels relevant and personal. My advice when reacting emotionally to a song is to use it to your advantage? Engage with it as a stress-buster – let out all that upset and really SING it. After all, you understand the songwriter when many won’t. The song might become your friend if you choose to see it differently?