I was sitting and waiting for my train to arrive on my way home from work today. A teenage girl walked past and gave me a look of disdain. Was it the way I looked? My age? My fashion sense? No. It was the fact that I was listening to music on my MP3 player and visibly enjoying it. I was tapping my feet and drumming my fingers and quite obviously enjoying it.
Some of you may be wondering what I was playing. At that point in time, it was Dame Shirley Bassey singing her version of the Pink song Get The Party Started. I defy anyone to listen to that and not move. You can’t help yourself. It is so energetic and so dramatic.
I often get these strange looks when I’m listening to music in public. I love music, it’s a passion of mine. I love to enjoy it. It doesn’t mean that I break into full production numbers at the drop of a hat (unless I’m in private). I’m not that indiscreet. It usually involves a bit of foot tapping, finger drumming, head bobbing and the occasional sway.
But whenever I look around at other people listening to music on the train, they are usually sitting like statues and I have to wonder if they are actually enjoying the music or has it become an automatic, robotic habit for them? A way to spend time. Or are they so scared of showing even the slightest bit of emotion in public?
It’s all quite sad in a way. Society seems to demand that everyone act a certain way without being allowed any sort of uniqueness. You have to be bland and melt into the crowd. If you are different in any way, you get stared at and/or accused of being a weirdo. Or in some case, much worse may happen.
It’s time to take a stand. Next time you’re listening to music on the train or the bus or wherever, let yourself go just a little bit – even if it’s just a discreet foot tap. Go on, you know you want to.
PS. For those interested, Dame Shirley Bassey released an album this year called Get The Party Started. Check out the clip for the title song on You Tube:
For more info and sound clips, check the Dame’s MySpace page.