Let off steam and get emotional with music

Have you noticed, dear friends, that in this whole situation with Coronavirus and lockdown you sometimes feel like crying or shouting for no reason? But you don’t (unless you’re alone), because everybody around you would think you’ve gone nuts… Well, it is a perfectly normal reaction to all this insecurity that our nervous system gets a bit out of order, so there’s absolutely nothing abnormal about it.

What could you use, though, to trigger your emotions and let off steam in some way? We’ve all got to do this sometimes, believe me, because otherwise it might end up in rows with the kids or even our partner… Now music has always been one of the best ways of opening up to our emotions and letting them out – letting off steam!

You’ll know yourself what works for you, the sort of song that you know will bring out your emotions – it shouldn’t be anything really tragic, of course, because the last thing we need right now are stories of loss and death and parting. No, just something that rings a bell in you, a song that evokes strong emotions; I’ve put together a few examples here for you – maybe one or two of them will… sing to you!


Tony Orlando: Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree (1973)

One of the favourite songs of my childhood, this beautiful love song builds up an enormous amount of suspense: a fellow’s just been released from jail, and he’s wondering whether his girlfriend still wants him. He asks her to tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree – and when he’s approaching the old tree on the bus, guess what…


Tony Christie: Amarillo (1971)

Another 70s classic – Tony has been missing his home town of Amarillo, and even more his girlfriend Marie; and now he’s going home, and all he’s got to do is find the way…


Roy Orbison: Shahdaroba (1963)

A different message here from Roy ‘The Big O’: after a relationship has gone to pieces, in ancient Egypt people would have said ‘Shahdaroba’ – meaning there are better things to come in the future…


Daniel O’Donnell: I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen (1997)

A classic homesickness song, which makes everybody cry, not only Irishmen and -women. I must say I feel pretty much like that myself at the moment, yearning to get out of the London lockdown and back to lovely, quiet Wales…


Dublin City Ramblers: Rare Old Times (1976)

And another wistful song about Ireland – about how Dublin has been changing over the years, from a town into a city…


Bobby Bare: Detroit City (1963)

One more homesickness song: a boy from the South who’s moved to Detroit City for work, and now he’s dreaming about the cotton fields and his parents and his girlfriend while he hangs around the city bars at night…


Beach Boys: Sloop John B (1966)

The same line from ‘Detroit City’, “I wanna go home”, keeps coming up in this Beach Boys favourite, too, in a different context: a young boy has signed up on a clipper ship, but he hates his new job because everything’s so rough. A great classic, perfect for singing along!


Freddie Fender: Before the Next Teardrop Falls (1975)

Freddie Fender was one of the great Tex-Mex crooners of the 60s and 70s. Here, he tells his ex-girlfriend both in English and in Spanish that he’ll be there for her in case her new guy ever hurts her. Really romantic!


Tina Turner: Let’s Stay Together (1983)

Another wonderfully romantic song by the one and only Tina Turner – let’s stay together; this one’s especially for the couples who have started getting on each other’s nerves a bit during this lockdown. This is actually the time to get closer to each other, folks!


Starship: Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now (1987)

And finally, something really uplifting that’ll make you sing along and believe it: nothing’s gonna stop us now, this crisis has made us stronger and will make us face the future in a different way!

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