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The Effects of Music on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds

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I cannot stop playing Mairi Campbell’s version of Auld Lang Syne from the first Sex and the City movie. You can watch the clip here. I’m completely moved and I can’t quite put my finger on why. So, this journal entry is dedicated to sorting it out. Please, indulge me.

The melody is a bit melancholy, as though accompanying a video montage you’re watching years later and reliving those joyful moments, as one might with old reels of childhood footage. Mournful and joyful at the same time. There’s also something about your friends getting out of bed, picking their way through the snow, and going all the way across town just to keep you company for a few hours that’s very touching. There are festivities going on all over town, but not everyone is involved. And the viewer is sort of an outsider, peeking in on all the beauty and glamour, wanting to be there. Or at least desiring the beautiful clothes and parties.

The juxtaposition of a Scottish folk song with an all-American blockbuster fashion movie is endearing and brings some of the over-the-topness down to Earth. Plus the words themselves are heartwarming and haunting at the same time. They’re about celebrating long-standing friendships for old time’s sake, but they’re also about realizing that there are years and years of stories separating you (seas between us). Most of the time Auld Lang Syne is sung with celebratory inflections with a group of people, arm’s around each other, raising their glasses. This time, it’s very melodramatic. There’s happiness, uncertainty, loneliness, comradeship, celebration, restlessness, peace and dejection all rolled up into one scene. It’s hard to process, it’s so affecting.

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