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Music, Memories and Bohemian Rhapsody

Author of The Songs of Us, Emma Cooper, guest stars on our our blog as she writes about the emotions and memories that music evokes in our everyday lives.


Bohemian Rhapsody is set to rock cinemas with its much-anticipated release, and I for one can’t wait to see it! Queen’s songs are woven amongst so many of our lives, be it as a childhood memory, a scene from a film (who can forget the head banging in Wayne’s World!) or there, playing in the background, while we go about our daily lives.

I recently asked others about memories that songs by Queen – and other artists – evoked, and responses soon came flooding in: childhood road trips listening to I Want to Break Free on cassette tapes in stifling cars; bittersweet memories of a lost parent doing the housework – songs that stimulated such acute memories that it took years to be able to listen to them again without crying, but when they could, the music was then able to comfort, replacing sad tears with happy ones.

Music itself can mean so many things to us.  It can lift our mood on our darkest days, affecting our brain with such power, that even patients with advanced stages of dementia, can still sing the words to a song from their childhood – even if they can no longer remember how to speak.

As with Melody in The Songs of Us, the euphoria music brings can also help us cope with our anxieties, it can provoke our most hidden emotions and can even ease the ragged edges of grief, giving us light in a world that is often filled with darkness.

Melody and her family’s story is an emotional one, filled with the highs and lows that we all experience as we journey through life.  Her condition causes her problems, causes her children embarrassment but it also causes her to experience the high that music can give us.   Imagine what it would be like to experience life with a soundtrack following you wherever you went.  Imagine how the right the song could change how you feel: could make you smile when you’re sad, make you feel brave when you’re scared … give you hope when you feel like all is lost.

The following excerpt finds Melody on a train with her two teenage children.  Their father has been missing and presumed dead for a number of years, but they now believe they have found a lead to his whereabouts.  In this scene, Melody’s anxieties manifest in the form of one of the most uplifting songs ever written: ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’.

I hope you enjoy it and that you have a good time … I hope you have a ball.

Read the free extract of The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper.

The Songs of Us

The Songs of Us is out now on Amazon!