The “No Hymn” Policy

My Favorite Question

I love getting to know people. You could definitely say that I am something of an extrovert, and thoroughly enjoy a good conversation. There is something satisfying about moving past the initial “small talk” barriers and really getting down to brass tacks with someone – their likes, dislikes, goals, dreams, passions, etc. When delving into these conversations, there are a variety of questions I’ll ask in order to probe deeper. Some of them are able to produce real, meaningful answers that give great insight into someone’s life. Some however, never truly find a landing spot and do nothing more than skim the surface. Of all the questions I ask though, the one that I enjoy asking the most is this:

“If you could only listen to ONE song before you went completely deaf for the rest of your life, which song would it be?”

I have one rule with this question. Acapella Hymns cannot be one of the songs. The reason for that is that most people probably would choose a hymn for their final song, as the spiritual lyrics and melodies would be a beautiful thing to hear right before you went deaf. I like to make it harder on people though, so I strictly enforce the “no hymn” policy when I pose the question.

Many times when I ask this question people are able to name a song quickly. Often times it causes a lot of reflection and deep thinking before the answer is given. Whatever they say, I always have eager anticipation for their choice. I believe that the answer they give is more telling than just the “artist and song”. Depending on the song they chose, it can be a stark introspective into their lives. When I ask this question, I always make sure that they tell why they picked that particular song. The replies have been across the board – it takes them back to a point in their lives they want to remember, the lyrics have significant meaning, the song was a presence during an emotional event, etc. Whatever the answer, it’s always fascinating to ask the question. A great follow up is to actually play the song right after they give their answer and to listen to it together, sharing in a small part in their memories.

The song I always choose is “When You Come Back Down” by Nickel Creek. It’s a song I’ve referenced in earlier blog posts that holds extreme significance for me. The lyrics are beautiful and meaningful. The music is chalk full of emotion. Most of all though, it allows me recall parts of my pasts that detail both sad and joyful part of my life. If I were to ever go deaf, that song would be the last thing I want to hear.

What about you? What would your “last” song be? It’s a great question that’s fun to ask, but is even better to receive an answer.

Alex

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