The first time I heard about music becoming unbearable, it was from a friend who was the daughter of a conductor and had spent many years unable to attend concerts because every sound would cause her to sob uncontrollably.

Back then, I couldn’t even imagine music ever being torture, especially not to anyone who had grown up surrounded by it as she had. What’s more, we were having this conversation in a concert hall before a classical performance and she looked totally comfortable; she had recovered her love of music by then and we had a fantastic evening.

Little did I know I’d find myself in the exact same situation a few years later. That’s when I finally understood what she meant.

Your comment makes me feel a little less strange, Samantha Beach. The day I reconnected with music, I kept wanting to give up but I had an inkling I needed to keep going so I did. Music is now once again as essential to me as writing and today, I cannot imagine ever living a silent life again even though I still get overwhelmed every now and then.

As for holiday music, there’s only ever been one song that gets me every time but I haven’t heard it this year yet (Fairytale of New York, the original duet with Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl). I could find it on my app but I don’t think it’s a very good idea…


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