I got this sticker on a math test once, and was told that it means: “Music makes you strong.” At the time, I just thought it was cool, and so I kept it. But when I started getting more interested in the soundtracks of the games and movies that I love, and actually started collecting some of them, I began to realize just how strong music can make you.
When I listen to some of the songs on my playlists, I can feel the spirit of adventure swirling around me. If I close my eyes, I am transported to a vast battlefield, to the top of a mountain, or at the edge of a castle balustrade. I can feel the wind at my back or on my face, I can feel the armour weighing on my shoulders, I can feel the sword against my palm or resting on my hip. If I let myself get swept away by the powerful music, then I can let myself believe that I’m a hero.
And so, without further ado, here are my top five favourite songs of empowerment (with links!):
- Coming Back Around, How To Train Your Dragon Soundtrack: This was a difficult choice, because I’m so inspired by many of the songs in the soundtrack, but of all of them, this is the most empowering. Starting with soft, happier tones to reflect the happy ending to the movie, it then picks up with powerful, enveloping brushstrokes of music that overwhelm me with a feeling of pure strength. This song says to me, “We’ve finished one battle, but yet we’ve just begun.”
- The Saga of the Norn, Guild Wars 2 Soundtrack: For me, this song represents everything that is Guild Wars 2. It starts with war horns, rallying the world’s heroes to fight, and then sends you to every corner of the world, introducing you to its saviours and champions, and then bringing them all together with rich and heavy notes of pure inspiration. This song says to me, “Together we shall rise, and together we shall fight.”
- Tower of Eternity, Aion Soundtrack: I didn’t play Aion for very long, but I always loved its main theme. This song travels between a loud and striking call-to-arms, the complex and slower notes of a grand quest, and the soft and sweet sounds of friendship and sacrifice–all perfect ingredients to make a hero. This song says to me, “This is the life of a hero: standing tall, fighting long, and loving kind.”
- Gerudo Valley, The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Soundtrack: I love this song for its energy. In the beginning, it rises smoothly into a steadier pace, which itself changes many times throughout the course of the song. Like Tower of Eternity, this song represents heroism in many forms, but it always maintains that single underlying pace that reminds me that heroes must have a constant and enduring heart. This song says to me, “A hero fights all challenges without ever losing faith.”
- Song of the Lonely Mountain, The Hobbit Soundtrack: This song takes a bit of time to build up to the actual strength-inspiring part, and even then remains more slowly paced than my other choices, but it is inspiring in a different way than the others. This song is much deeper and more grounded, carrying the message of retribution and revenge, but I can’t help but feel a spark kindle in me at the sounds of those anvils ringing. This song says to me, “We shall fight to the end to reap our just reward, and in this task we shall not falter.”
These are just a few selected from songs that I own and frequently listen to, but I have a feeling that I could create a much larger list with all of the amazing and empowering songs that are around me.
The great thing about music is that it’s a universal language, so even someone who isn’t the slightest bit musically inclined (such as myself) can understand what it is saying and be transported to the kingdom it describes. Music is a powerful thing, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that “music” and “magic” are very similar words.
Do you have any empowering songs that inspire you? What are some things you feel or visualize when listening to your favourite songs?
May you always dance to the song of your own soul, and may that song never go silent.