In the summer of 2007 I ran to this song.
I had taken up running and knitting in the wake of what seemed at the time to be the worst possible break-up in the world. In hindsight, it was not the worst possible break-up in the world. Actually, it was a pretty nice break-up all things considered -- I wept copiously, watched a lot of Bridget Jones' Diary, gained the habit for using expensive scented soap that I still have today, got a transformative haircut, and read a bunch of books that I otherwise would probably not have read, such as Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I worked at a science museum that was hosting the Body Worlds exhibit, so I spent many of my days sitting at the top of a long set of stairs gazing over the Willamette River and telling people the rules for entering a giant hall full of dead, mutilated bodies. (Without ever saying the words "dead", "mutilated", or "bodies", as that was against the rules.)
In short it was exquisite melancholy, a feeling I have inhabited many times since that summer. I figure, if you have to be melancholy (and it seems that sometimes I do), why not make it beautiful?
And THAT is one of the many things I love about pop music.
The other songs on this post-breakup running mix were more typically post-breakup: "Love to Hate You" and "Victim of Love" by Erasure, "Back to Black" by Amy Winehouse, "Sexx Laws" by Beck, and a few more.
With its swoony strings and medium tempo, this song was a good fit for my (plodding, contemplative) style of running. I am not a natural runner by any stretch of the imagination, but at the end of a long summer I had a steady jog that I was proud of. And this song always came at the end of my run, after I had worked out my various feelings of discomfort and unpleasantness both emotionally and physically.
"Resiliency amazes me" is the phrase that stuck out to me, as it probably will to you when you hear it. It was not something I had ever heard put in that way. It was not a concept I was familiar with, "resiliency", although I was living it. To me what it means is -- why not make it beautiful?
The song: DeVotchKa, "I Cried Like A Silly Boy"; 2006