Sing from the Heart.

“All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I’ve been
And how I got to where I am…”
~Sara Ramirez, singing Brandi Carlile’s “The Story”

Grey's cast

I believe in the power of stories. I believe in the power of music. And I also believe in the power they share in conjunction with one another. It’s something I’ve mentioned on here several times, so I won’t go into detail again, other than to say: wow, wow, wow has anyone else listened to the soundtrack for tonight’s Grey’s Anatomy yet? I’d originally planned to hold off until after I saw the show, but that resolve flew out the window this morning. Somehow, my fingers opened up iTunes. Then they searched for the soundtrack. Then they bought it. Oops. Hey, I figure since patience is an essential virtue to possess in this publishing journey, especially now, why not go with the opposite for something like new music?

Thirty seconds into the first song and I was so, so glad for that impatience. I know a lot of people have been skeptical about this episode, but if it’s even half as compelling as the emotion that grips some of these songs, then it’s going to be the most captivating show of the season. It’s not just the actors’ passion you can hear strung through the melodies and resounding in the harmonies. It’s the characters’ passion, too. Because Callie, Mark, Bailey, Owen, Meredith – they’re not just fictional people we watch on television every week. Through the writers’ words, the actors’ embodiment of their alter egos’ souls, everyone’s vision of who these characters are … they become real to us. We feel like we know them, which means we bask in their joys and share in their sorrows. So when we listen to these songs, several of which are iconic to the show, we don’t just hear them. We feel them.

And yes, maybe I connect to that on such a deep level because I’m a writer. When I spend months on end with my characters, I feel that bond with them. I go on their journeys, get in their heads, and live their emotions. That’s something I consider a blessing, and something that makes me crave a similar experience when I’m reading a book or watching a television show. It can never be exactly the same, of course, since those characters are someone else’s babies, but it can be very powerful and even more inspiring. When what sounds like the whole Grey’s cast joins together for the chorus of “How to Save a Life,” it’s a total goosebumps moment. Out of the whole album, that’s what got to me the most. Favorite part. Each song is special, each voice brings something unique, but when they blend together like that to tell the story of these people who viewers have come to know so well these past seven years, it’s just absolutely beautiful. And Sara Ramirez’s version of “The Story” … I think I could listen over and over. The message behind it is so important.

We all have our own stories. Each line is etched across our faces, each word resonates somewhere in our souls. Do those stories always have a perfect melody? No. Nothing and nobody is perfect. But when they come together? When they join to show our past and look toward our future? There’s a harmony there that strikes a deep, lasting chord.

Do you believe in the power of music and the written word? Do those stories-come-to-life ever give you chills? Will you be watching Grey’s tonight? Three hours and fifty minutes to go … not that I’m counting or anything.


8 thoughts on “Sing from the Heart.

  1. Power of music? DEFINITELY. We’ve talked about this so much: music and writing truly go hand in hand. Not to mention songwriting (the perfect combination of my two loves)! And I absolutely agree with you on the getting-invested-in-your-characters piece. I’ve even caught myself thinking AS my characters sometimes! Enjoy Grey’s tonight; I’ve seen previews and it looks amazing!!! I’ve seen a couple episodes, but i’m SO squeamish around medical stuff, I usually wind up covering my eyes (even though i know the blood is completely fake)!

    • I’ve done that with characters before, too – especially with Sofie, which makes me laugh because I wasn’t sure how closely I’d relate to her at first. Now I find myself thinking in her voice sometimes :-) Isn’t being a writer the best ever?!

      Hahahaha, and I’m the same way with the medical stuff (go figure, then, then two of my most watched shows are Grey’s Anatomy & General Hospital). I turn away during a lot of the intense surgery scenes. Last night, though, I was completely riveted by every minute of the show. I know a lot of people didn’t like the music aspect, but I thought it was amazing and added a beautiful layer to a storyline that was already so emotional!

  2. So was it amazing? I’m glad you enjoyed the soundtrack. It sounds lovely. And, no, I didn’t watch it. I’ve heard about Grey’s Anatomy, but I’ve never seen it. (I actually, um, don’t have TV reception or cable. Just Netflix.)

    • It was! I actually went back and watched a second time, too, because it was hard to concentrate on the singing and all the simultaneous other dialogue/action at the same time, and even though I already knew what happened at that point, it still gave me goosebumps. It was a very emotionally powerful storyline to begin with, and that just took it to another dimension. Loved it!

      And hey, Netflix counts!! :)

      • Actually I thought it was kind of… mediocre. Which made me sad b/c I was counting down just like you! :/ I felt the writers sacrificed good writing in order to jam more songs in. I would have preferred 3-4 really solid songs (ZOMG “The Story” was incredible) and then more of the traditional Grey’s feel, b/c there was so much nuance left out. Sigh. But that’s just my opinion. A lot of people loved it. Maybe my expectations were too high.

        • I definitely agree that some of the songs weren’t needed – and even interrupted the flow and depth of the episode. That song Owen did toward the beginning (“How We Operate,” I think it’s called?) and the “Running on Sunshine” medley really seemed out of place. I LOVED “The Story” and “How to Save a Life,” and I also really liked their rendition of “Chasing Cars.” I agree with you, though, it may have been even more powerful if there were only a few select songs during the most intense moments. I’m happy to listen to Sara Ramirez sing anything, though. Her voice is incredible!!

    • I absolutely couldn’t agree more. It’s such a special thing when a song, story, or message resonates deeply enough to stay with you even after it’s over. Sometimes there’s just a chord that’s struck, one so inspiring that it never wants to leave … we should all be so lucky as to be impacted that wonderfully :)

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