“Theme”

One of the ideas that first comes to mind is that of the “theme song”. I love those. Not the really bad ones, obviously (although I was hard-pressed to justify my fondness for the “American Dragon Jake Long” season one theme to my father, the other day), but the concept is a good one, even if the execution occasionally results in failure.

            The great thing about theme songs is their almost indelible association with, well, whatever they were meant to be associated with. I could start singing – or, better suited to this medium, typing – any number of lyrics brought to fame by this sitcom or that children’s program, and a lot of your minds would immediately fly to that show.

            Hearing the melody would likely be more effective than reading the lyrics, though. For some people, at least, and most certainly for me, something about musical notes just strikes a chord (ignore the unintentional pun) faster and harder than even words can do. I can hear one minor triad on an organ and anticipate the overture from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera” almost before I’m consciously aware that I’ve heard a thing. (I’d be excited, too. I loved that overture and title song even before I learned to love the musical.)

            Melodic themes – where would movies be without them? Think of your favorite film without the soundtrack. Now stop thinking of it so hard, or you’ll make yourself sad. It’d be terrible! No increasingly insistent two-note motif warning you that somebody’s about to get snatched off their inner tube by Jaws. No triumphant brass declaring that Indiana Jones has lived to snatch up another artifact. No sweet woodwinds and cheerful strings reassuring you of happy Hobbiton habitants. None of the breathtaking scores by brilliant composers like Hans Zimmer… Okay, now that one made me sad. Back off, Danielle.

            To work things back around to the point: Musical themes make movies more. They enhance the sensory experience, while helping to keep everything feeling connected and full circle and whole. And that right there – that wholeness – is the essence of a theme.

            Blogs should have themes, I’ve heard it said (noun, definition three: “An implicit or recurring idea.”); should have a “meta-narrative”, as I recently/arbitrarily happened to read on a blog called “Hollaback Health”. That delightfully highfalutin hyphenated word was defined there as “the overarching story that explains and gives merit to individual events or stories. In the blog world it determines the synopsis, the mission statement, and the structure of your blog.” (Hope you don’t mind my quoting you, Kendra Writer-of-Post-in-Question. If you do, yell at me.)

            What is my blog’s meta-narrative? – the “Ever On Word” theme? …Yes, you in the back there, with your hand up? “Words!” Very astute.

            I’m not comfortable claiming to be an expert in many fields. Actually, lose the “m” and “s” – “in any field”, I should have said. Sure, I know stuff; not as much as that guy, but more than the other, or vice versa, dependant on what we’re talking about. But I don’t like to profess expertise because, I don’t know, it feels like asking to be proven wrong. (Pride before a fall, anyone?)

            But the fact is, words are my thing. I speak them well (on a good day), and I write them better, because I’ve been devouring them since my earliest youth and have made good friends of the dictionary and thesaurus. I love words – their shapes, their sounds, their technical definitions, and their subjective connotations. I know what I’m talking about, or I take a sec to look it up and then I know. And once I figured out that my blog would need a theme, I knew that words would be it.

            So if you ever read a blog piece written by me and it does not involve words in any way… then we can all be very confused together.

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