When I was a kid, one of the things that I most enjoyed was chorus, which seems a little funny even to me. It's not exactly the sort of activity I would have associated with myself if I didn't know me. I still remember going on a couple of school trips to see musicals in 6th and 7th grade and that's probably what planted the seed to begin with. I was a huge disney fan back then too and I spent many hours irritating the hell out of anyone in the car with me as I would play the little mermaid or beauty and the beast while singing along with the cassette. My friends weren't exactly fond of the habit since I imagine it's very hard to act cool when disney is blaring and the driver is singing along with it. Since I was among the few who had regular access to a car, it was a grin and bear or walk situation.
It probably wasn't until college and the accidental discovery of Les Miserables that changed my view of music and singing from something happy-go-lucky to something else. Connie had bought the cd and in the dead of night I was up with nothing to do and so I listened to it as a lark and it changed how I viewed music. If you've ever listened to Les Miserables you know that not only are the songs beautiful but many are absolutely heart breaking. It struck such a cord with me that I ended up learning the whole thing by heart and it started a minor obsession with musicals that lasted for years.
I'd always been a depressive sort of person and in singing those songs it was as if I was pouring out all the pain or hurt or loneliness or whatever. It sounds sort of ridiculous, but even now when I'm feeling down and I sing to myself, it's almost as if I believe that by pouring all the sadness in there that the universe itself might hear. If you think about it, it's almost as if it's my own way of praying. But, as the lyrics in Les Miserables goes, 'What's the use in praying if there's nobody who hears?'.
In the end, I don't know if singing to myself actually helps any. It's just what I've become conditioned to do whenever things turn grim. Hell, lately I've even started trying to learn and sing Japanese songs as the entry here shows. There's just something so wistful and melancholy about the music that I feel it's saying what I can't, even if it's in a language I don't even understand.