Music, Love, and the Occasional Heartbreak


This is how I know I have fallen in love; I listen to Toxic over and over without grimacing, I croon …with the taste of your lips, I’m on a ride…, with feeling and his picture on my mind, then I flip my imaginary blonde locks the way Britney Spears does in the video. Sometimes, Rihanna reflects the true state of my jumbled emotions—those surges of oxytocin we call falling in love. I find myself hunting for, the only girl in the world, and singing along with the gusto of a drunken man. I know then that it is futile to deny that my feet are wet while the waves carry me from shore to pulsing sea.


I was born to two Lionel Richie fans, although one was more passionate than the other was. My earliest memories are of my younger brother and me boogying on the sofa and table to Dancing On The Ceiling and of longing to be grown-up and independent as I listened to Easy. Now I wish I’d stayed a child for longer. Adulthood is not the easy ride it seemed to be in the days when I longed to do everything by myself, to be free to make decisions that affect my life, and to marry Lionel Richie or Daniel Wilson if I could not land Lionel. Daniel Wilson’s Raggamuffin made me think of swashbuckling adventures. I do not know why I thought that as a five-year old, I am just glad I did not develop a thing for bad boys.


The first time I fell in love, I was eleven years old. It was at a Cowbell Maths Competition Gala and he was singing Careless Whisper. I could have followed him to Jupiter if he’d asked, however my father and his stern look would have frozen my legs and stopped me from following the summons of my achy-breaky heart. I have never forgotten him. Today when I listen to jazz, I wonder who he was and where the tides of life have tossed him. When I listen to either version of Careless Whisper (George Michael’s or Dave Koz’s), I can’t help wondering if his voice was as good as I remember.


I broke up with my first boyfriend in a mostly deserted lecture hall at 4 a.m. after listening to James Blunt’s, Goodbye My Lover. I knew as I listened to the song for the first time that what we had was no longer viable. I do not for a minute regret ending that relationship and when I hear the song, I smile and think of him. I fell in love with my next boyfriend two years after we’d started dating. Bob Marley’s Is this love, blared from the speakers of the bus taking us to the park where I’d board a Lagos-bound bus. He sang along, his husky voice breaking and his eyes closed. He wasn’t singing to me but my foolish heart somersaulted as he sang and when my love meter clanged in warning, it was too late.


Cher and Gloria Gaynor held me close and wiped my tears when he shattered my heart with spectacular precision. Believe and I will survive saved my sanity and even my life. When people say a song is just a mixture of words and rhythm, I want to punch them so bad. Music is spirit and pain and life and joy and all the things in between.


Neither Josh Groban nor Aloe Blacc thought of me when they wrote Brave and Wake Me Up respectively. However, I wouldn’t have started a blog if I hadn’t listened to those songs as though they were water in the barren desert that was my soul. The lyrics inspired me to take this writing thing seriously and to trust the voices in my head and heart to lead me right across computer or phone screens and through life.


I am the woman who goes to work with Phyno on both sides of my ears. His song, Oringo, transports me to a party for one, the rhythms from the east of the Niger River—my ancestral tom-toms—call the wild spirit I have restrained for too long. This is how I know I am free; I am on stage and the crowd is humming a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Be Wild. No, I am dancing to work and inviting interested stares although I have no blond locks to flick. My headphones trap the sound that come from Phyno’s heart. Maybe today, you will finally tap my shoulder and say, “Hello, it’s me.”

© Adaeze Ezenwa 2016

Adaeze Ezenwa lives in Lagos where she dodges traffic and fantasizes about becoming a billionaire before turning 35 and eating dodo daily without gaining weight. She rents a patch from WordPress at Emporium of Words, and her door is always open for conversation.


Photo credit: Spinheike/

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

38 thoughts on “Music, Love, and the Occasional Heartbreak

  1. One thing that might be more difficult than figuring out that you are in a terrible relationship is actually taking the bold steps towards ending it. It’s even more difficult if you still have any iota of feelings for your soon-to-be-ex partner. Of course it is usually a painful process for at least one of the two parties involved, if not both. Some people even claim that the first breakups (for ladies in particular) are usually the most gruesome. I will never know if that is true but reading your post made me wonder if we should add certain things to the list of how to break up with partners: 1) doing it at odd hours such as 4am. 2) In a deserted building. 3) After listening to Blunt’s Goodbye My Lover. Did these things make it easier. Why 4am? Was he sleeping and receiving a break-up call or was he by your side and you just “womanned-up”? Lol. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your writing and would be checking out your blog. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Your comment made me laugh long and hard!
      Well it was at 4am because we were in the thick of exams and like most students, we spent the night in the classroom.
      Thanks for your comment 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This is great! I can so relate! I played certain songs over and over after a break up and during the establishment of a relationship. Usually it was an album he was fond of and I grew fond of. Then when the breakup would happen, I couldn’t stand to hear those songs again!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Timi and Ada… let me just scrible… ok today is one of those mondays… I even thought I’ll fish out time to do a blog post for where… so I decided as soon as I sat on my desk to do the one thing that definitely keeps me sane in the office… put on my headset and my choice for today is Bebe and Cece Winans… and I didn’t even have a ninute to read any blogs… I thought from the title this one will help… and so I am actually leaving this comment to say Thank you… just not looking to falling in Love again and so no ocassional heartbreak comes my way oh 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Loved this. I could relate to each stage set to music.Well done! There is nothing like music for reaching the deepest parts of us. I used to lead devotions at a nursing home. Many of the elderly slumped in their wheel chairs appeared comatose. Sometimes I worried that I should call a nurse to check their pulses. Then, what ever musician friend I had brought with me would begin to play the old hymns. Everyone would come alive, sit up, open their eyes, and sing with gusto, even remembering all the lyrics without a songbook. The scriptures are the written Word of God, but music is His voice.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. I adore music, but unfortunately cannot sing to save a life. Music is life. Songs have pulled me through several stages of my life and most times, with head set on, dancing in a club of one. I feel God. I see God. I hear God. Music does things to me I haven’t found words yet to express.

    I really enjoyed reading this.
    ✌✌ @Adaeze and @Timi for hosting you here.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I feel closest to God with music- even with so called secular songs…
      Like you, words fail me when I try to explain the feelings certain songs evoke.
      As for singing; if you have time, join a choir. You’d be surprised at how much you’d improve in less than a year.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Lol. That was a nice one Ada. That part of you summersaulting into love cause his eyes were closed and he was singing is this love really got me. Don’t summersault into love again ooo.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Plus her writing, this writer knows her music and as a sucker for both arts, especially in their excellent forms, it’s hard to deny how this put me in (e)motion.

    To music and all it does to/for/in/with us!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Thanks Jill, I’m glad she got through that difficult time. I like how music affects very different people in the same way, unifying us in ways our politicians and diplomats cannot dream of.

    Liked by 2 people

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