Hearts and dreams are tricky things.

This holiday season meant plenty of road tripping for Becky and me, as we visited family in 3 different cities. It’s a bummer, though, that we don’t agree much when it comes to music – which usually means that only one of us is happy with the soundtrack for the drive. When it’s Becky’s turn, we generally tune the satellite radio to The Highway, the modern country station, and leave it there.

Like any other radio station, there’s a shortlist of songs here that are played over and over, so at the very least I’ve started to recognize a lot of them. I’ve never much been a fan of country music (despite the fact that my wife, dad, sister, and brother all are), but occasionally a song will catch on with me and force its way into the very short country music playlist in my iTunes. This month, it was Eli Young Band’s “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”:

I woke up today with this song stuck in my head, having heard it sporadically in the car over the last few weeks, without even knowing the name of the song (though I could guess) or the artist. (Incidentally, Eli Young Band is named by the combination of frontman Mike Eli and guitarist James Young, not someone named “Eli Young”.) The song tells a simple story of a young boy who finds his heart captured by every last song on the radio, sparking his own dream of becoming a musician. There’s a nice little message here just urging you to never give up on your dreams, even when you struggle, and a familiar-sounding chorus is repeated often enough to have you singing along by the end of the song.

If it sounds like this song is autobiographical in nature, then you’re probably right — though it was penned by neither Mr. Eli nor Mr. Young. In fact, the song was originally recorded by Will Hoge before Eli Young Band picked it up and recorded what became a very popular cover. If you’re curious, the original version is here – It sounds quite similar, though Mr. Hoge has a somewhat softer, wispier voice, which imparts a slightly different affect to the song overall:

In a total contrast of genres and styles, I can’t help but draw a lyrical comparison between this song and “Don’t Let it Break Your Heart” from Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto (an album I have previously discussed). While Eli Young acknowledges that you must push on, “even if” your heart is broken, Coldplay encourages, instead, that you “don’t let” such difficulty break your heart in the first place… (Well, I’m amused by the linguistics, anyway). Where Eli Young’s rendition is laid back and free flowing, Coldplay instead brings us high-energy, driving, synthy powerpop. Nevertheless, it’s a great song, too, so here it is (Coldplay has, for some reason, kept their new music off of Grooveshark, so it’s Youtube instead.)

In any case, don’t give up on your dreams, regardless of whence your inspiration comes.

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~ by Marcus on 01/02/2013.

Come at me, bro.

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