Credit: Blocks via Unsplash

Last night a DJ saved my life

By Olivia Marrins

Inner Smile by Texas: A personal reflection on a song which has impacted my everyday

Music has a very unique and personal manner of making us feel a certain way. Almost every major moment in my life I can relate back to a genre, period, or specific song that was playing. It could be argued that it’s just me – I spend most of my time consumed by what’s playing on my headphones. Nevertheless, music remains not just a musical interlude to daily routines, its tantalising qualities and cultural significance carry through to major periods in one’s life.

I have chosen to reflect on one specific song that personally affected me. Honourable shoutouts go to ‘Miss Independent’ by Ne- Yo; ‘The Dying Light’ by Sam Fender; and Fred Again’s ‘Marea’ (we’ve lost dancing). However, it is Texas’s 2001 hit single ‘Inner Smile’ which steals the top spot. Originally released on their album ‘The Greatest Hits’ in the year 2000, the track reached number six on the UK Singles Chart – just one year before I was born.

You may be wondering how a song that wasn’t released in my life has had such a long-lasting impact on my mental psyche. I would blame my Dad’s love for Sharlene Spiteri and the song’s ability to invoke sheer joy. The song starts with a count of ‘1, 2, 3’, then immediately it progresses into an opening section of Spiteri chanting ‘yeah’ about 12 times. Before even listening to the main body of the song, it encourages an uplifting chant, fit to make any listener feel engrossed in the journey of the song.

I have always found this particular song to pull me into a better mood. Featured on summer playlists and Spotify wrapped top 100s, it has always been a go to. However, when

performed live, ‘Inner Smile’ provokes a different feeling. With origins in Bearsden,

Glasgow, the band Texas aren’t shy form putting on a captivating performance. In particular, last year’s performance at Glastonbury Festival has stuck with me. Stuck in a grey area between third year finishing, and friends having moved away from home, the summer sadly seemed to drag on a little bit too long. The beloved Glasgow band took to the stage during one of the Friday Afternoon slots on the Pyramid stage. I watched it all on TV. Perhaps it was the sun reflected through the crowd or the compelling interaction the band held with their many fans – but I sat in my childhood room, devastated that I didn’t manage to get a ticket.

I have realised my connection to music relates to its nostalgic factors. It is not so much the message of the lyrics – though its engaging imagery induces a much happier mood – rather, the association I have with this song and the album it is featured on being played on the living room speaker growing up. The connection to home and familiarity complements this song in such a way which dissipates any stress or worry.

In moments of darker periods or the thought of university stress  just becoming too much, blasting ‘Inner smile’ has never failed to propel me walking down the street, even in the dreich weather of Glasgow. I can vividly recall a day when my immediate response was to drag the duvet over my head while the apprehensions of the day ahead washed over me. I could feel my energy levels diminishing, yet, when my partner blasted ‘Inner Smile’ into my ear, I rolled out of bed like a bear out of hibernation.


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