A lot of the time we look toward music, or paintings, or stories, anything to find something to identify with, when we’re feeling a little lost. Most of the time, I think, we can find something that comes pretty close to help. For me, it’s mostly lyrics, as it is for some close friends as well.
Some songwriters just know how to string words together; but more importantly, how to leave a little wiggle-room so that we distraught poor sonsabitches can make it fit our lives, no matter what he or she (the songwriter) was thinking when they wrote them. I wonder what those people think when listeners tell them that they must have been writing about them, when maybe it was the most private thing in the songwriter's heart? Dunno. Must be a little weird.
On the other hand (okay, there's not really a first hand there, but I'm trying to make my edits explanatory rather than simple deletions. And no, that's not explanatory, it just doesn't make sense, but SHUT UP.), I'm a believer in the world as influencing us pretty strongly, rather than each human being an independent agent making every choice balancing all history intelligently without bias.
So maybe some of us choose to make our lives fit into the songs (or paintings, or stories) that we like. We see a storyline that we see as romantic, in the classical sense, and choose (however subconsciously) to emulate it. I've read dissertations on stupider theories than that.
[UPDATE 7:36] ZOMG!!111! Wait! What if, even if the world truly was deterministic, and we really had no self-determination, we believed that we did? That would explain this evolutionary dealy that came along that we call "consciousness" (as it's quite evolutionarily advantageous, you know, trying to survive because hey, damnit! I'm different! (yes, I know this doesn't really fit in the theory of evolution, but I'm just trying to see if I can nest parentheses)).
But maybe what really matters is that we believe we have the ability to shape our future, not whether we really do or not. How the hell did I get here from thinking about song lyrics? WTF?
[7:55]: I'm not sure that true empathy exists. I mean truly feeling what another person feels. But now I'm thinking that song lyrics are the opposite end of the spectrum - someone writing something (without even knowing that you exist), but that you think simply must be about you and the way you feel, vs. someone actually speaking to you trying to say something about the way you might feel, but not really doing a good job of it. I guess that's why they make the big bucks ... you know, driving in buses all day and playing in Meridian to a crowd of 1000, as one of the best songwriters of the age.
Life ain't fair, apparently. Good thing there's more of it left.
I'm a world-weary man, and I'm ready to lie down
Time to shuffle off this moldy mortal coil
And I lived ok I guess, heaven's even odds at best
but I'm ready, if I could only see you smile
I ain't see you really happy in a while ...