Why do we love music? It has magical, boundless ability to filter out conflict and to heal. It has a way of building bridges and tearing down walls. It makes life better. It is tightly connected to feelings – and offers a way to grow love. Yep. I believe so.
It has been an integral part of my life, always – soothing, comforting, inspiring and blessing me. It may get me hyped up, feeling bouncy and happy. It might be the trigger to release deep feelings of all sorts. I love music. But, I asked myself, Why?
Here’s what I realized: It isn’t the music I love as much as it is the feelings the music evokes. Maybe it isn’t simply the music that makes me happy and comforted, but my love of memories – emotions that create feelings of joy, goodness, or healing. Those tunes I sang or hummed as a youngster somehow attached themselves to memories that are a part of me, now.
When I got older, I started writing music. It was a way of expressing love for sacred things, love for people and programs that mean a great deal.
It was also a way of de-stressing. That music has never been published. May it ever remain so! They were written to went anger, upset, and frustration. To musically spit out feelings in a more powerfully cathartic way than words alone would have allowed.
It poured out, lightening me as I stomped through the melody and lyrics. Scathing anger or deep hurt escaped out the window of musical therapy.
I stopped doing that. But I never stopped associating music with feelings. Especially music that moves my soul.
So I concentrated even more on tunes that I felt would please the Lord. That would cause Him to smile. And that thought brought me more love for music.
I have a ‘thing’ for sacred music: Hymns. Old-Time Gospel tunes. Children’s Sunday School songs. Contemporary or anciently- inspired majestic symphonies. The timeless, emotion – evoking kind that binds hearts and souls to heaven.
My mom asked me to make her a simple tape of her fave hymns. When I presented it to her, you’d have thought I’d given her the world. Simple hymns with my voice and piano accompaniment. That was it. She wept. When she passed away, and her favorite hymns were played, I wept. Not only for her passing, but for the beautiful and loving memories of listening and sharing sacred songs with her. Because of our shared love for the same sort of good things. And our love for one another.
Did my love for music grow? Probably.
My dad? He was a music-aholic. During his last days in a hospice, he asked if I’d sit by him and sing. I was, I confess, embarrassed to do it. He finally cajoled me, and I sat on his bed, singing songs from my very first album. I instantly felt transported back to childhood. A little girl singing tenderly for her daddy. As much as he was able, he patted my hand. And a smile passed his lips.
It wasn’t the amazing music that moved him. Because the album wasn’t very amazing at all.
He felt love: love for me, love for God, gratitude that I had love for Diety and for music. It moved his soul, and calmed his heart. For those few opportunities to sing to my father, I have been ever grateful.
So- maybe some of this love I have for music grows out of love for my parents.
Ever have flashbacks when you hear certain songs on the radio?
Brown Eyed Girl plays and I see my friend Connie, in my mind’s eye. I have no other recollection – but I loved Connie, and so… I love the song. When Some Enchanted Evening, or another tune from South Pacific, plays I am instantly taken back to memories of my parents filming the movie, and the many years of sharing and enjoying stories from the days lived in Kauai. So – it is the love for those memories that creates the love for the music.
How Great Thou Art is in my Top Ten hymns. When I hear it or sing it, there are myriad images in my heart and mind. I love the hymn because of my feelings associated with all it represents.
You Are My Sunshine will always bring me sheer joy. I sang it to each of my babies. My mom sang it to me and my sister. One year, my daughter gave me a beautiful bowl with those words – and a big sunshine in the middle- perfectly crafted. I see the bowl- I hear the song. And I smile for the love that rises in me.
We can get nearer to the Lord through music than perhaps through any other way except prayer.
Those words by J. Reuben Clark strike a deep chord with me. No pun intended. I can’t think of heaven without thinking that music is a vital part of it. For sure, I feel nearer heaven because of it. Music seems, in its own beautifully pure way, a prayer.
Maybe we get closer to one another, too.
Does your family share musical moments like mine? Songs with memories attached? Tunes that have made you laugh, healed hurts, or solidified events? It grows love. Which somehow allows us to better love the music that was part of binding our family fabric.
A few Christmas carols express, in perfect musical tones. reverence for the Lord. I love All Things Christmas. Especially the pure, perfect ones – like music written to celebrate the Prince of Peace. The music brings me closer to Him.
Then there are the next-generation songs:
Any song that came out of my children’s mouths as youngsters qualifies as a bonafide heart- binder. I love them. Well, maybe except for one song that my daughter – at the age of about two- sang for a while. It was called
Torn Between Two Lovers
Yes- it was embarrassing when she began singing at the top of her lungs. In public. Having no idea what she was singing about- but enjoying herself immensely. I was too young to realize that I shouldn’t care less what ‘other people’ thought. So, I was mortified.
As I think about it now, it delights me. Okay- maybe I even love that old song on the radio… if only for the memory, and because I love my daughter. Yep- another good reason why I love music.
If music be the food of love, play on.
So said Shakespeare. A wonderful line from Twelfth Night. A wonderful line to commit to memory, I’m thinking. I want to feed my family all the goodness- all the love – I can. Banquets of music that fill the heart with family-ness and good memories.
It seems music and love go together. Like food for the soul. And balm to the wounded heart, or energy for a heart in need of extra hope.
Some music on today’s charts doesn’t seem to concern itself with love. Or joy. But I leave those choices to different folks. People who haven’t yet seen the beauty that grows with music written to edify. They eventually will. Or maybe different music is beautiful- is love – to different people. If love makes the world go ’round, perhaps there must needs be all kinds of sounds that speak music to each person’s heart.
You and I can find our joy, solace and strength in good music. Music that evokes feelings of love and hope and helpful thoughts. There is plenty of beautiful music that brings goodness to our soul.
And goodness matters.