Give Me Music or Give Me Death!

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[Image courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

Tonight I thought about how wonderful the gift of music is.  Have you ever stopped to consider how many songs have been written over the existence of the world?  And even though I’m only considering the English-speaking world, with the 8-tone scale, I can’t wrap my head around what that number must be.  The mind-boggling thing is that people continue to write new music!  Yes, there are the occasional remakes, but for the most part, people are cranking out new music.  It’s absolutely amazing.

The other thing is the many different genres of music that have been created.  This Christmas I fell in love with the group Pentatonix and their PTXmas Deluxe album.  I didn’t watch the television competition show that they sang on; my brother-in-law sent me a link to their version of “Angels We Have Heard On High“.  I took a listen and immediately purchased the entire album (the boys and I have decided our favorite though is Carol of the Bells).  This is a capella, funky harmonies music and I love it, but I also love R&B, classical, gospel. CCM, reggae, calypso – and on and on.

I think it’ll also wow you if you stop to think about how people use music to address what they’re feeling, or how songs that are written resonate with things that are going on in our lives:  Carrie Underwood talking about how she took a Louisville slugger to the headlights of her boyfriend’s car because he cheated on her; Jennifer Holliday putting her all into willing her man that he’s gonna love her; Roberta Flack tentatively asking if the guy she’s with tonight will still love her tomorrow (this song has to be one of my absolute favorites);  Simon and Garfunkel promising to always be there – like a bridge over troubled water; John Legend giving all of himself; Maverick Sabre begging for the girl to let him go out of their troubled relationship; Sam Cooke talkin’ ’bout a change is gonna come; Jay-Z asking what more can he do beside everything he’s already done to prove that he’s the best – I’m sure you can find  a song to match whatever situation you happen to find yourself in – and I think that’s one of the things that makes music so powerful.

Another is just the beauty of it – the voices, the harmonies, just the music itself.  I am a sucker for a clean voice and simple piano accompaniment.  John Legend (ha, ha – yes, he’s a favorite) and Billy Joel – their voices and piano – amazing – as is Ms. Roberta Flack whom we were introduced to above!  But I also can curl up and cry for Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” – I love turning it up at the beginning so I can really hear the soft part and then be blown away at the end when it builds to the climax.  Mendelssohn’s “He Watching Over Israel” – that song is just beautiful to me.  Karen Carpenter‘s voice.  Kathleen Battle‘s voice.  Lana Del Rey‘s voice.  The amazing thing Queen did with “Bohemian Rhapsody“.  Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” (lordy!).  Gerswhin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and “Summertime” (Kathleen Battle gets the nod here agan).  Jessie Norman singing “O Divine Redeemer have MERCY” (mercy, Lord!).  Jill Scott on Lyzel in E-flat (who does that??? and yes, I know it’s “He Loves Me”, but I prefer Lyzel – lol).  Dave Brubek’s “Take Five” (the drum solo!!). The Vince Guiraldo Trio’s “Cast Your Fate to the Wind“.  And I haven’t even mentioned Michael Jackson or Bach’s choral preludes, or Lauryn Hill, or Etta James, or the Beatles or Israel Houghton’s “You Hold My World” or…

If I was stranded on a desert island, after food and water, I’d probably want my iPod.  And my Kindle app – but that’s a post for another day!  🙂

One thought on “Give Me Music or Give Me Death!

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