Kathryn, we have loved music from as far back as I can remember. Playing the piano (not well) was wonderful growing up. I loved being alone and playing with passion as I admired and enjoyed beauty of the music. I believe as we evolve into a truly global society living on a single precious planet, music and art can speak to and for all of us in a way that words alone cannot. Music and art can unite different cultures and know no borders. I am sometimes kidded about my love of country music, but the best of country music tells a story about humanity that speaks to my soul.
Kris Kristofferson’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down” is so expressive. My sense is that life hasn’t always been easy for Kris Kristofferson. Even being a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a Rhodes Scholar didn’t insulate him from life’s trials. The words to “Sunday Morning Coming Down” are so poignant and real to me. He captures the feeling of aloneness in a way that is difficult to describe.
The world expressed in John Lennon’s “Imagine” is so eloquent. He describes a world where people are not concerned with heaven or hell or a next life, but are living fully for today. He continues on to imagine a world where we recognize we are all people living on a single planet with nothing (country boundaries, religion) to kill or die for, living life in peace. To be able to express these thoughts through music resonates for so many and brings me hope for all of us.
I so relate to first verse in Brandi Carlisle’s “The Story”. To realize everyone has a story to their life and how little we know about each other. I wonder if we were able to know everyone’s complete story whether we would ever be comfortable standing in judgement. I realize we must have rules and courts for the behaviors of people not in compliance with our laws. However, we must insist/require our legal system be as close to perfection as humanly possible.
There is also music where I don’t understand the words, but the music itself speaks to me. Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is a wonderful example. The words don’t matter to me. I cannot imagine what it was like to actually be in Canada for k.d. lang’s performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in Winnipeg, Canada. Lang says of “Hallelujah” “To me it is the struggle between having human desire and searching for spiritual wisdom. It’s being caught between those two places.” That’s good enough for me. To hear k.d. lang perform “Hallelujah” (even vicariously through You Tube) is simply music at its highest level to me.