Prince's death has unleashed a barrage of 80's music across the radio waves. If you were in high school in the 80's, he, more than likely, sang you through prom, gave some background noise for your awkward first dates, and rattled your car windows at red lights causing the older man next to you to roll his eyes. He probably had your parents shaking their heads and asking you what kind of "garbage" you were listening to on your boom box. He was a constant presence in the top 40 during my teens and as "Purple Rain" has played over and over this last week, I've gone from feeling like a 47.9 year old woman to a 17 year old girl. Music can do that. It can be a time machine. A fountain of youth. It makes us remember where we were and who we were. It frees memories that have been locked away and forgotten. There is a power in music to take us to other places and other times.
Our former neighbor, Mrs. Jean, and I went to a flea market as part of our girls' day we had last week. I bought an old hymnal there. I just love old hymn books. I know everyone has their own musical tastes but, to me, you just can't improve on the beautiful, old poetry of the hymns. Thankfully, we sing a lot of traditional hymns at my church but, as I thumbed through the old song book, I found several that I haven't sung in years. And even though some of them have been out of sight and out of mind for a while, I could still recite most of them. Word for word. Verse for verse. Amazing since I can't remember why I came in a room, most days. I suppose songs you learn in patent leather shoes and knee socks, well, they kind of stick with you for a good, long while. There's a power in music to live deep and long within our memory.
I'm sure I've told you that I sing in the choir at my church. On Sunday night, I was blessed to participate in our spring program which was accompanied by an orchestra. Our choir director has a God-given knack for choosing beautiful music and then bringing all the components together for a wonderful, worshipful program. There are few things more enjoyable than singing beautiful music as part of a choir and with wonderful accompaniment, all to the glory of God. While the strings played "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing"......well, I was thinking how there aren't many things that can put the soul in the posture for worship like music can. It shakes the deepest part of a dry spirit from its stupor. There is a power in music to touch the intangible soul.
Music was always present at our house when I was growing up. My mother played the piano and sang a lot. She taught us a lot of songs and always sang them with us. My daddy played the only instrument he knew how......the stereo. But, I don't think anyone has ever appreciated music more than he did. I took piano for 12 years.....although some of those years, kicking and screaming. We learned to love all kinds of music just because it was a constant presence in our house. This has caused my playlists to always look like a Whitman Sampler. Just a really confused compilation which when shuffled, well, let's see what spews out....
"I'm into Something Good"
"I Dreamed a Dream"
"Eyes Without a Face"
"Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior"
"Fancy" Yeah, you heard me. I said, "Fancy". Don't judge.
"Peaceful Easy Feeling"
"King of the Road"
"Take a Chance on Me"
Yeah, any emotion you could be feeling.......I've got a song for that.
Music celebrates with us.
It validates our feelings.
It sits with us in sadness.
It understands our plight.
It gives us a place to relax.
Takes us away from our worry.
It brings tears to the surface.
Emotions to a head.
It takes us to times that are far away.
To places that we've long since left behind.
It brings us to our knees.
Calls our spirit to look for its Creator.
It sets the mood.
Breaks the silence.
It can sit quietly in the background.
Or be the life of the party.
It breathes youth into our agedness.
And brands our minds with its words.
It always knows how we feel.
And exactly what we want to say.
Music can be more potent than the spoken word. It joins the power of words and the beauty of chords and touches a depth of the soul that is out of reach to most any other expression.
"So, I say thank you for the music".......the wonderful gift of music.
Ya'll put a little 80's on to help you get over this hump day!