This morning, I was listening to my favorite classical satellite radio station, because it was dark and still and I wanted to ease into the day gently. A symphony was introduced as being written in the 1800’s in response to a specific European battle. This awareness of the historical significance of this particular song, then, gave me a heightened awareness of the symphony as it played. Even without words, the symphony told the story.
Modern music still tells countless beautiful, painful, fun, flirty, forgiving, unforgiving, and other deeply emotional stories. Music moves us. But compare hearing your usual fare of bright pop song with an empowering message to a song written at a specific time, in response to a specific event or era.
In my own lifetime, I know there have been many of these songs. Songs of historical significance. Songs that make you pause and remember. Quickly, “We Are The World” comes to my mind as a response to famine in Africa, but the songs that stand out the most to me and also cause a lump to catch in my throat every time they play…still…are responses to the 9/11 attacks. Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue,” Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You,” and Melissa Etheridge’s “Tuesday Morning,” are at the top of my list. Those songs take me back to that date in my memory bank, and I relive snapshots of that morning and the fallout that Americans, in particular, are still feeling. The world changed that day, and music takes us back there, even if just for three and a half minutes or so.
Until next time, my friends…
Make it a great day,