I finally had a rare free hour to sit on the couch in my office and watch the 2007 documentary about Pete Seeger, "The Power of Song."
Interesting how a line from another artist came up in my head over and over as I watched. Harry Chapin wrote, "if a man tried to take his life on earth, and prove before he died what one man's life could be worth . . . I wonder what would happen to this world?"
As Joan Baez put it, in referring to herself and many other singer/musicians, "all of us owe everything to Pete Seeger."
What I hope here is that we can agree to look beyond politics. I dont necessarily agree with some of the stuff and groups Pete sang for over the years. A lot of what he supports I wish I had the balls and heart to speak more openly about.
One thing I especially admire about Pete's life, was the power he felt music had for good in the world. He always said how he often longed to get people or groups in disagreement with one another, and get them in the same room, and then get them singing together . . . that what would happen next would be people becoming friends instead of enemies. People would listen better, and if not come to agreement, they would at least leave the room with respect for one another.
I believe this is true. I've seen in it happen several times in my life. The is power in song!
In fact, I've seen music and song . . .
-calm an anxious, worried or crying child
-bring a smile to a sick child
-help tears come to parents who have lost a child
-brought a smile to people who are walking into something difficult
-heal someone in their heart and spirit
-help two enemies shake hands and hug
-lead someone to ask another for forgiveness
-stop a fight
-become the rallying cry for a noble cause
-help people to be brave
-help people to say, "enough."
-help people to say, 'I need to do something about this."
-cause people to get up and do something positive.
-change the emotion in a room from negative to positive
-heal a broken heart
-help someone get through grief
-give someone strength to do something they need to do, that won't be easy
-help someone have hope
-be a "shot in the arm" that someone needed
And so, so, so, so much more . . .
This Christmas season is especially marked by music and song! How glad I am that this is part of our Christmas celebration.
On Christmas Eve, I have the honor, along with my trusty Guild 12-string guitar, to lead the Christmas Carols at our 5 PM Christmas Eve Family-Friendly service in our main sanctuary. It will be one of the highlights of my Advent experience. How powerful are the songs of Christmas. The experience would not be the same without them, at least for me.
How powerful is song in your own life?
For me, music and singing have given me the courage at age 54 to finally start down a theraputic music performance path that I wanted to start down many, many years ago, but was afraid to for many reasons, most of which I have forgotten . That's the power of song, because looking to change your daily focus at age 54 is just a bit scary.
There is power in song!
Gods grace, and the power of song, still amazes me . . . ><>