“In good times, we enjoy the music. In hard times, we understand the lyrics.” (Unknown), from the Jack’s Winning Words blog.
This is one of those “ain’t that the truth” sayings. Much of the music that we hear and enjoy for the beat or sound contains lyrics that are about hard times – a relationship gone bad, the loss of a loved one or just being down on one’s luck. That seems to be especially true of Country music. It seems that all of the cowboys, farmers, truck drivers, waitresses, wives and girlfriends who’ve been cheated on, and others referred to in those Country songs had hardscrabble lives (or so they want you to believe). And who doesn’t relate the religious songs “Rock of Ages” or “Amazing Grace” with some funerals that we’ve attended?
Sometimes I can’t tell what the words are to a song, especially some of the newer songs. If I really want to know I can always Google them and find the lyrics on line somewhere. I vividly remember how apropos the lyrics of Paul McCartney’s song “Yesterday” were to my first college sweetheart breakup. That song captured perfectly the feeling of loss brought on by that event. A little later, in a college bar, with “Hang on Sloopy” blasting in the background, I met the women who was to be my wife for 50 years. I didn’t care about the lyrics, it was just a great song that made everybody feel good (especially those who had been in the bar for a while).
Since then there have been a few songs that just seemed to fit the occasion or moment for us, as we had a life together – mostly they’ve been happy songs, songs about love and devotion; but, there have been a few “Rock of Ages” moments and more than a few “Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This” times. Through it all there were songs that reinforced the reasons for staying together and fighting our way through whatever adversity we faced. Sometimes those just played in the background like elevator music and sometimes they reached a crescendo at just the right time to help. Now, as our lives reach a mellow age, songs like John Legend’s “All of Me” have greater meaning.
What songs have had meaning in your life? Are there sad songs and happy songs that go along with events and milestones for you? Do you know and understand the words to those songs? How do these songs move you when you think about them. Which ones make you smile? Maybe those are th ones to keep in mind. It’s OK to just be moved by the beat, but someday, when your life starts to slow down a bit, you’ll want to understand the lyrics too. The good news is that, by then, you’ll be mature enough to actually do that.
Have a great day and rest of your week and tune into the lyrics on a few songs.