Each person whoever was or is or will be has a song. It isn't a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has its own words. Very few people get to sing their own song. Most of us fear that we cannot do it justice with our voices, or that our words are too foolish or too honest, or too odd. So people live their songs instead. Take Daisy, for example. Her song, which had been somewhere in the back of her head for most of her life, had a reassuring, marching sort of beat, and words that were about protecting the weak, and it had a chorus that began 'Evildoers beware!' and was thus much too silly ever to be sung out loud. She would hum it to herself sometimes though, in the shower, during the soapy bits. And that is, more or less, everything you need to know about Daisy. The rest is details.
But at times words can be a dangerous addition to music - they can pin it down. Words imply that the music is about what the words say, literally, and nothing more. If done poorly, they can destroy the pleasant ambiguity that constitutes much of the reason we love music. That ambiguity allows listeners to psychologically tailor a song to suit their needs, sensibilities, and situations, but words can limit that, too. There are plenty of beautiful tracks that I can't listen to because they've been 'ruined' by bad words - my own and others. In Beyonce's song "Irreplaceable, " she rhymes "minute" with "minute, " and I cringe every time I hear it (partly because by that point I'm singing along). On my own song "Astronaut, " I wrap up with the line "feel like I'm an astronaut, " which seems like the dumbest metaphor for alienation ever. Ugh.
It's the latest popular song, " declared the phonograph, speaking in a sulky tone of voice. "A popular song?" "Yes. One that the feeble-minded can remember the words of and those ignorant of music can whistle or sing. That makes a popular song popular, and the time is coming when it will take the place of all other songs.
God has prepared for Himself one great song of praise throughout eternity, and those who enter the community of God join in this song. It is the song that the 'morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy' at the creation of the world. (Job 38:7). It is the victory song of the children of Israel after passing through the Red Sea, the Magnificat of Mary after the annunciation, the song of Paul and Silas in the night of prison, the song of the singers on the sea of glass after their rescue, the 'song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb' (Rev. 15:3) It is the song of the heavenly fellowship.
I know that sentence is long and has too many joining words in it but sometimes, when I'm angry, words burst out of me like a shout, or, if I'm sad, they spill out of me like tears, and if I'm happy my words are like a song. If that happens it's one of my rules not to change them because they're coming out of my heart and not my head, and that's the way they're meant to be.
I look at him for a moment. Words are a weapon stronger than he knows. And songs are even greater. The words wake the mind. The melody wakes the heart. I come from a people of song and dance. I don't need him to tell me the power of words. But I smile nonetheless.
I always think of each night as a song. Or each moment as a song. But now I'm seeing we don't live in a single song. We move from song to song, from lyric to lyric, from chord to chord. There is no ending here. It's an infinite playlist.
In the depth of silence be speechless to listen the song of life, song of creation of life, primordial song. Be silent, and listen to your heart. Can you hear The song of life, The song of love, The song of creation?
I learned very early in life that: "Without a song, the day would never end; without a friend, a man ain't got a friend; without a song, the road would never bend- without a song" So I keep singing a song.
Through my history's despite and ruin, I have come to its remainder, and here have made the beginning of a farm intended to become my art of being here. By it I would instruct my wants: they should belong to each other and to this place. Until my song comes here to learn its words, my art is but the hope of song. (Part 2 from History is Clearing, p 174)
The connection being that in my head all language began in song and that the best stories inevitably reutrn to song, to a state of rapture. For years, I had assumed that throwing beautiful words at the page would make my prose feel true. But I had the process exactly backward. It was truth that lifted the language into beauty and toward song. It was a matter of doing what Joe Henry did, of pursuing characters into moments of emotional truth and slowing down. The result was a compression of sensual and psychological detail that released the rhythm and melody in language itself, what Longfellow called "the happy accidents of language.