Saturday, September 18, 2021

Music History

 Daily Gratitude Year 9 - Day 259: Today, I am grateful music is history.

I love music. I grew up with a mother who loved music of all kinds. She was the first to teach me the elements of history that come with music. From family history, national history, spiritual songs that teach and grow our faith... and perhaps the most significant... the personal soundtrack of our individual lives and loves. 

I remember my Mama and her sisters singing in the kitchen while helping Grandma clean up on Sunday evenings. "Singing... singing in the kitchen... banging on the pots and pans." Silliness usually broke out and occasional dancing. Every time I hear "Oh my darling Clementine", I can hear my Dad singing it in my memories. Dad made a joyful sound when he sang... and that is all the Lord requires. Occasionally, he was in tune. 

I remember learning to love history listening to Johnny Horton's historical ballads. The boys (including Ryan and Blake) remember "The Battle of New Orleans". "Young Abe Lincoln" was one of my favorites. Mama Ina Mae and I often pull out these old songs and on good days she sings along. 

Our spiritual walks have a history, too. For many of us, we learned theology and grew in understanding of Jesus as we sang "Nothing But the Blood", "Amazing Grace" and "Wonderful The Matchless Grace of Jesus". I was grateful for the explosion of Christian Contemporary music in my youth. Amy Grant, Michael W Smith, Glad, Harvest, Twila Paris and so many more grew my understanding of a God who is not a Santa Claus, but one who allowed us the freedom to choose Him or refuse Him. The One willing to make a way for the broken to return to Him. Songs like "El Shaddai", "The Warrior is a Child" and countless others were companions through ordinary days. They are a form of music history, too. 

We all have songs that take us  back to first loves or a first kiss. Perhaps that first dance at a wedding or songs from vacations are written forever on our hearts. I have a long list of songs that I remember from the years on the school bus. Elton John, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, Chicago, The BeeGees, Journey, Meatloaf, Queen, REO Speedwagon and Donna Summer. WLS radio (Chicago) was a variety of pop music and Larry Lujack's animal stories. 

Every era. Every season in life. Music is a part of our history. 

David wrote so many Psalms. His poetry was put to music. We still enjoy the Psalms today, although the musical score has been lost. The "Songs of Assent"... the Pilgrim Songs... Psalms 120-134 were traditionally sung as the Jews made their way to Jerusalem in pilgrimage. A few are attributed to David and one to Solomon, but most were likely passed down through the generations.

 "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;" -Psalm 130:5

Today, I am grateful music is history.

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