Put together a a musical playlist of songs that describe your life, including what you hope your future entails.
Well now. Music is a huge thing in my life. Before I could put together such a play list, I’d have to decided what genre to use. Or maybe a mix? I’m pretty eclectic in my music tastes. I’m totally uninterested in rap, hip-hop, heavy metal–in other words, all the latest takes on rock. When I was a kid, rock n’ roll was pretty innocent and easy to sing. My life spans the years when everything changed in the ’60’s and ’70’s. The music kids listen to today seems angry to me, dark and often ugly in its lyrics, and nothing I identify with or understand. I’ve tried, because occassionally I get an older teen in my office who wants me to listen to this or that song that he loves. Usually, in order to understand the words, I have to pull up the lyrics online while I endure the unmusical music. It just doesn’t reach me. Even when the words are clear, they don’t mean much to me. I guess that’s the much-heralded generation gap.
Anyway. I’d have to decide whether to use classical, pop, movie themes, oldies, or sacred, including gospel. Not contemporary. Like modern rock, there’s just not much there that appeals to me.
I love to play the piano. I couldn’t have lessons when I was a kid because there was just no money, so I taught myself. When I could get my hands on anything other than a hymn book, I would play it over and over until I could master it. I remember when my mom bought me a book of Strauss waltzes. Oh, how I loved that book! I still have it, yellowed pages and torn covers.
Mostly, I played out of the hymnal. I started playing for church when I was around 12. I wasn’t much good, but I was the only show in town sometimes. I used to spend hours playing through the hymnal until I was comfortable playing anything without having to practice ahead of time. Back then, it was common to have “favorites” in the evening service, when people would call out a number from the book and the pianists were expected to be able to play whatever was requested. Eventually, I was able to play lots of songs without having the music in front of me. I don’t really know if it was “playing by ear” or just having it memorized.
So maybe I’d have to stay in the realm of sacred music, but I have no idea how I’d pick songs, out of all the thousands available, that reflect my life in any unique way. I know there have been some songs that have meant more to me at various stages of my life than at others. Probably something I loved when I was ten wouldn’t have any application now that I’m nearly 68.
There is something, though, about the old hymns and gospel songs that still speaks to my heart in a way that nothing else does. The music is generally simple, singable; the words have timeless meaning, based on scriptural truth that never changes.
And that’s about all I have to say this morning.