I love words. I love the way they are put together to form thoughts, I love the way they look on paper. I love everything about them, including when they are sung out loud.
As I am typing this, my five year old is one room away, sleeping peacefully. Finally. I had to sing her Into the Mystic by Van Morrison three times to get her there. But I didn’t mind. It’s one of my absolute favorite songs, and sharing it with her brings so much joy to my heart. It’s a song about love, about spirituality, about life and death. And all she knows is she likes the way it sounds, the way it comforts her.
Music moves us. It invokes feeling and emotion in a way that little else can. In two minutes we can experience life, loss, and love. It takes hours to read a book, it takes time (at the very least thirty minutes) to watch a show or movie. But music? Music delivers a punch in mere seconds. Who doesn’t get nostalgic when those opening bars of Bittersweet Synphony come through your speakers? Three seconds of sound, evoking emotion.
And that flood of emotion stays with you, for eternity. You will forever recall how you originally felt, each time you hear a certain song. My daughter will always feel at peace, at ease, when she hears the opening melody to that Morrison tune. Even if she doesn’t remember exactly why. And she’ll sing it to her kids. She’ll turn the stereo up and sing along with a huge smile on her face. And they’ll smile too, and yet another generation will know who Van Morrison was. Just like my dad taught me about AeroSmith, Steve Miller Band and Lynard Skynard.
In my opinion, teaching your kids about good music is just as important as teaching them about good books. The written word, is the written word. Stories and poems told by music are just as spectacularly profound. Everyone was influenced by someone amazing that came before them. I want my daughter to find her own way, I want her to make an educated decision on what “rocks her gypsy soul”. And what better way to ensure that than to give her all the facts? To let her hear it all, the good and the bad. To let her be moved by whatever moves her. To let her feel, by whatever evokes feeling.
It’s our duty as parents to show our children the beauty in this world. To show them the heart and soul of living. Music is a pretty great place to start. They may not always remember the things you said, but I promise you they’ll remember the way you made them feel.