Tag Archive | music

Whom Shall I Fear?

playing guitarLearning to play guitar, like gardening, is a lifelong process. I wear my left-hand fingertip calluses proudly. One of the best things about playing guitar is enjoying it with my husband. It has become quite a bonding experience for us. I’m so grateful for his humility and patience as I began playing years after he did.

Music touches the soul and plucks inner chords we didn’t even know were there.

guitar pick Music speaksChristian rock is a style of music that often has me singing as tears wet my face. I am proud to worship even if I’m perhaps more all-encompassing and non-denominational that most contemporary Christian music concert-goers. But the same way that the Bible is an incredibly wise book available to all to read and learn from no matter their faith, so too is the music of this genre an enlivening style that brightens the hearts of so many listeners.

While I frequently listen to instrumental music when driving, if traffic is not too congested I’ll turn on the radio and enjoy my local Christian music station. This song came on and although I’d never heard it before I began singing along. There are times when it feels like my chest is peeling open because I’m filled with so much love and gratitude. This song continues to elicit this response.

Anyone who has the the desire and determination can learn how to play this song because the chords are included with this video. Learning to play any song requires repetition, and that helps the wisdom seep in. I highly recommend it! 

May this timeless truth expressed with musical passion brighten your heart and your day.

Chris Tomlin
Christopher Dwayne “Chris” Tomlin is an American contemporary Christian music (CCM) artist, worship leader, and songwriter who has sold nearly 30 million records.
He is a husband and father who was born on May 4, 1972 in Grand Saline, Texas, United States.

Sing On

joyful Maya AngelouI first heard this song from 1994 around that time on a Public Broadcasting Station (commercial-free radio!), allowing for this long song. Eight enjoyable minutes of movement-motivating music! This fantastic compilation by the talented Branford Marsalis and friends, which includes Maya Angelou reading some of her incredible poem, is delightful and makes me dance (even if just in my chair!).

I hope this song brightens your heart and your day as it always does for me. May we remember our love for Maya with gratitude for her magnificent example, and how she blessed us with her years here. She will live on, forever in our hearts, and we are so thankful for all she shared. Namaste. Gina

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

(This is her complete poem; certain excerpts are in the song)

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

For more of her exceptional poetry, here’s a post for Maya Angelou on my other blog:
http://peopleexcitedaboutcoexistence.com/2014/05/28/lift-up-your-hearts/

The Great Peace March

source Facebook/PeaceFlash

source Facebook/PeaceFlash

Having been inspired by this song since the early nineties, I wanted to share it. However, after not being able to find it anywhere on YouTube, I decided to join, create my channel, and learn how to make a lyrics video.

While I am indeed a YouTube neophyte, I’m pleased with the result of this, my very first lyrics video! Of course if an Ad pops up you’ll need to click the ‘x’ to close it so you can read the lyrics.

It is my sincere wish that you will enjoy this inspiring song for world peace, written and performed by singer, songwriter, and activist Holly Near.
We will have peace!

You may also enjoy my post from last year with another incredible song for world peace. I discovered Ella’s Song through Holly Near’s cover of it on her 1990 album Singer In The Storm. In this post you can enjoy a YouTube recording being performed by the exceptionally talented group, Sweet Honey In The Rock:
http://professionsforpeace.com/2013/02/09/we-who-believe-in-freedom/

You Are Wanted

A few days ago I was at last in a cleaning spurt. That’s always a good sign that I’m feeling better. On a whim I decided to turn to the Spirit Channel with uplifting Christian rock as my choice of ‘background noise’ while I scrubbed my kitchen, instead of a nature documentary or cooking show.

It wasn’t long before I heard this song (shared below thanks to YouTube) and found myself singing along… and then going to YouTube to hear it again… and again.

As I was singing along I thought of my son’s friend, a lovely young man who left too soon. I thought about my darling and still-young dog who has lost her sight. And I thought of myself. Deserving of love exactly where I am right now, in this moment. “You are wanted!” I sang along.

The lovely songstress Dana Maclean co-wrote and sings these incredible lyrics, helping remind us of how important each and every one of us is. I encourage you to listen. I hope you enjoy. Namaste. Gina

WANTED

Written by JUSTIN EBACH, PAUL MABURY, and DARA MACLEAN

From the day you were born

And took your first breath

You opened your eyes and in came the light

He was watching you

But all of your life you couldn’t shake the lies in your head

Saying you’re a mistake

Oh but you were made

By a God who knows your name

He doesn’t make mistakes

 

You are wanted

To every broken heart, He stands with open arms

You are wanted

To every searching soul, look to the rising sun

If you’re lonely, hurting, gone too far

To the outcast you come as you are

For you, you are wanted, you, you are wanted

You, you are wanted, you, you are wanted

 

Let this be the day that joy takes the place

Of all of the years that shame tried to steal away

He is calling you

Lift your eyes to see His face

Come run into the arms of grace

 

You are wanted

To every broken heart, He stands with open arms

You are wanted

To every searching soul, look to the rising sun

If you’re lonely, hurting, gone too far

To the outcast you come as you are

For you, you are wanted, you, you are wanted

You, you are wanted, you, you are wanted

 

You, you have been marked

You’re set apart

And He calls you His

So you don’t have to search

Don’t have to look for where you belong

You are wanted.

We Who Believe In Freedom

Sweet Honey In The RockSweet Honey In The Rock (see my earlier post) do an incredibly powerful performance of this amazing piece, Ella’s Song, and I’ve included the video and lyrics for us here. I first fell in love with this song over twenty years ago when I heard it covered by songwriter-singer and activist Holly Near and I adore this original version too. I’ve also included some information about the memorable activist who inspired it: Ella Baker.

Let us be inspired to raise our voices and sing along! Let us rise up and take action for peace and freedom for all the world’s people, for every mother’s child. Let our love light the way. ~Namaste.

Ella’s Song

ella bakerElla Josephine Baker (December 13, 1903 – December 13, 1986) was an African-American civil rights and human rights activist beginning in the 1930s. She was a behind-the-scenes activist, whose career spanned over five decades. She worked alongside some of the most famous civil rights leaders of the 20th century, including W.E.B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall, A. Philip Randolph, and Martin Luther King, Jr.  She also mentored then-young civil rights stalwarts Diane Nash, Stokely Carmichael, Rosa Parks and Bob Moses. In 1972 she traveled the country in support of the “Free Angela” campaign demanding the release of Angela Davis [John Lennon & Yoko Ono wrote a song in support of Angela Davis called ‘Angela’ on their 1972 album “Some Time in New York City”].  Ella Baker also lent her voice to the Puerto Rican independence movement, spoke out against apartheid in South Africa and allied herself with a number of women’s groups, including the Third World Women’s Alliance and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She remained an activist until her death in 1986 at 83 years of age.

Ella Baker quotations:
“Until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother’s son… we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens.”
“Remember, we are not fighting for the freedom of the Negro alone but for the freedom of the human spirit, a larger freedom that encompasses all mankind.”
“The development of the individual to his highest potential is for the benefit of the group.”

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Sweet Honey In The Rock

Sweet-Honey-in-the-Rock logo 200Sweet Honey in the Rock captured my heart decades ago when I’d enjoy their music and performances on episodes of PBS programs Reading Rainbow and Sesame Street with my young children. The more I learned about them and the more music of theirs I collected, the deeper my love for them blossomed.

sweet honey in the rock performance photoThey are an all-woman, African-American a’cappella ensemble. A Grammy Award-winning troupe, they express their history as women of color through song, dance, and sign language. They have worked together from four singers to the difficult five-part harmony with a sixth member translating with sign language. Although the members have changed over 4 decades, they continue to sing and have helped produce children’s albums as well as those aimed at adults.

sweet honey in the rock photo 350The group was founded in 1973 by Bernice Johnson Reagon, who was teaching a vocal workshop with the Washington, D.C. Black Repertory Company. She retired from the group in 2004. The name of the group was derived from a song based on Psalm 81:16 which tells of a land so rich that when rocks were cracked open honey flowed from them. Bernice said that the first song in which four women blended their voices was so powerful there was no question what the name of the group would be. Their music combines contemporary rhythms and narratives with a musical style rooted in the Gospel music, spirituals and hymns of the African-American Church. The ensemble tackles five-part harmonies and composes much of their own music. They address topics such as motherhood, spirituality, freedom, civil rights, domestic violence, immigration issues, and racism. Reference details: Wikipedia ~ Official site: SweetHoney.com

I celebrate these dynamic performers along with their outstanding music! These women sing for peace. I applaud their excellent efforts and want to share the inspiration they offer right here on my blog. Watch for more to come! Let’s clap and sing along as they help us raise our voices and stand up for peace. We can pray for peace daily, and we can take action. Let’s get inspired and see what we each can do towards creating peace on earth, right here and right now! Let’s stand up for freedom! Let’s stand up for peace!

Sweet Honey In The Rock at the Carpenter Centre, with commentary by the bwordproject.com

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Imagine World Peace

~ Imagine Our World At Peace ~

John Lennon ImagineJohn Lennon’s song IMAGINE is so popular because it resonates within us. It touches our soul, our psyche. The response to this song is rarely, “Oh, it’s okay I guess.”  We more commonly hear, “That’s my favourite song of all time!”

It has become an anthem of sorts. An anthem for World Peace. And we need an anthem about peace now more than ever.

We need to remember how important, how essential it is that we practice acceptance of perceived differences. We need to realize how this one step is critical to creating lasting peace in our lifetime. This year. Right now.

Let us move beyond the schoolyard manner of thinking and acting upon the outdated belief that ‘my religion is better than your religion’ or ‘my geographical location is more important than yours’ because these attitudes only keep us frozen in archaic battles.

chicago fire 'Mouch' actor christian stolteAs a fan of Dick Wolf, I’ve been enjoying his latest addition: Chicago Fire. In one episode we observe a secondary character named ‘Mouch’ express his intense hatred for Canadians when a couple of fire fighters from Toronto visit the station. He could not stand to be in the same room as they were. Towards the end we learn how he had fallen for a girl from Ontario through a website, and sent her money to come to Chicago, but she was a cruel person who scammed him and broke his heart. Through this one event, in his humiliation and heartbreak, he’d written off an entire country, dismissing with disgust anyone with that nationality.

It felt like a pretty good example of one way that exclusion, even racism, can begin to fester in a person’s heart. And everyone who allows these types of wounds to grow while refusing to forgive a larger group of people based on the actions of one or a few, are contributing the problem.

I choose to be a part of the solution. I choose to focus on peace, and the best way for me to foster a peaceful world and make a real difference towards world peace, is by ever deepening the love within my own heart. Peace within individuals grows outward to become peaceful communities, cities and nations. Peace in our hearts is the primary thing we all can do towards creating world peace.

i-dont-see-any-borders-do-youAs John Lennon invites us to imagine, what if there were no countries? No borders? I don’t feel borders. And I don’t see borders on our globe. To me, I feel like a resident of the continent of North America. And on a larger scale, as OAK at Only Abundant Knowledge wisely states in her blog, I am an Earthian and to be human is enough.

There is only one race: the Human Race. And I feel as much compassion, love and concern for my human ‘kin’ in Toronto, Aurora, and Newtown, as I do for my fellow ‘kin’ in Delhi, Sudan, and beyond. In my prayers, I feel deep compassion and love for all my fellow residents of this planet, and do my part to send my highest light towards these places where people are hurting and are filled with sadness.

I like to imagine the world at peace as John Lennon dreamt of.

I like to imagine a shift in consciousness, when enough of us on the planet pray for and believe in peace, when the angry ones suddenly wonder ‘what are we even fighting for?’, put down their weapons, and reach out with aid for others who they can now see as their ‘kin’.

And yes, that may make me a dreamer. To which I say thank God for John Lennon and his eternal anthem for peace, and for helping all of us dreamers know that we’re not the only one.

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Related articles:

http://professionsforpeace.com/2013/01/11/as-john-imagined-it/

http://professionsforpeace.com/2012/06/22/john-lennon/

http://everydaygurus.com/2013/01/07/promote-peace/

http://everydaygurus.com/2012/12/20/we-can-make-a-difference-right-here-right-now/

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Note: Images here were randomly sourced through Google except the bottom banner.