Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Power of Music..........

I'm sure that most of you have songs that once you hear them, they take you immediately back to a different time and/or place or maybe they bring back memories, people, a particular mood, a feeling, situations, events, or perhaps even a moment frozen in time?

One particular song for me is the song: American Pie by Don McClean

It was a hot summer night in the 1970's in Oklahoma and I was about 17 or 18 years old. My date had just brought me home and we were outside, sitting on the hood of my boyfriend's car, talking under the big gnarled old oak tree standing guard in front of my grandmother's house. I lived in the country and the night air was full of crickets chirping the temperature. I can still remember the night full of twinkling stars. Stars just don't seem as bright anymore either.

My boyfriend was very tall; about 6' 4" to my 5' 6 inches. The song American Pie came on the car radio and we were softly singing along with the lyrics. Soon my friend stretched out his hand and we started slow dancing to the music. Everytime I hear that song, I am transported back to that time with my entire world ahead of me... life full of promises and the unknown.

Another song that brings me immediately back to a frozen moment in time, happened the first time that I heard the song. I had moved to the Philippines as an art teacher at Clark Air Force Base in the fall of 1989. It was always hot, muggy, and humid in the Philippines. I lived off-base and I had been on base visiting with a friend. I was driving my little red 1973 Volkswagon Karmann Ghia with the windows down to let some of the night air, which is barely cooler than daytime air, flow through the car. I was driving along the perimeter wall of the base on the road that would wind about and eventually lead me to the main gate turning left to the 'off-base' road and on to my house.

It was August 1, 1990 and this particular night just happened to be the night 'before' it had been announced that war would or wouldn't start in Iraq which later became known as Desert Storm.

I had just driven past my school and was on the curve going down to the area where the road dipped down sharply. There was a bamboo forest located here and the air always seemed very still and eerily quiet. Or maybe I always felt that way since the military guys had found the huge boa constrictor in this area that was featured on the miltiary news one night? It was so large that it was being held up by about 12 men.

I was on the uphill part of the road when a song came on, sung in such a crystal clear voice, with such beautiful stirring words... that I actually started crying. The tears continued to flow unheaded and I finally had to pull my car over until the song was over.

The song which to me had lyrics that were so fitting for our world and a night full of brave young men and women... just waiting to see what the future hours would hold for them... how lives would be forever changed.

The song?

From a Distance by Bette Midler

From a distance the world looks blue and green,
and the snow-capped mountains white.
From a distance the ocean meets the stream,
and the eagle takes to flight.

From a distance, there is harmony,
and it echoes through the land.
It's the voice of hope, it's the voice of peace,
it's the voice of every man.

From a distance we all have enough,
and no one is in need.
And there are no guns, no bombs, and no disease,
no hungry mouths to feed.

From a distance we are instruments
marching in a common band.
Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace.
They're the songs of every man.
God is watching us. God is watching us.
God is watching us from a distance.

From a distance you look like my friend,
even though we are at war.
From a distance I just cannot comprehend
what all this fighting is for.

From a distance there is harmony,
and it echoes through the land.
And it's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves,
it's the heart of every man.

It's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves.
This is the song of every man.
And God is watching us, God is watching us,
God is watching us from a distance.
Oh, God is watching us, God is watching.
God is watching us from a distance

Do you have a song that transports you back to a memory? A person? If so, please share your song.

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