“…Music is supposed to inspire. So how come we ain’t gettin’ no higher?” Lauryn Hill
By Samantha McKenzie
I won’t claim to know the origin of music or the reason it captivates a particular audience, one listener at a time.
I won’t even attempt to argue genres or artists and make the sad mistake of placing one above the other. I won’t. Every generation loves the music that mimicks its story.
I accept that music is loved by the masses and has a multitude of purposes that can only be told by the listener and even when we are all listening to the same song, we’ll still end up with different meanings. I love that about music. It belongs to no one in particular, yet we own it. Like gold, it holds its value.
I can say that music can heal. When we combine the right instruments, strum the perfect cords, music can find its way, way down, beneath our surfaces. When we write the perfect lyrics, find the right melody, music’s magic is always exposed.
I like listening to a variety of genres. I love the sultry sounds of R&B, the truth-telling lyrics that only country songs can deliver and the harsh realities that rap songs always deliver. I love gospel songs that probe my belief system and the pop songs that remind me to make life fun.
I love it all. I love that music makes me think, more like ponder, and forces me to expand my views. I love that it sometimes inspires me to be better, to love a little deeper and to get up the next day renewed and reinvigorated. I love that music becomes a big part of the most happiest times in our lives – at our parties, road trips to see relatives and moments when we just want to relax and settle in. I love that I can hear an old song and get lost in the memories it evokes. I love it.
But most of all, I love the music that heals me. I love that I have a playlist that I can turn to that puts in rotation songs that burrow into my soul and salves away my burdens. I think we all have music like this. Some we’ve played for so long, we know all of the lyrics by heart.
Music brings joy and laughter. It embraces sadness and wraps its arms around pain. Music is magical and comes with its own dose of potion. Its tracks…somehow get onto our tracks…and journeys with us for a lifetime.
The soundtrack for The Preacher’s Wife healed me (thank you Whitney). Lauryn Hill’s music has healed me. A few of Chrisette Michele’s songs have healed me, too. Mali Music has healed me. CeCe Winan. Maxwell. India Arie. Nat King Cole. Celine Dion. Luther Vandross. Labyrinth. Roberta Flack. Tim McGraw. A few songs, sung at the right pitch, with perfect lyrics, and played at the exact time I needed it, healed me. My cousin’s wife, Leslie Weekes, has a voice that has healed me as well.
There’s too much to list, but you get the picture. Keep listening to the music that speaks to you, but don’t forget to find those special songs that heal you too. You can’t live without them.