November 17, 2008

Monday is for Music

I am not really musically talented in any way. I took violin lessons in elementary school for a year (I think) and really liked it. (Although, I was really into country music at that time and tried to play it with furious speed like a fiddle, in my closet) But that was really my only "formal" music education.

I did land a spot as lead singer in a funky band in Chicago when I was 20 and it was totally a dream come true. But, honestly? I am not a particularly gifted singer either.

But I love music. I loooooovvvvvveeee it. Not necessarily in the same way a musically educated person would appreciate it. No, I think it's the poet in me - but I love music that reaches something deep inside of me and either gives it a voice or speaks to it. I love when a song can catch my breath and cause tears to well up in my eyes. Or, when music makes my whole body want to move and dance. There is a soul language in music that I am drawn to.

Because of this, there are certain artists or groups that I become very devoted to. They become like close friends, confessors, prophets, teachers.....and I go back to them again and again.

Last night, as Mr. Spicy and I sat in our car outside of our birthing class, one of these groups - a group that we have both been devoted to for years, a group that has for us separately and together, acted as a soundtrack through many many important seasons in our lives - U2, came on the radio. Without even speaking, Mr. Spicy reached over and turned up the radio. We sat in silence and as the song began, first I began singing, then he began singing, until we were both singing at the top of our lungs and tears were being wiped from our eyes as we sang along, "I'm wide awake....." - offering these words up to something bigger, as a prayer, as a gratitude, as a realization that we are here in this moment, this is our lives, this is our world, this is really happening - the good, the bad, all of it. We are not sleeping.

And that, for me, was like attending a church - inhabiting a sacred space, praying, crying out, and being ministered to all at once.

I have experiences like this fairly often and thought maybe I would start sharing what song has moved me that week, right here. I am not promising to do it weekly, as consistency isn't always my strong suit. But - eh, here's the first installment. And hey, if you want to - why don't you join in and post an important song for you on your blog and put the link in my comments? Then I will add you to a list on my blog and we can have our own little Monday music party. Even if you don't blog about it, I would love to hear what music is moving you right now, and why?

This week's song was "Bad" by U2. I am embedding the video for it and the lyrics will follow.

I am madly, insanely, without remorse, in love with Bono. I know he is a flawed human being like the rest of us. I know his wife probably rolls her eyes at him from time to time, just like I do to Mr. Spicy. But wow. When he sings? I honestly feel he is channeling the divine. I am completely certain he is a prophet, speaking to the hearts, the minds, the suffering, and the glory of our time.

So many of U2's songs hold immense meaning and power. They feel like prayers, like challenges, like places of comfort and hope and lament. And depending what is happening with me at any given time, what speaks to me in any particular song of theirs can dramatically shift. It is like reading a sacred text. It feels alive and able to bring different meanings depending on when and by whom it is heard. Their understanding of the human condition, of suffering, of the heart, their passion for social justice and change - and their ability to communicate

So, without further it is:

Bad - U2
If you twist and turn away
If you tear yourself in two again
If I could, yes I would
If I could, I would
Let it go

If I could throw this
Lifeless lifeline to the wind
Leave this heart of clay
See you walk, walk away
Into the night
And through the rain
Into the half-light
And through the flame

If I could through myself
Set your spirit free
I'd lead your heart away
See you break, break away
Into the light
And to the day

To let it go
And so to fade away
To let it go
And so fade away

I'm wide awake
I'm wide awake
Wide awake
I'm not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no

If you should ask then maybe they'd
Tell you what I would say
True colors fly in blue and black
Blue silken sky and burning flag
Colors crash, collide in blood shot eyes

If I could, you know I would
If I could, I would
Let it go...

This desperation
In temptation
Let it go

And so fade away
To let it go
And so fade away
To let it go
And so to fade away

I'm wide awake
I'm wide awake
Wide awake
I'm not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no


Lori said...

Sounds like a Perfect Moment, when song can move you to tears and make you feel. Feel.

Would you mind adding this to my PM Monday post?

Denise said...

The second I read "I'm wide awake..." I knew you were talking about Bad. This is my favorite U2 song of all time. It takes me back to high school every time I hear it. There is such passion in that song.

B and I also have that type of relationship with music where certain bands or songs have special meaning to us. One of our first dates was a BNL concert (one of many we went to together over the years). One of my favorite memories with B is linked to a BNL song where we were lying on the hardwood floor of his living room in a rented house on our backs staring at the ceiling and singing at the top of our lungs. I'm pretty sure there was alcohol involved earlier that night, but every time I hear that song it brings back that memory.

I've always felt like I was meant to have a career in music, but was never sure what it could be since I have absolutely NO musical talent. This is why my dream job would be to start my own record label and scout local musicians. Wanna join me?

I go through phases though, where I crave new music, but nothing is speaking to me or I can't commit for some reason. I'm in one of those dry spells right now and it is driving me crazy.

Spicy Sister said...

Thanks Lori - I posted the link to your site, thanks for the invite!

Thanks for sharing your passion for music Denise! It's so cool to hear about others "singing at the tp of their lungs" moments. Isn't it hard to have such a love for music and no discernible talent? I love your idea to start a music label together!