Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Power of Songs and Lyrics

**For info on my upcomong -- Nov. 20 -- "Re-Connecting Voice and Heart" workshop, please scroll down past the two most recent posts, or click onto May in the archive list to the right.

Lyrics Can Be Deeply Meaningful

  Have you ever had a song go 'round and 'round in your head? Or listened to a song (that you may have listened to many times before)  with absolute full attention and suddenly find your eyes are full of tears or some other deep and powerful emotion or reaction is welling up?

   I believe that songs, even simple pop or rock songs, can often have deep meaning for us in some way. When we are really attracted to a particular song, it may even be that our Heart or Soul are trying to get a message or insight to us. Songs that we are drawn to can often reveal a great deal about us, if we pay attention.

The Historical Power and Saving Grace of Songs

   Just think about the historical power of songs. Songs and music have been used as comfort or inspiration or even motivation in some of the worst and most desperate of human conditions. It makes me wonder -- could those people who had been captured in Africa and brought here as slaves, living in the most horrible, abusive situations, have been able to survive if not for the songs and music that were still alive in their hearts and souls. What could have kept their spirits  from totally breaking and giving up under those conditions? From what I know about the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira, it was literally through music and songs and dancing that this amazing martial art was secretly created and many of those who were enslaved literally fought their way to freedom through this musical, dancey martial art. And how about those who actually did the enslaving? At least one slave trader awakened from his "evil stupor" and begged for forgiveness by creating the timeless song "Amazing Grace".
                                     Click here for:    The Story of AMAZING GRACE

   In times of great grief, pain or heartache, many people and many cultures turn to music and song for comfort and healing. In times of celebration and sacred ritual, there is almost always song in some form.

   In my years of nursing and working with the elderly, I encountered people who had such severe dementia that they could not recognize their own children. Some were even unable to remember words or how to speak. But offer them a familiar song and they could sing, by heart, every word.

The Power of Songs to Free Up Trapped Emotion

A Few Examples of My Own Journey Through Songs

    In my own journey with songs, I know that generally when I feel attracted to country songs -- Patsy Cline being my favorite -- I know there is some kind of heart broken feeling deep inside of me. Sometimes just singing the song will stir up that thing that may be sitting in my heart and begging for attention.
                                     PATSY CLINE "CRAZY"

Or sometimes I feel drawn to perhaps angrier or "pissed off" kinds of songs.  Being drawn to sing
Who remembers these???
The Beatles "You Won't See Me" or Buddy Holly's song "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" both let me know that I am royally  annoyed at someone or some situation but perhaps, because of my "wanting to be nice" nature, I may have buried the feelings deep inside and not even have acknowledged my anger.  I know, when I feel drawn to those types of songs, I really have to sit and listen deeply to what I am holding inside. Then I can deal with that formerly trapped emotion and move on to happier songs!!
                      BUDDY HOLLY "It Doesn't Matter Anymore"

                     "You Won't See Me" Anne Murray's Version

 Many songs reflect the "longing for home" that I often feel -- "Sentimental Journey", "Country Roads", or longing for love as in "All I Have to Do is Dream" (Everly Brothers).

                           :"Dream" THE EVERLY BROTHERS

My current favorite song is Karen Carpenter's "Top of the World". I haven't been able to stop singing that song recently! When I took those lyrics deeply into my Heart, I could feel so much -- the bouncy, uplifting nature of the song; the slight "other worldly feel" ("looking down on creation") of the song, the deep love and joy that the song expresses, the oneness with nature ("something in the wind has learned my name") etc. etc. So much to be discovered in one seemingly simple pop song. Not to mention the fact that Karen could sing such a beautiful, happy song in her spirited, uplifting way even as she was dealing with the life and death issues surrounding her anorexia. So much pain in her life and so much passion in her songs -- very inspiring.

                                       "Top of the World"  KAREN CARPENTER

A Song for Every Emotion

In the vast array of human emotion, I would venture to say that, for every possible emotion, a song, or many songs, have been written. Song lyrics are often written as a deep emotional response to an experience.

   The songs we are drawn to often say so much about us and so much to us -- I think it is well worth paying attention. Songs are like dreams. The more you pay attention to them, the more they will unexpectedly show up in your consciousness. It is surprising how many songs, or memories of songs, we all have buried away inside of us. Begin by consciously remembering a few, and so many more will begin to emerge from that inner (perhaps dusty!), song closet.

An Amazing and Fun Exercise for Anyone Who Wants to Develop a Closer Voice/Heart Connection

This exercise is: Great for Singers who want to sing with more emotion and authenticity.

Great for Public Speakers or Anyone who wants to communicate with more passion and emotion.

Great for anyone who wants to develop more expressiveness and strength in their voice.

Great for anyone who just wants to understand themselves and their emotional world a little more.

The Exercise:  Simply take the lyrics of whatever song you are drawn to or trying to learn and imagine dropping those into your Heart. It may help to do some deep breathing into your Heart Centre first. Imagine that you have never heard the song or the melody before, so you step out of speaking in the rhythm of the song. You create your own heart felt rhythm. And then you speak the lyrics. It may help to visualize an audience in front of you and you are telling them an amazing story, or expressing some deep, profound emotion to them. You may be surprised at what gets stirred up. Honor and allow any emotion(s) to well up.  Allow yourself to fully feel the lyrics or the story that is being is expressed.

What songs are meaningful to you? Have fun exploring!!




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