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Music Is My Other Language

thP7Z7MNNR  “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”― Maya Angelou 

I know how that feels.  When you don’t know why you are in physical pain, sometimes you have to dig deep inside your soul searching for solutions or just some method with which to cope. When we are dancing on the mountain tops, it’s easy to know what those feelings are. But when we are in the dirt of the fields or the slosh of rain, it may be harder to define. Sometimes what grows in those places are the absolute sounds of life and death—whether in the songs of hard-working people or the small pensive voice of a child.  And what emerges out of pain and joy is MUSIC—haunting or joyful; loud or soft; simple or complex. It can tell a story or carry you away on a note you’ll swear is part of Heaven’s angel choir.

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I’ve heard some people don’t know about music.  How is that possible?  How can people not be able to sing? How can a human live in the world for even a short time and not hear the thousands of songs of the birds, the mating calls of the animals or the psithurism in the air. [1]  For me, music is felt not just heard.  Deep in the soul the notes make a sound that runs through my body.

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Music is communication∼

A means of reaching deep into our inner beings∼

Healing us when we’re sick∼

Energizing us when we’re down∼

Uplifting our spirits∼

Wiping away our tears∼

Filling us with laughter∼

Music is inspiration∼

In a study about the effects of music on pain, I can confirm there is a correlation.

5 Ways Music Makes You Happy©

The idea that music can help alleviate pain is not surprising, since the right music can “soothe the soul.” Recently, researchers set out to investigate the effects of music on pain and depression in people diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a disorder distinguished by severe musculoskeletal pain, followed by fatigue, sleep and memory and mood issues. (The Alternative Daily©) [2]

The study regarding those diagnosed with FMS is very personal to me.  I live with that diagnosis and daily seek methods to ease the overall pain and the effects of fatigue and sleep interruptions. It took years before a doctor finally gave me the information that could provide me some answers. You don’t get over it but you can work within it.

Without even knowing why, years ago I discovered that listening to music made me happier and more serene.  Music plays constantly in my head—a hum often turns into singing words—a phrase or entire songs.  I just have to sing them—it’s like I have no choice.

Music has always been a part of my life.  I grew up in a home full of music…all kinds.

My mother sang in a gospel church group.     thN06QGA3H

My father loved cowboy & western music.    th64GCV245

 

They both loved Big Band Music.                     th43Y2H3RY

 

My mother was also a huge Frank Sinatra fan as well as the other “crooners” of that era. We listened to songs of the 30s, 40s, 50s as well as classical music. We heard those who sang what is called “The American Songbook” (defined as songs from the 20s to the 50s) backed by some of the best orchestras of our time–Glenn Miller, Bob Crosby, Ozzie Nelson, Les Brown, Guy Lombardi, Lawrence Welk, The Dorsey Brothers, Artie Shaw and more.

Some of my best arias were heard as I pumped the swing higher and higher for hours singing many songs I knew and some I just made up.  It seemed like it took my sister all day to return from school so we could play—I wiled away the hours singing.

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My favorite one to sing was “I’ll Sail My Ship Alone” (1948) by Moon Mullican (click link)

https://youtu.be/RlrK8nuvodI

I had been singing in church since I was a little girl.  The first chance to enroll in choir came in 4th grade, and I was delighted! As my voice developed I worked with the choir master learning harmonies and adding to my repertoire . A few years later I began singing with a teenage trio who traveled to churches around the geographic region. Singing was not only my hobby, my pleasure, my gift…I found it made me happy to sing. If the song was more sad or one with deep meaning, I discovered I could deliver that message to the audience as well.

And the music around my home never stopped. It was the early 1950s and my sister and I listened to all the music available on radio. We were so lucky to have many 78 rpm records later adding some 45s purchased from our pooled allowances. And then there were the 33 1/3 vinyls.

I must interject this: Did anyone else ever subscribe to the Colombia Record Club where they sent you a 33 1/3 vinyl record each month for a penny? Well, we did and learned if you didn’t reply to “do not want this month’s record,” you’d get it anyway. We kinda dreaded those days our daddy would come home with mail that was the size of a medium pizza box. That meant we were going to have to pay full price for the record because our “cancel this month’s order card” did not reach the company within the cancellation time. What a huge promotional moneymaker.

The music in the first half of the ’50s was the light-hearted lyrics reflecting the Post WWII Era. Some of the singers hitting the charts had been singing since the 30s & 40s, such as the Ink Spots, Ella Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby.  Joining those were new voices singing new tempos, lyrics and beats. A few were: The Crew Cuts, Guy Mitchell, Gale Storm, Four Lads, Dean Martin, Joni James, The Platters, Gogi Grant, Patti Paige, Dinah Shore, Rosemary Clooney, and Perry Como—and all considered “parent friendly.”

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Some songs of the early 50s that would later be called “country” were immersed into the pop radio stations as well. There were the great story songs from Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Conway Twitty, The Browns, Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, Johnny Horton, and Eddy Arnold.

By the mid 50s, however, the sounds were changing as younger performers were trying to grab up the expanding youth market appealing directly to young people with money of their own to spend. Yet, all that “white American complacency” could not hold back the vitality of Black R&B music, so a whole new sound emerged—Rock and Roll.

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In the South, where Country and Western had ruled the charts, Sam Phillips (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, 1986) opened the Memphis Recording Service – the first place a black musician could go to record. Phillips’ motto was “We Record Anything, Anywhere, Anytime.” [2]

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Cracks in the dam broke loose during the summer of 1953 when Elvis Presley came to the Memphis Recording Service to make a record, ostensibly for his mother’s birthday, but with hope of being discovered. In this initial session Elvis recorded “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.”[2]

thQZS0SUXOSoon the youth declared Mom & Dad’s music wasn’t “cool, Daddy O.”

Another movement in musical style was when the airways of the 50s became filled with harmonies of new groups capitalizing on those smooth sounding groups of the 30s & 40s. The listener now could sing along high or low or in between. The great harmonies were a favorite of mine. I had heard music all my life that moves along closely above, below and between the standard note.Music Notes in Circle

It would be when I was away from home visiting friends that I first began listening to the Rock ‘n Roll of the 50s & 60s–Elvis, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jackie Wilson, Bobby Rydell, Jimmy Clanton, Bobby Darrin, The Diamonds on my friend’s portable record player.  Soon my sister & I would purchase the 45 rpm records (and the insert to play on a standard spindle).  Some of those music makers came and went; others with true talents moved through the decades such as Paul Anka, Bobby Vinton, Elvis, B. J. Thomas, the Platters.

blues musicBecause black R&B groups now had the privilege of being played on radios and appearing on Dick Clark’s Bandstand, more and more performers echoed our thoughts. The likes of Chubby Checkers, Ronettes, Supremes, Coasters, Sam Cooke, Shirelles, Chuck Berry, Hank Ballard, Otis Redding were among those who gave us music to which we could move, dance and sing along.  It was the beat…always about the beat…pulsating and destroying the old safety nets with a virile, passionate new sound. Kitschy as the words may be, we enjoyed singing lyrics like “take out the papers and the trash,” “like a long neck goose” “He’s a clown that Charley Brown” or “Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko Ko Bop.”

If you want to revisit the 50s, here is a great link to that era:    

https://rateyourmusic.com/list/QuartzM386/_1950s__billboards_top_100_songs_of_the_fifties_/

In the early 60s, I was enthralled with the music and chance to dance & sway to it.  In my Texas school, every Friday night we kicked off our black flats and penny loafers so as to not scratch the gym floor and danced the night away (you wanted to make sure your socks were fashionable & clean).  There was a song just for this phenomenon: Danny & the Juniors released “At the Hop” in 1957. But it was a more romantic song that closed every Friday’s Last Dance–Johnny Mathis’ “Chances Are.” I fell in love every Friday night to that song.

Close your eyes and let’s go back to the sock hop

https://youtu.be/NEH3uqbpsm8

By the mid 60s music was changing forever because of the social battles and protests from people my age. The turmoil came to us daily in the headlines and from our televisions. It wasn’t long before I began to listen to the pop songs that would lead us through one of the most challenging & controversial decades—my coming of age decade.  

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Lyrics became arrows shot toward enemies–perceived enemies–who may never would have been in another time and place.  Death and hate filled our newspapers and our television sets. The world changed our minds, our country and seemed the music would be forever dissonant.  While I always knew music was important to me and those around me, I began to realize it was a manner of speaking desires, expressing your emotions, protesting events, resulting in a manner in which what we do with music often becomes a part of who we are and who we become.

5 Ways Music Makes You Happy© further states:

What is really telling about this research is that we’re built to identify with the music and the songs we listen to — whether uplifting or sad. Music is extremely influential. So it stands to reason that through positive music, you can create a happier and more fulfilling life. (The Alternative Daily©) [2]

Can it be argued that music is a picture of who we are with our good feelings and positive sentiments contrasting  with how we express our ill will and hate? Some say it has become that in this 21st century.  Because music is such a blessing to me and so important to my well being, I just choose to listen to what makes me serene or contemplative. That was true in  the 60s 70s 80s 90s and still today.  I trend more to the melodic or less violent lyrics or even the softer instrumental arrangements. I’m fully aware music expresses the story of love, the story of struggle, the hopes and dreams, and the joy of living. I don’t need words of hate and distress in my life, so I choose to let the notes float to me on waves of beauty.

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When I study the paths my life has taken, I don’t regret but hopefully learn there are some things that should remain. Music is one of the essentials which should remain in my life. When a note, be it an instrument or the human voice is formed, it should be used for the good of ourselves or others.

Through it all there was the gospel and religious music.  I learned those notes and words listening to my mother practice in church.  I sang along with my daddy to the radio while we traveled in his truck. I sang along with my grandmother while she played the piano, and she taught me the harmony notes. My sister and I both lent our voices to our churches for years.

And this is why:

 

When was the first time I sang? My family tells me it was long before I could pronounce the words. But it didn’t stop there! Soon I began dancing to the music that we would play on our record player (Dinah Shore’s Button & Bows was one of my routines). I never was afraid of being in front of people, so singing to audiences was a normal part of my life.  I’m not sure if such confidence was a part of my personality or simply part of wanting to hear & sing all the music I could find. And I still do!

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Learning is one of my favorite hobbies. So that means if I hear some music I enjoy, I must research it and discover who wrote it, who performed it, what year it was introduced, etc. In the midst of that research, I find other music and musicians and introduce them into my music library thus making it a living/changing tribute.

In these years of electronic advancement, I’m delighted for programs such as Pandora so I don’t have to carry around CDs, casettes or 8-tracks.     I just plug in my phone and let the notes lead me down the road.

See the source image

Join me here again for

New Journeys on

Old Roads

[1] Definition: psithurism (sith-err-iz-um). (rustling whispers of the trees on
a windy day)
We can’t see wind, only the things it moves. Likewise, we can’t hear wind 
unless it’s flowing past something that makes it vibrate; this causes it to
adopt various sonic guises depending on what it interacts with.
[2] https://www.thealternativedaily.com/5-ways-music-makes-you-happy/ 
5 Ways Music Makes You Happy ©The Alternative Daily 2019
[3] Copyright 1996-2020. Michael Rich. All rights reserved. 
WWW.FIFTIESWEB.COM is a creation of RichWeb and is not endorsed or 
sponsored by or affiliated with any of the products, services, programs, 
celebrities or entities mentioned herein

[4]https://www.nme.com/list/100-best-songs-of-the-1950s-1155

Changes

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

If you’re wondering what it takes to change your path or your goal, it’s obvious that comes from inside you. No other person can make that decision for you. Sometimes you want

someone else to step up;

someone to make the big decisions;

someone to decide for you.

Many years ago I had a huge decision to make about my career. I had thought of the good/bad; the pros/cons. However, I struggled with that decision seemingly longer than I should. I must say here I spent many hours teaching my children that when  you are making decisions, you should make a list of why you should do something and why you should not.  They understood a pensive attitude toward decisions was a good thing.  Taking time to decide is very important.

I took time.  I thought of the consequences. I weighed the options. I announced to my children I had made my decision! The next morning I called the company to which I had decided I wanted to hitch my star for a great career.

“Oh, yes. I understand. I’m sorry as well.”

The job I was so eager to start had been filled by another candidate. I no longer had that option. I was sad. It was not a good look for my children to see. The next day I went to work at my same, boring job. Then one day, about 6 months later, I was offered a similar job within that same company–better, more interesting, more pay, and all the things I had thought the other opportunity would bring me. That job was a spring board to something much better and more rewarding.

I have used a similar test for many changes in my life. I still believe snap decisions are not usually as successful as those we ponder. But we must remember delay can change our path. If we’re willing to take a chance, change may be the best for us.

We all make choices, but in the end our choices make us.

Ken Levin

 

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Believe

There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.

Bern Williams

Angels are like lighthouses passing by in the storms

Karen Goldman

 

 

 

Forgiveness

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive.

He who is devoid of the power to forgive

is devoid of the power to love.

There is some good in the worst of us

and some evil in the best of us.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

Be Your Best Self

Don’t let anyone rob you of your joy;

Don’t let anyone discount your ability;

Don’t let anyone discredit your knowledge;

Don’t let anyone reduce your security & comfort;

Don’t let anyone prohibit your future safety net;

Don’t let anyone make your choices for you;

Don’t let anyone denounce you or ridicule you;

Don’t give away what is rightfully yours.

It’s your life ~

take control ~

be courageous ~

be honest ~

be fair ~

be yourself!

strength

Music is My Prayer

When I find it hard to go on without those who’ve gone,

I turn to songs.

I mix a potion to heal my wounded heart by melding

lyrics to those songs.

When I seek to bring hope and peace to others,

I write words that rhyme.

But when I try to say how you touched my life,

I find the music is out of tune and out of time.

I know this dissonance surely can’t be right.

But I know One who can calm the troubled shores~

One who loves no matter what – and then even more~

One who says, “You don’t have to do it all alone.”~

I’ll stay with you through the darkness of the journey home.

I can feel when we’ve turned the corner into light.

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I reach deep inside for the music that strengthens my heart.

I listen quietly, the prayers take rise, and the music starts.

With your memory close inside me for the lonely times,

I’ll come back again and sing to you the words I’ve I turned into rhymes.

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Don’t Miss the Chance

 

It is often hard to distinguish between the hard knocks in life and those of opportunity. ~Frederick Phillips

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Seize every opportunity along the way, for how sad it would be if the road you chose became the road not taken. ~Robert Brault

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A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties. ~Harry Truman

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Grasp your opportunities, no matter how poor your health; nothing is worse for your health than boredom. ~Mignon McLaughlin

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Traveling With Me

 

Today is the first anniversary of this blog, so I wanted to let you know I appreciate your spending time here.

If you’ve been traveling with me for the last year, THANK YOU for hopping on board.

If you are reading this post and visiting this blog for the first time,  WELCOME to my journey. 

 I’m reminded about the message of love I gave my children:th3US0WZ7J

If I could write a blueprint for living, I would wrap it in love, tie it with ribbons of hugs & present it to you anytime you need to be reminded you are God’s child.”

I hope my message has been clear, both to my children & grandchildren.  I believe in treasuring the wonderful times & even the troubled days…for how can you know you are blessed if you haven’t seen the other side. 

To say that I’m in my second “life” would be an understatement…I’m living again and maybe fully for the first time…but I can clearly see it’s right for this time.

When I retired, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do.  I thought my purpose was over.  Now I’m finally understanding that I am here EVERY DAY for a purpose.  It has amazed me the people who have followed my blog or tweets who connect because of a comparable belief, thought or interest.  I never imagined some of those casual contacts would become true friends across the miles – but that’s what has happened.  I didn’t imagine either that old acquaintances would re-visit me emerging from this new tool.

I’m honored to hear from my readers with comments such as:

  • “I needed your thought today” 
  • “Thank you for caring”
  • “ Welcome to my world”
  • “Hope to meet you”
  • “Good to see your post”

With a dream in my heart, I knew it was time to live it! Nothing fades faster than an opportunity not explored.  Writing has been my passion, so I began this journey one year ago. It is here on these blank pages I can pour out my thoughts, beliefs, ideas & words.  It has become my peaceful place to offer a word of encouragement or a lesson learned in my life. 

Having come through some health issues, daily I’m grateful I’m still standing upright & even standing!  I’m really careful about where I step, walk & things I do…but for the most part…I’m trekking down paths I never thought I would be able to explore.

New Journeys on Old Roads has become more than just a title for my blog; it has come to describe my life more than I ever imagined. 

  • Sometimes the roads are rough, so I slow down and approach with caution. 
  • Sometimes they have detours, so I look for an alternate route. 
  • Sometimes they are brand new black-topped roads over what used to be dirt, so I speed up a bit. 
  • Sometimes I get lost…but I get out my map, connect to my GPS, and try again…a lot like what happens when you fall down or fail.

If something I’ve presented here has been helpful, I invite you to post a comment or contact me in other methods listed here on this blog.

THANK YOU FOR TRAVELING WITH ME ON  MY 

NEW JOURNEYS ON OLD ROADS!

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Understanding Yourself

This is what I want from now on:

a slower pace~

a more centered existence~

and the feelings of perfect happiness to be found

in the moments I come home to myself.”

Linda Weltner

 

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HOME IS WHERE…

Home is one of the hardest words to define.  Is it the building? Is it the geographic location? Is it where I’m from but not where I am at the moment? Is it the collection of people who are relatives? Can it be a group of people who aren’t related? What if you can’t define home?

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Being a product of the “baby boom generation,” I finished high school in the mid 60s living in a peaceful, suburban area where all the kids looked alike—middle income and white.  There was another world out there that most of us never saw—the race riots, horrors of the War in Vietnam, new discoveries in space and astonishing acts of violence that took the lives of a president, a presidential candidate’s and a race relations leader.

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I was on the tail end of a generation where young women were making their choices of an advanced degree in college or homemaking and motherhood.  I never regretted the road I chose.  I just see it so differently now in a generation twice removed how the roles have changed & women are allowed/accepted women in many roles i.e., professional wife/mother; single mother; adoptive mother to children of the family or from other families and even foreign countries.  Lines are more blurry now of who is related to whom and who is a good role model.

I know the definition and the difference between home & family. I know the words don’t mean the same to everyone.  For me, the choice was part of who I was growing up to become.  I completely felt the need to follow my young husband first to college, then into the ministry, then the military, and back to college to complete a degree.

Before I was old enough to vote, I was a mother.  I became a mother the second time 2 years & 8 days from the birth of my first child.  I reveled in that role with full commitment and understanding.  How could I achieve that so young? Because I had seen family and home in my life as being the safe place where we live.  It is the place we hone our skills of personality & acceptance.

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There is forever that “leaving” that happens when children reach a certain age.  And who in the world can find what that perfect age is?  For me it was a way to be with the man I loved and start our family.  Those little tiny packages that came on hot summer days in the years of 1967 & 1969 were the most precious little human beings I had ever seen.  They were the perfect companion for a life I was to live.  They were sweet, loving and so cute; they had tempers, crying spells and their own little personalities.  And, in the end, I was left to build and modify the mold in which they would be shaped.

Experiencing some changes just as the beauty of glass comes after the heat of the elements,  I was alone to take them into their teen years & adulthood.  How could I do it?  Who would I lean on and turn to?

Family

…there’s no other word that conjures up for me the feelings of peace and strength.  In family I find encouragement and understanding.  I had such a huge lesson to teach my children and I didn’t know where to start.  How could I instill in them the importance of relying on each other?  How could I be sure they would always do the right thing when I wasn’t always there?  What would be their choices when I let them make those choices.

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Suffice it to say I was in fear of this huge responsibility.  But, time was marching on; and as each orbit marked a day upon a day, I knew one of those days was THE moment when I let them choose and make their path.

Oh, how could I be sure they’d ever come back home?  What would I do if they failed?  How could I be there for them when time & space wouldn’t allow it?

Love

…the never-ending self-sufficient heart-warming kind of feelings that would translate to trust and safety.  Did I need to worry about them in their lives?  Of course, I would but I didn’t NEED to because I had equipped them with the best tools I knew: love, trust, faith, friends, family and a HUGE amount of self-worth and purpose to which I added load of hugs.  I then added my words of trust and confirmed to them that I knew they had made good choices.  It was such a hard time, BUT I EVENTUALLY GREW UP!

Forty plus years later I can see I need not have worried about how and what they would choose.  They have gone through the same questions I did.  They have made good and bad choices.  They have learned from certain mistakes but they have kept their faith and love close to their heart and have given it to those with whom they surround themselves.

I didn’t need to worry at all.  I didn’t need to lose sleep waiting up for them.  I had no real reasons to check on them even when they said “it’s all good.”

I didn’t have to…but I wanted to!  I wanted them to remember that home & family are the place you find the strength to take your first baby steps and those young adult bigger steps and the huge giant steps when you create your own little human beings.

I humbly say, “I’ve done well.” But so can they…they can be proud of where they are in their life now and what it took to get there.

Want to come home? Need to come home? Sure that’s an option, but I’m much happier they’ve made their own homes with those they love.

Good job, kids!

This post is dedicated to my children who recently had August birthdays..and to my granddaughters who are on their own now making choices.  My advice is:  pray about your life; work at it; stay true to yourself; think of others…and most of all…learn how to love and be loved.  Life is a fabulous gift…use it well. 
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Johnny Mathis “I’m Coming Home” 
 
 
 
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