I, like other “middle” children, suffered from not having the issues of the older child and not needing the care of the youngest child. For me that equaled a lot of “alone” time. Living in a very strict religious household, the radio was seldom played and the only music allowed in the house was Gospel. And so it was. My first and earliest songs remembered were about God’s saving grace and the consequences of not being a good church person. When you have a lot of “alone” time you manage even in that environment to find songs and music that describe your mood, how you’re feeling and how you’d like to feel. They became friends. They were friends that never disappointed. They were friends that were always there when you needed them. You see, songs are connective. They are connective to pleasant and sad places. They are connective to joyful and melancholy moods. The main thing was that you were connected to whatever the song was expressing. And if you’re connected, you’re not alone.
Growing up, songs continued to be those good friends though I did manage to branch out from Gospel to other music. Still, songs could be uplifting and songs can be comfort. They can sometimes express a thought or feeling better than you could have thought or felt it! They are always present in the “jukebox” of my heart to be pulled out played, improvised, sung, or hummed.
Singing a song that has real meaning for you no matter the genre can be an exhausting task. Yet in the pouring out of one’s heart in song, there is no better salve for the heart. Whether you sing on stage or in the shower, the results can be the same. I know they are for me. Where would I be without “my songs”? Keep a song in your heart. You’ll be better for it!
- Eric Black, Chairman of the Board