This May, my aunt and uncle in Australia celebrated their Golden Wedding. As a surprise, their son requested that my Dad sing the the same song he had sung for their wedding and have the recording sent over. So 50 years later, my Dad, now 88, performed ‘I’ll Walk With God’. I heard the recording and though I wasn’t born at the time of my aunt’s wedding, I had heard him sing this for his parents’ Golden Wedding too. The song, the lyrics and my Dad’s singing voice always have the ability to move me to tears. I can only imagine how moved my aunt and uncle were too.
Music has been a big part of my life. My Mom constantly sang to me and some of her musical choices would make me weep. I’d beg her not to sing some songs – because of the lyrics and the emotion she put into them.
I started singing at an early age and a few years ago, my uncle presented me a recording of me singing at age three. It was cute, even if I say so myself.
Music featured in a lot of our extended family gatherings at my grandparents’ home. Music meant Christmas and New Year and summer holidays. My cousins and I all seemed to have our own signature song that we’d be asked to perform. Singing around the piano meant family and fun and also gave us a lot of confidence.
As I think back, I remember my Grandfather teaching me a special song – After The Ball Was Over. He’d sing the verses and I’d sing the chorus. It made me feel special and loved and listening to the song today brings back so many memories of him – memories of being loved.
Like Jose, I remember Radio Ceylon, being a large part of our mornings in the seventies and eighties. So many old songs and then Abba hit us all! How we loved them – learned all the lyrics – watched the movie. Oh yes, thank you for the music, indeed!
Later, my brothers and I, teamed up with some cousins of ours and we sang a couple of times on All India Radio. Oh the joy of practicing together, giggling our ways through recordings, singing for a few small shows and being asked to do a repeat. One of our ‘hits’ was Simon and Garfunkel‘s, Richard Corey!
As I grew older, I got involved with a group of young people from Church and we made a lot of musical memories together. Just recently, someone started an online group and we’re trying to reconnect, and I realized how much music brought us together – young people from various backgrounds bound by faith and love of music. Now, over 25 years later, music can still get us talking about the ‘old days’.
Even later, I’ve used music in my teaching and training – knowing that music is a great tool for language learning.
Music is constantly used to heal, to inspire, to unite, to keep spirits up. I can never forget how a few years ago, a group of Chilean miners trapped underground for several days, requested for music to be sent down to them – as I recall, Elvis Presley was their choice.
I’m sure we’ve all experienced it – the awesome power of music – to inspire, to entertain, to heal, to educate.
What’s your story with music?