First School

Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.

Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music

~Sergei Rachmaninov

I remember a conversation I had with my uncle Mike about music.  We argued many of the recurring points of view.  Who was the greatest singer?  The “best” band? Old vs. New.  Prince vs. Michael Jackson, who won?

We always have come to the same nostalgic conclusion; the best years of music are behind us.  After that was agreed upon among all of the disagreement around Marvin Gaye and Luther Vandross or Aretha Franklin and Anita Baker, I stated that “old school” is the best school of music.  My Uncle quickly corrected me by replying…”old school?  You mean first school! there’s no such thing as old school, it’s first school.”

I have to agree with my Uncle Mike.  to call this classic era of Music that so many of us have experienced as “old” is just downright disrespectful.  It was first, it was best, and it was soul.  Consider the Lyrics from neo-soul singer Leela James on the subject (video link is at the end of the blog):


Somebody playin’ on the guitar strings
Makes me think of my favorite songs
Reminds me of when I heard Aretha sang
Gladys, Tina, and Chaka Khan
Can’t go back to yesterday
Can we just put the thongs away

And fall back in love with music
Nothin’ but the music

Everybody knows that Marvin’s gone
Still I gotta tell you what’s going on
Said the music’s gone

Where’d the soul go?
It’s all about the video
We don’t sang no mo’
Where’s the music gone?

Where’d the music go?
It’s all just for the dough
It ain’t songs no mo’
Where’s the music gone?

Still hear Donny playin’ them keys
Sangin’ one day we’ll all be free
Can’t even turn on my radio
Somebody hollerin’ bout a bitch or a hoe

Right now I’m missing music
Back porch, down-home music

Like so many of us, music has been Salvation; literally and figuratively.  I learned that “Jesus Loves Me” not becuase I saw Jesus with my eyes, but because I heard a lady name Dannibelle Hall sing it like no truer words had ever been spoken.  I knew that being alone was not the life I wanted to live; not because I don’t need or desire my independence (I truly do!), but because Luther Vandross sang “A House is Not a Home.” I learned how to care about my fellow brother from Donny Hathaway singing “He ain’t heavy, He’s my brother!”

The seasons of trial and triumph in my life are infused with music.  The holes in my heart are often filled with music.  The smile on my face or the bobbing of my head are sustained by music!   I am closest to God and myself when I listen to music. Thank God for his second best gift!

For your reflection:

Peace, Blessings, and Music 4 ya Soul!


One thought on “First School

  1. The best and worst thing to happen to music is the computer. It made every no talent hack a musician to the detriment of the craft, but it gave every artist an opportunity to be heard without the benefit of being a slave to a record label.

    We have to take the bits of good with the overwhelming abundance of bad.

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