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Music has the power—To make us cry
I went to a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and as the Chorus sang the final measures of the Ode to Joy, with the orchestra playing furiously under them, tears began to well up in my eyes, not only at the stirring words of Schiller, “All men shall be brothers!” But as the music soared, I marveled to myself, Beethoven wrote this WHEN HE WAS DEAF! He never got to hear it on this earth, except inside his mind. But inside his mind, it was lifting him up already to be with the Angels.
Music has power. The debut of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in Paris caused a RIOT! Scottish soldiers wanted the bagpipes playing behind them to give them courage and inspiration in battle. Woody Guthrie scribbled on the front face of his Martin: “This machine kills Fascists!” Rounder Records recently released a new box set of restored Woody Guthrie recordings. His music inspired so many, including Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan. I think “This Land is Your Land” could be our national anthem. At least it’s easier to sing than the Star Spangled Banner!
Speaking of Pete Seeger: they celebrated his 90th birthday last summer in New York, and Bruce Springsteen and Dave Matthews and Richie Havens and many others came to light the candles. Talk about the power of music: Pete Seeger was the great impetus to making “We Shall Overcome”, the anthem of the Civil Rights movement.
Yes, music has Power, whether to comfort or inspire us, or to make us laugh. And so I go through this world with Songs in my Heart.
Notable roots musicians include Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Son House, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Leadbelly, Hazel Dickens, Maggie Simpson, Mahalia Jackson, Peter, Paul and Mary, Washington Phillips, Fiddlin' John Carson (1868 - 1949), and Jean Ritchie. More recent musicians who occasionally or consistently play roots music include Keb' Mo', Ralph Stanley, John Denver, and Ricky Skaggs.
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