Monday, January 21st, 2008


When I talked about music in my life recently, I don’t believe I spoke about the emotional response that music provokes in me. It’s most likely because music seldom does inspire that kind of a feeling in me. What that statement says about me I’m not sure. Whether it is my upbringing in a world almost devoid of music or whether it’s some lack of feeling in me personally, I cannot say. Of course it is not totally true for I have been moved to tears by music. Sometimes inexplicably.

I’ve spoken before about how Send in the Clowns brought tears to my eyes for many years for no reason whatsoever and there have been other times when music has affected me emotionally. In the seventies, when guitars and modern hymns became part of the Catholic Mass celebration I was always moved to tears by a hymn we sang with the combination of a heartbreaking melody and these words below.

Hear O Lord the sound of my call
Hear O Lord and have mercy
My soul is longing for the glory of you
O hear O Lord and answer me

Every night before I sleep
I pray my soul to take
Or else I pray that loneliness
Is gone when I awake.

Why do I no longer feel
Like I’ve a place to stay?
O take me where someone will care
So fear will go away.

In you Lord I place my cares
And all my troubles too
O grant, dear Lord, that some day soon
I’ll live in peace with you.

No, I didn’t really want to depart this earth any time soon, then or now, but this did draw an emotional response in me every time. A sad one.

But what about joy? Shouldn’t music bring joy into people’s lives? It has often brought me pleasure but joy? I think one of the first times I thought about music and joy was seeing a video on TV, years ago, of David Bowie and Mick Jagger singing Dancing in the Street. I knew who they both were but didn’t really know much about the music of either of them. But in the performance of this song, which neither of them wrote, I found a really joyful musical experience.

Some months ago I bought a CD, Best of Bowie and put it onto my iPod. This has become one of my favourite CDs and I play it at least once a week at the gym. When Dancing in the Street comes on, I seem to pick up the pace for it is truly an exuberant song.

However not everyone is so enamoured with this performance as this quote from the Wikipedia entry shows.

Although a hit at the time of its release, the record (as well as the rushed video) is not particularly popular today among either Bowie or Jagger fans. Many Bowie, Jagger and rock fans in general often refer to this pairing as Ja-Bo (or JaBo) a derisive allusion to the saccharine media nick names for celebrity couples. The term Ja-Bo was first coined by the popular rock music discussion blog, Rock Town Hall who in 2007 named this video “Rock Crime of the Century”.

Naturally you can find this on YouTube so I invite you to listen to this performance and tell me what you think. A joyful experience or Rock Crime of the Century?
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When I talked about music in my life recently, I don’t believe I spoke about the emotional response that music provokes in me. It’s most likely because music seldom does inspire that kind of a feeling in me. What that statement says about me I’m not sure. Whether it is my upbringing in a world almost devoid of music or whether it’s some lack of feeling in me personally, I cannot say. Of course it is not totally true for I have been moved to tears by music. Sometimes inexplicably.

I’ve spoken before about how Send in the Clowns brought tears to my eyes for many years for no reason whatsoever and there have been other times when music has affected me emotionally. In the seventies, when guitars and modern hymns became part of the Catholic Mass celebration I was always moved to tears by a hymn we sang with the combination of a heartbreaking melody and these words below.

Hear O Lord the sound of my call
Hear O Lord and have mercy
My soul is longing for the glory of you
O hear O Lord and answer me

Every night before I sleep
I pray my soul to take
Or else I pray that loneliness
Is gone when I awake.

Why do I no longer feel
Like I’ve a place to stay?
O take me where someone will care
So fear will go away.

In you Lord I place my cares
And all my troubles too
O grant, dear Lord, that some day soon
I’ll live in peace with you.

No, I didn’t really want to depart this earth any time soon, then or now, but this did draw an emotional response in me every time. A sad one.

But what about joy? Shouldn’t music bring joy into people’s lives? It has often brought me pleasure but joy? I think one of the first times I thought about music and joy was seeing a video on TV, years ago, of David Bowie and Mick Jagger singing Dancing in the Street. I knew who they both were but didn’t really know much about the music of either of them. But in the performance of this song, which neither of them wrote, I found a really joyful musical experience.

Some months ago I bought a CD, Best of Bowie and put it onto my iPod. This has become one of my favourite CDs and I play it at least once a week at the gym. When Dancing in the Street comes on, I seem to pick up the pace for it is truly an exuberant song.

However not everyone is so enamoured with this performance as this quote from the Wikipedia entry shows.

Although a hit at the time of its release, the record (as well as the rushed video) is not particularly popular today among either Bowie or Jagger fans. Many Bowie, Jagger and rock fans in general often refer to this pairing as Ja-Bo (or JaBo) a derisive allusion to the saccharine media nick names for celebrity couples. The term Ja-Bo was first coined by the popular rock music discussion blog, Rock Town Hall who in 2007 named this video “Rock Crime of the Century”.

Naturally you can find this on YouTube so I invite you to listen to this performance and tell me what you think. A joyful experience or Rock Crime of the Century?