Songs Can Make the World Go Around...
Peacefully.

This is another time that I need to get all my cards on the table for two reasons. The first reason is because we need to address racism in our country. It bugs me, as a white, that many whites generally are not driven to address racism in America. Part of their apathy is plain ignorance of what racism does to its victims or that they are racists.

The second is that I am right-brained, which means that I am creative but not always focused as a left-brained person. I was researching something on the Internet and was getting nowhere. Therefore, I clicked on a YouTube link on my tool bar, which contains a dozen of my favorite pieces of music. Since I was distraught not finding what I wanted, I picked Vladimir Horowitz playing Robert Schumann's Traumerei. I love that piece of quiet music. It settled me enough that I went full-bore back to finding some detail about which I was looking. I was so wrapped up with the research that I forgot that Horowitz had finished Traumerei. Then YouTube waited a minute and played something similar. This continued for a half of an hour or more without me even noticing the music being played. I can focus occasionally.

However, when my mind drifted again, YouTube was playing music from Les MisÚrables, which is my all-time favorite musical. I have seen it at least a half dozen times since attending it on opening night in the mid-80s. YouTube was playing, Do You Hear The People Sing. I listened to the song, which was one of my favorites over the past thirty years.

https://thecosmiccathedral.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/barricades.jpg

Do You Hear the People Sing

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men?
It is the music of the people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes.

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?

Then join in the fight
That will give you the right to be free!

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men
It is the music of the people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!

Will you give all you can give
So that our banner may advance
Some will fall and some will live
Will you stand up and take your chance?
The blood of the martyrs
Will water the meadows of France!

Do you hear the people sing!
Singing the song of angry men?
It is the music of the people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!

I played the song again and again. Thus began what I call my wandering right-brain. I have no idea how long my wandering right-brain wandered. Nonetheless, I can assure you that I sang along. I think that I sing quite well. However, my family will laugh uncontrollably when they read what they would call my musical self-aggrandizement.

Not only did I sing many of the songs from Les Miz, but my wandering right-brain wandered back to Sule Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar in January 2014. Min Ko Naing, a leader in 88 Generation, invited me to a protest rally. There I was standing in a protest rally in the midst of a military dictatorship. As I watched speeches from 88 Generation leaders, my mind wandered back to America in the 60s. What I heard in my mind was Joan Baez singing, We Shall Overcome. That one moment in Myanmar made the entire trip worthwhile. It re-energized me upon my return to the States. Those wandering moments of my mind chewed up at least an hour.

Then my wandering right-brain wandered to President Obama's eulogy for the Rev. Pinckney especially this section.

If I thought that hearing Baez singing We Shall Overcome was moving, Obama singing Amazing Grace moved me even more. We need to change America by addressing many social issues facing our country by connecting the dots. One means by which we can address racism and other needed social changes is to listen to songs....

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men
It is the music of the people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!

Songs can make the world go around...peacefully. However, we need to begin the process.



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09/11/15