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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday's Songs for the Soul: People, Nature & Music

Thought for the Day: As you know Saturday's posts look at how music helps us cope with life's challenges. I am not a religious person, but do feel that some traditions are important to our emotional /psychological health. This weekend is the 36th anniversary of my brother Bill's death (June 25) and the 3rd anniversary (June 29) of my brother Larry's passing. It is a Jewish tradition to say Kaddish at Friday night and Saturday morning services on the week of a loved one's death. Therefore, I went to services. Last night I went to a small service at which the Rabbi asked people to say the names of their loved ones. I had not expected to do this, but stated their names. Today, I was at a larger synagogue so that my participation was more anonymous. The music and the Kaddish at both services moved me and added to the experience. On Friday, the Rabbi spoke about Chana Senesh and the song Eli, Eli (My God, My God). It is a beautiful song that I decided to share today with a brief story about her life. The closing song, Adon Olam was sung to the melody of Billy Joel's hit, "For the Longest Time." It came right after the mourner's Kaddish and brought tears to my eyes, since Larry would have loved the creative rendition. He loved to find new covers of well known songs.

The sermon last night made me think about what 3 things would I choose if I had to choose just 3 things to have in life. I chose people, nature and music. Then I chose songs that speak to these 3 priceless elements of life...

My first choice is to have people in my life. I cannot imagine what life would be like without family and friends. Even friends whom I don't see or hear from often are a support for me. I chose the song, written by Paul Simon, "Bridge Over Troubled Water," the title song of Simon & Garfunkel's album of the same name. I chose a version by Tessanne Chin one of the winners of NBC's The Voice.

The second song I chose is in Hebrew with an explanation in English about Chana Senesh's life. This morning I thought about the translation of the poem which she wrote which was turned into the song you will hear. I would translate it a bit differently. Here's my translation: 
                   Oh Lord, my God
                   I pray these things never will end
                   The shore and the water
                   The roar of the ocean
                   The star studded night sky
                   And prayers of mankind
Her life was a testament to her love of nature and devotion to her family and friends. She had escaped from Europe and chose to return to try to save other's lives.

Finally, I chose Bernie Taupin (Lyric) and Elton John's (Melody) "Sad Songs Say So Much." It is a tribute to music and the radio's ability to help us weather difficult times times.

If you had to chose the 3 most essential things in your life, what would they be? Are there songs that symbolize these things for you?

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