The Power of Music

April 19, 2015 § Leave a comment

EDIT: I’ve revised a few of the lyrics, and I think the end result is a much better song. (The original lyrics have a line through them followed by the new lines.)I hope you agree.

Let me start by stating what may be obvious to most – music is a very powerful thing. I’m not talking about dance music or electronic music, which can be powerful through the use of bass, rhythm, and volume and is designed mainly to get people onto the dance floor. No, I’m talking about music that is personal, that can stir emotions, that can make the listener think.

This morning, I was listening to the new CD from Idaho singer-songwriter Lee Penn Sky, called 29 Left Down. The album title comes from a mining disaster that left 29 people dead. While Penn Sky might not be a great singer, his songs do come across as very personal and with feeling. The kind of songs that almost beg you to listen to the words rather than the tune. The kind of songs that make you think.

Listening to the CD, I was moved to introspection. At some point, my thoughts turned to my late mother, who died of cancer nearly 20 years ago. As I thought about her, the words started flowing, and what resulted is probably one of the most personal songs I’ve ever written. I’d also like to think it’s one of my best.

Do Voices Carry?

I remember when my mama died
I was two thousand miles away
They called to say she’d met her maker
I got the call that said she’d gone to meet her maker
I didn’t hear ’til the next day
It didn’t come ’til the next day

I had to drop all I was doing
And so I dropped all I was doing
To go and say my last goodbye
I don’t know if she heard me
Do voices carry when you die?
Do voices carry when you die?

I never even got to see her
She’d gone to ash the day before
No marker left of her existence
No sign of her left anymore

Old pictures tried to tell the her story
The day I tried to say goodbye
And then I tried to say good bye
I don’t know if she heard me
Do voices carry when you die?
Do voices carry when you die?

Death may not be the final chapter
But the sequel won’t be written for a while
Still many miles to go
To reunite mother and child

It’s 20 years since I last saw her
Still think of her from time to time
But I don’t see the sick, frail woman she became
Instead, I see her in her prime

Wonder if she was all alone
Since I wasn’t there to say goodbye
Don’t know if she’d have heard me
Do voices carry when you die?
Do voices carry when you die?

© 2015 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

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