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On the fringes exist soulful whispers

Earth Dance 2005Music has always been very important to me. The moments in my life when I have lacked inspiration have also been lacking in music; to each and every part of my life worth remembering, there is a soundtrack playing.

I almost always wake in the mornings with a song playing in my head; the better I have slept, the clearer, more deeply the song plays, the longer it stays with me during the day.

It is easy to see only the bad in the world, or ourselves, to take the uninspiring present, our small corner of it, and paint everything black, imagine that even though we can’t always hear it there is a soundtrack playing—even to life’s least rehearsed, badly performed scenes.

Anybody who thinks that the world isn’t improving, that all is doom and gloom might gain in the listening to the lyrics of popular music for a while. Yes, it is mostly insipid romance, exaggerated bravado, aggression or even worse, and it mostly has always been, but out on the fringes, far beyond the television or radio blaring, barely heard but, in time, progenitor and creative influence for everything, are soulful whispers…

I am your truth, I am your destiny
I am desire and despair
I am your glow inside your beating heart
I am the love that leads you there
I am your soul, I am your soul

Can you imagine lyrics like these being sung fifty years ago? To an audience of millions?

Of course the distance between the lyric and the final, sung product, the song writer’s intention and mass, unthinking consumption is still vast, but a distance growing closer I would guess.

Likewise meditation. People who meditate aren’t seen or heard—those who break the silence grab our attention far before those who seek it’s whispers in secluded corners—the squeaky wheel gets the grease as the adage runs—yet those who meditate exist in increasing numbers, and their gentle, correcting, affirming influence can be found in the most surprising places.

And if you only knew
Just how much the sun needs you
To help him light the sky
You would be surprised
Cerf, Mitiska & JarenLight The Skies

I like these lyrics in so many ways—not just for their Emily Dickinson like intuition of a two-way bridge between nature, man and something deeper, their magical imbuing of the ordinary and everyday with something extraordinary and beyond, but for the idea that somehow the happiness of the entire world, the light even of sun and stars is brighter when each of us are happy.

And what else is the human soul but eternal happiness?

I am the darkness where you disappear
I am the light that leads you safe
I am the shepherd of your laughter and your tears
I am your pleasure and your pain
I am your soul, I am your soul
I am the faith that leaves your spirit strong
I am the sunlight in the rain
I am the universe inside your mind
I am your pleasure and your pain
I am your soul, I am your soul
I am your soul, I am your soul

I am the courage that inspires you
I am the knowledge that you gained
I am the people you will choose to be
I am your pleasure and your pain
I am your soul, I am your soul.
Markus Schulz vs. ChakraI am

14 Comments

  • alf
    Posted July 10, 2007 10:27 pm 0Likes

    John, where do these lyrics come from?

    Do tell.

  • Jaitra Gillespie
    Posted July 10, 2007 10:52 pm 0Likes

    I wasn’t able to find anything I particularly wanted to feature or link to, so I chose instead to be deliberately oblique as to their source. Still, nothing can stay well hidden from Google.

    I did try to make the point however that there is still a long distance between the sentiment and the application…

  • Ollie
    Posted July 11, 2007 10:24 pm 0Likes

    Hey….

    And if you only knew
    Just how much the sun needs you
    To help him light the sky
    You would be surprised

    is from Cerf, Mitiska & Jarren – Light the Skies… although maybe the lyrics were sampled from another song first 🙂

  • Jaitra Gillespie
    Posted July 11, 2007 10:37 pm 0Likes

    Sssh! You’ll give away all my secrets! 😉

  • Ollie
    Posted July 12, 2007 12:22 am 0Likes

    Whups, sorry!! I remember it took me ages to find the name of that tune after hearing it one night!!!

    They are great lyrics though… those and also Ferry’s “Beautiful”…

  • Jaitra Gillespie
    Posted July 13, 2007 4:27 pm 0Likes

    Thanks Ollie. I might do a follow up post some time with more lyrics—in searching I found plenty of well written, poetic songs.

  • savannah
    Posted July 15, 2007 11:03 am 0Likes

    have you listened to “Songs From The Labyrinth” by sting? the best of both worlds..old and new..then and now..still moving. today was jazz at my place…rainy day sounds

  • Jaitra Gillespie
    Posted July 15, 2007 11:15 am 0Likes

    Hi Savannah. I have now, thanks to YouTube, and further thanks to BitTorrent will soon listen further. Great stuff—I hadn’t heard of British composer John Dowland before, but have long admired Sting since first hearing Russians back in the distant mid-80s, liked for sentiment as much as melody.

  • Camille
    Posted July 16, 2007 12:47 am 0Likes

    I have not figured out where these lyrics originated but I do enjoy them.

    “I am the faith that leaves your spirit strong”

    This line in particular reminds me of an ever persistent issue I’ve had in my life and perhaps explains why I have such a hard time when my faith dwindles. I’ve never looked at the connection between faith and the soul before but it makes sense. My most troubled and dark times are those when I lose faith, and consequently lose connection with my self/soul.

  • Jaitra Gillespie
    Posted July 16, 2007 8:08 am 0Likes

    Thanks Camille. It’s easy, for me at least, to overlook faith as something old fashioned, or “religious,” as less than practical or simply too “simple.” Yet belief without reason, or reasoning, is not only the most powerful form of belief, but essential when dealing with a non-physical, non-mental realm.

    I remember being surprised when I first read Sri Chinmoy say, and this is highly paraphrased, that if you have no faith in God, no matter—at least have faith in yourself. I was even more surprised to read, although it now makes perfect sense, that a lack of faith in self, of self-belief is the worst crime in the spiritual life, the worst kind of nihilism.

    Here is an actual quote on faith by Sri Chinmoy that I like:

    First of all, faith is not credulity or blind belief. It does not mean that you must constantly believe in the impossible. No, that is not faith. Faith is a spontaneous feeling. It does not care for human justification. It is the eye that visions the future and is always in tune with a higher truth. The door of faith is always open to the Truth-Beyond and, by virtue of faith, we transcend ourselves.

  • Camille
    Posted July 17, 2007 1:13 am 0Likes

    John,

    Thank you for the thoughts. I really do need to explore faith a little more. I’ve not ever taken a close look at what my own faith represents. It’s been shrouded in fog and perhaps letting go of the ‘reasoning’ that kept it limited, I can progress a little towards a deeper commitment and understanding of it’s important role.

  • rhian
    Posted July 17, 2007 10:00 pm 0Likes

    this makes for a nice balance positioned against my poem this week!
    i liked these lined particularly well:
    I am the knowledge that you gained
    I am the people you will choose to be

  • Jaitra Gillespie
    Posted July 18, 2007 8:10 am 0Likes

    Yes, well, just as well I chose this before reading your poem of the week Rhian—I might otherwise have had to written about Henry Rollins just to balance out the score 😉

  • pavitrata
    Posted October 26, 2008 1:35 pm 0Likes

    Paul Simon is a great example of evolving song lyrics – this, from his song ‘Quiet’

    I am heading for a time of quiet
    When my restlessness is past
    And I can lie down on my blanket
    And release my fists at last

    I am heading for a time of solitude
    Of peace without illusions
    When the perfect circle
    Marries all beginnings and conclusions

    And when they say
    That youre not good enough
    Well the answer is
    You’re hot
    But who are they
    Or what is it
    That eats at what youve got
    With the hunger of ambition
    For the change inside the purse
    They are handcuffs on the soul, my friends
    Handcuffs on the soul
    And worse

    I am heading for a place of quiet
    Where the sage and sweetgrass grow
    By a lake of sacred water
    From the mountains melted snow

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