Heart and Soul of the Lyrics
The essence of the Song Therapeutics concept emerges from the heart and soul of the lyrics, created by the musician/singer/songwriter. A song and it’s lyrics can essentially tell the story and provides the overall message to the listeners. These extraordinary musicians make up the musical fabric of our life. The list of names is basically endless and their efforts should always be recognized and applauded.
Without any doubt, one familiar name at the top of the list is Bruce Springsteen. A skilled musician, singer and brilliant songwriter, his impressive musical portfolio, his words and music, shows us simply, he just gets it. With Springsteen’music, I often think to myself in terms of his lyrical mindset, where does all this impressive understanding come from? The psychological connection, the relating, the identification with common human emotions, the pure transparency. I felt that it was real for him and that it was coming from pure truth within his heart and soul. Years ago as I was reading his candid autobiography, “Born To Run”, it became very clear to me. Springsteen was living and breathing it every day, he was feeling it so he was bound to put it into the body of his music. His songs would undoubtedly reflect the emotions within and what he was experiencing in his personal life. His family history, his hardships, emotional and mental health struggles that he so openly and beautifully describes for the benefits of others.
Springsteen has a fantastic new digital album coming out in late October, entitled “Letter to You”. The title track reflects directly how his writing throughout the years, reflected his emotional and psychological journey. To me, with the purpose behind Songtherapeutics, I see that song as extremely important explanation. I see the “Letter” as Springsteen’s body of music. His words are his music. His song lyrics are so real and provide us with such great messages dealing with a wide range of universal feelings such as joy, pain, fears, doubts, and struggles. The process of looking inward with openness and truth that we can all be inspired by, as well as identify with.
“Letter to You” by Bruce Springsteen
Another significant musical artist on the list is the late, great Tom Petty. His empowering song, “Change of Heart” is the first song we will be featuring on the Weekly Song Content page and it’s simply, a beauty that says so much. Whether as a solo artist or with his longtime band, The Heartbreakers, Petty also possessed the gift of weaving heartful, meaningful lyrics into those wonderful musical backgrounds. His songs frequently touched on many examples of our common human experience. Scenes and situations complete with musical dialogue, taken from daily life as he was known to do so well, for so many years. His sudden, tragic death a few years ago truly left a huge void within the worldwide musical community. Luckily, we will always have his amazing music to listen to, reflect, share, and enjoy forever!
Musicians/singers/songwriters have the courage, honesty, energy, and the willingness to go there to help others through their music. What a gift to give, again, a legacy that will always go on. A gift that reaches and touches people every day, making a difference in so many lives. I cannot even imagine a world with music, how empty that would be, in so many ways. We are thankful for those who not only share their talent and music, but their emotional journey with us as well. What is that song that is meaningful to you, that makes a personal impact and touches your heart and soul? Once identified, use that music and song to help you understand and find your way, whatever issue you may encounter in life.
The Lyrical Message –
Whether we realize it or not, we are continuously learning from the lyrics we hear in song. They impact us significantly with their messages. The messages may affect us positively or negatively. So, let’s take these lessons a step further.
We should always try to gain something positive and pro-active with what we hear. I think of it visually like a square box, four equal sides, four aspects, with the contents going inside. I like to call it my four A’s to becoming proactive. Specifically, this consists of awareness, acknowledgement, action, and finally, adaptation. These four aspects or lessons result in the learning experience.
Besides the pure enjoyment and aesthetic value of music, these are essentially the four powers at work when you actively listen to song lyrics. Simply put, if a song becomes personally meaningful for you, you begin the process of identification. On an individual level, your personal awareness increases, you may acknowledge similarities or differences, you may take action to change, and ultimately, you adapt accordingly to what you learn.
This is undertaken with the hope, and goal, of enhancing positivity and being pro-active in your life whenever you can.
A great article from Buffalo’s premiere music critic Jeff Miers…
Also a creative, professional musician with an accomplished portfolio, Jeff Miers is the resident music critic for the Buffalo News since 2002. His extensive music reviews and critiques are well known and highly respected within the Western New York music community and beyond. Jeff Mier’s acute interest and knowledge in the realm of music is reflected in his receiving the distinguished President’s Award from the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2014. I am thankful to share his touching and reflective article, “In the Sudden Stillness, Learning How to Listen Again”, published by the Buffalo News on May 10th, 2020. Quite timely and accurate given our lengthy respite of social distancing and quarantine that is the new normal today. With more solitary time available, people are actively listening and truly reconnecting with music and lyrics again, like they never have before.
When I asked Jeff if he could provide some affirmative thoughts regarding the intent of Songtherapeutics, he wrote something I am pleased to be able to share here. He wrote, ” Throughout my life, I have turned to music for solace and comfort during the darkest times, and for inspiration and education even during the best of times. It is by now a bit of a cliche’ to suggest that “music heals” but in my own life, I’ve been given every indication that this is exactly the truth. Music- the act of making it, yes, but also the act of listening to it, closely- can, over time, teach us empathy, allow us to forgive ourselves, urge us to strive for excellence, greatly bolster our imaginative capacities, and remind us repeatedly, that we are not alone as we navigate the complexities of our time on this planet. Music is a language that connect us, at the deepest, most primal and profound level, to our fellow human beings. But even in solitude, actively listening to and engaging with music can lead us away from the darkness and towards the light.” A beautiful summary regarding the immense power of music in our lives.
Please take the time now to read Jeff’s article on the state of music today, and reflect on it’s meaning, truth, and significance.
A Sample of Jeff Miers' Music
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