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The Power Of A Song

“Turn ’em on, turn ’em on, Turn on those sad songs, When all hope is gone, Why don’t you tune in and turn them on…Sad songs, they say so much” Bernie Taupin / Elton John

“I will sing, sing a new song, How long to sing this song”  Adam Clayton / David Evans / Laurence Mullen / Paul David Hewson

Songs are a powerful force that should never best underestimated. A song can carry a person through the toughest of times, songs give us hope to live. 

Power photoFreedom in the United States is slowly and surely being crushed. I can point to a lot of factors like the two-party system with only nuances of differences. But a more glaring demonstration is what you hear on the radio. I grew up on rock and roll. Rock and roll was founded in youthful rebellion.  As such there were a host of songs protesting the Vietnam war. Using the medium of music to express social discontent is a long-standing tradition from time immemorial. But you won’t hear an anti-war song on the radio.

It is not that I think that the radio should be used as a political tool for any kind of party. That is in fact done through talk radio which the majority of the pundits are on the right of the political spectrum. I expect art to be varied. However, there should be something that resonates with the masses besides cheesy pop songs. If it is out there please educate me because I’m not seeing it on the major radio stations in my area.

The question that needs to be asked is ‘What makes a great song?’ A great song is when the artist in a poetic, simplistic and beautiful fashion articulates the thoughts pressing on the heart of the listener. When the singer sings the song a person sings along and it seems that the song has become part of themselves. Couples have their special song which is special to them. There are songs in my life that when I hear them it brings me back to certain times and experiences in my life.

In the days of slavery, the oppressed peoples would sing songs of hope. These would encourage them to simply survive a brutal day and endure an unjust life. As the long road to freedom began with the emancipation proclamation the songs developed. The spirituals would propel the struggle for equality to define a movement. Today the same populace has a wide variety of musical types catering and defining them. I have friends from the inner city who can rattle off a whole list of rap stars that I don’t have a clue who they are. In fairness, my friends never heard of my favorite ‘Neil Young’.

Music can be used as propaganda as well. Stirring patriotic songs that have burst on the scenes at critical junctures in time manipulated public opinion to go and fight some war. The communists have their ballads and so do the workers. There is indeed power in a song.

Unfortunately in society when the money gets tight art is the first thing that people want to cut in the educational curriculum. Without culture, a society is void of life. Without a song, life is a dull existence.

Personally, music means a tremendous amount to me. When I was young my music gave me the power to confront the evils of my day. When I first went to the psychiatric hospital music was my refuge. We had two tapes, one by Neil Young and the other by James Taylor. Neil would sing his song “Comes A Time”. In my mind, I knew there would be a time when this hellish stay in the hospital would end. James would sing about fire and rain and “lonely times when I could not find a friend.”

Personally, I have put my heart, mind, and soul into writing. One aspect of that is my song lyrics. I have compiled a book called “Without The Music.” It is a little pricey but it is a big book physically with about five hundred pieces in it. Whether you are a lover of poetry or a musician/composer looking for material this book is a must. https://bit.ly/2K5ubkq

From my days of driving cabs in Hoboken.

 

Road Job to Jersey City

Driving blue cabs long way round Sinatra Drive
Manhattan magic makes me come alive
Tempting delights shine on the Hudson River
Free as a slave who eagerly delivers

Road job to Jersey City
The trip is never free
You gotta pay the fee
Can’t ride on pity
Road job to Jersey City

Singers, swingers, yuppies from Wall Street
Always a story that’s juicy and sweet
Drag queens, to obscene, girls pulling tricks
Strangers make love in the backseat for kicks

Road job to Jersey City
The trip is never free
You gotta pay the fee
Can’t ride on pity
Road job to Jersey City

Up the viaduct to Jersey City Heights
New York City is a billion white lights
Every one of them is a story that’s sold
But the one that is mine has never been told

Road job to Jersey City
The trip is never free
You gotta pay the fee
Can’t ride on pity
Road job to Jersey City

I’d like to do it my way
A dollar 50 in pay
Unless I take them out of the territory
Working 12 hour shifts ain’t pretty
And the lord knows I ain’t pretty
On a road job to Jersey City
Road Job to Jersey City

The Power Of A Song

John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.


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APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2018). The Power Of A Song. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 12, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/fragments/2018/07/the-power-of-a-song/

 

Last updated: 30 Jul 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jul 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.