(We all feel down from time to time. How do you combat the blues? What’s one tip you can share with others that always helps to lift your spirits?)
What do I do when I’m blue? Why, I sing! It has always been music that has lifted my spirits.
Now, I can’t say that this particular song, well-known as it is, would lift me out of the depths of despair. After all, it’s not really a sad song compared to the real Blues tradition.
The music I love the most when I’m moping is southern gospel. Not the twangy stuff, which has never appealed to me much. My Grandpa Shorty used to listen to it on the radio in his truck, and I remember sitting beside him (no seat belts then–we could snuggle) while he sang along. He’d harmonize, and he had a pretty good voice. Still, I never really got hooked on it.
The southern gospel I like is more along the lines of the older Gaither songs; also the music my parents played on their record player, 45’s and then 78’s, which you younger folks wouldn’t remember. Rudy Atwood at the piano with the Blackwood Brothers, for instance. Wonderful music, positive words, melodies you could sing right along with the artist; and you could also easily harmonize. I believe that music is what taught me to hear and reproduce vocal harmony when I was too young to know what I was doing.
The churches I grew up in, and the one we loved and served in for 30+ years, used to raise the roof with gospel music. The singing was joyful, hearfelt, and uninhibited. After a while, I was able to play the piano for the services when I was maybe 12 or so. I longed to be able to play like Atwood. Never quite got there, but I sure enjoyed trying!
I used to practice for hours in the little church in St. James where my dad pastored for the years I was in high school. One of my self-imposed exercises was to play through every song in the hymnal. In doing so, I learned the words to hundred of songs; began to understand different harmonies; and also worked out whatever mope I may have been enjoying 🙂
Music that lifts my spirits also includes the classics.Pachelbel’s Canon is a favorite. I love Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Beethoven. I tend to prefer the big, booming stuff, although I do dearly love Vivaldi.
What a gift God has given us in music. I am thankful.