How Songs Can Be Prayers (reprinted in honor of a dear friend)

In our world of busyness and myriad responsibilities, sometimes the chatter in our heads (calling a customer, sending out emails, needing to fill the tank, or remembering a grandchild’s concert), is about everything but what it should be.  Not that these things aren’t important, but when we consider the limited amount of time we have on the planet, it would be better to calm swirling thoughts and focus on one thing: life.  Just plain ordinary life—the breathing in and out, the desire to love and be loved.  The basic reason as to why we still get up every day, why we keep on going.  Life.

What does life mean to you?  How are you living it, cherishing it, expanding it?  And are you able to sit with yourself, sit inside your mind and contemplate that gift of life?  Call it prayer, call it meditation, call it whatever.  It’s an action that needs to happen.  The situation reminds me of a bride on the wedding day so consumed with details that she forgets what it happening!  Forgets to stop and say, YES, THIS IS THE DAY! THIS IS NOW.  

My daughters give me CDs of songs they want to share.  I love this, as I often don’t know the songs and I get to experience their music, to get insight into what is moving them, what they want in their heads.  The most recent CD from my one daughter revealed a pattern to me.  And this is what I want to share with you: music, songs, can fill your head, block out the to-do list and become—prayers.  They can.  If one definition of prayer is a request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship, then certainly some of this music fits that definition.

Three different men are credited with writing these lines from a Louie Armstrong song.  But please don’t just say—Yeah, I know that song.  READ THE WORDS.  Contemplate them.

I see trees of green, red roses too

I see them bloom for me and you

And I think to myself what a wonderful world. 

I see skies of blue and clouds of white

The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night

And I think to myself what a wonderful world. 

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky

Are also on the faces of people going by

I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do

They’re really saying I love you.  

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow

They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know

And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

Now if you were driving or sitting at home and you had the music too, what a prayer you could have in your mind.

Here is another, unlikely example:

I may not always love you,

But long as there are stars above you

You never need to doubt it

I’ll make you so sure about it

God only knows what I’d be without you. 

That’s the BEACH BOYS, “God Only Knows.” And the more I listened to it, the more I began to think of my mother—of all the sacrifices she has made for me over the years.  How her life was dedicated to raising me and my brothers.  God only know what I’d be without her.  If prayer moves a person, there were tears on my face when this realization hit me.  And my daughter and I talked about it.  She thinks of her three children when she hears those words: what would she be without them?  We can all think along similar lines.

One more: “If God Made You” by FIVE FOR FIGHTING

Hey Kid…Do wishes count at all

Can you give me a sign…give me anything I won’t tell a soul you told

Hey Kid…Will you hold me when I sleep

Will you find me when the tide decides that I got to leave 

Something inside me is breaking

Something inside says there’s somewhere better than this… 

Sunset sailing on April skies

Bloodshot fire clouds in her eyes

I can’t say what I might believe

But if God made you he’s in love with me

It’s a prayer about dying, about leaving on the tide to a place better than this, but realizing that God loves this dying person because he made you—the you probably being a child, but it certainly could be a lover.

These are the examples I found on one CD of 17 songs.  Symphonic, classical music without lyrics often takes me to God—lifts me beyond the trappings of this world, becomes a virtual meditation.

Did someone once say music is the work of the divine?  Stop and consider: songs can be prayers and help you truly look at your life.

Thank you to Cameron Booth’s Photo Stream

7 thoughts on “How Songs Can Be Prayers (reprinted in honor of a dear friend)

  1. Hi Kay,
    You have been on my mind. Thanks for your comment. Music really can get me through the days. Hugs to you, Beth

  2. Music is certainly one of the main things that can trigger one’s emotions. “What A Wonderful World” is a tune that has brightened many a wedding or brought a tired soul back up to speed. I have always noticed in films, how the music can set the mood, even more so than the images on the screen. Music goes deep inside of you……thanks for the insight, Beth, I am going to go listen to “In My Life” by the Beatles……..

  3. Thanks, Bill, perfect concept IN MY LIFE–getting into life and feeling it and being in it. The music works like a prayer, reverent and bringing one closer to the reasons that we are here. And you truly get that. Beth

  4. Thanks for your positive input. It helps me get back to work and want to write more.
    I hope there is a song in your life today that speaks to you. Beth

  5. Pingback: How Songs Can Be Prayers (reprinted in honor of a dear friend) | Living better at 50+| Online Womens Magazine

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