Read my “love letter” to music below the YouTube video:
I have a confession of sorts. Actually, it’s more like something I want to profess. You can call this article a profession I guess; an equal part affirmation of something I love and an acceptance of a passion I have turned into a profession. This confession of mine is that I love music in ways that is beyond description. I could spend a thousand years and scribe a billion words trying to explain my affinity for music and in the end I would have another thousand years of writing before I could fully illustrate the reasons why I love melodies so.
Music has been my balm and my apothecary for as long as I could remember. Music is my friend when I am lonely and my pillow when I am weary. Music is my copper wire as it transmits my feelings and frustration; whether I’m in love or clouded by heartbreak, music is the energy that conveys my emotions and allows me to understand my thoughts outside of my thinking. Even at this present moment, I’m listening to Sade as I write this missive and the words that are flowing out of my fingers are being conjugated at the beckoning of guitars and pianos. When I write, I enter into a zone where thought is displaced by serendipity and musical muses become the womb of my inspiration.
This article thus is my burnt offering to music and the profound impact music has had on my life and the lives of countless billions. Music is universal even if the styles are different from culture to culture. For some, music is hard rock and electric guitars, for others music is acapella and simplistic, for others yet music is soaring and symphonic. Music is omnipresent as it is magnificence; there is music all about us from the crickets chirping to the wind rustling between leaves. Music is a reminder of a greater love than we can imagine for music is the words spoken that created the universe.
I love music in all its forms; true enough the music I listen to the most are established stars like the aforementioned Sade and the likes of Marvin Gaye and Adele to name just a few of the endless singers that bless me with their talent. However, I also love listening to the music of those who have not been “discovered”, the mega talented yet less renowned singers and musicians who can match and at times exceed the vocal talent of the most acclaimed music idols who grace the covers of magazines. These singers toil in the shadows as they croon on sidewalks, smokey bars, juke joints and YouTube. Most of the musical demigods who are idolized by the masses were once struggling musicians singing to sparse crowds before they were discovered and became mega stars.
There is a symbiotic relationship between musical mega stars and their lesser known counterparts. Before singers became stars, they first wenr through the rigors and hardship of performing in the shadows and endless venues with few accolades until one day the unknown become supernovas. Even after stardom, the ordeals and adversities continue for all that glitters truly is not gold. Most of us aspire to be famous and to be stars but few among us realize that notoriety and fame has a difficulty of its own. This is true of singers who garner headlines as every step is recorded and privacy is erased for those who are adored by the public. As I noted in “Serendipity’s Trace”, pain is the universal language that is understood globally by 7.8 billion people.
But there is another language that is understood by all beyond pain and that is the profound blessing that is music. Music binds all of us from pauper to prince and heals the broken as it imbues happiness to the world. Music escapes the gravity of definition; a best friend, a sounding board, a cathartic instrument—music truly is what we need at the moment. This article is thus a tribute to singers and musicians worldwide from the sidewalk singers to the musical icons we all know. I realized this one thing above all in my life, when the music stops that is when sorrows multiply. Instead of gazing endlessly into the navels of the ills of this world, maybe we should all take a pause and listen to music that is all about us.
As you watch the video I put together titled “Cover Lover” up top, I would love to hear from you and for music to be the glue between endless people. In the comments below copy and paste the YouTube link from your favorite songs and I will use some of the ones noted in the feature video I am working on as the video above is only the “teaser” for the one hour mashup of cover songs followed up by the singers who they are paying tribute to by way of their vocal chords. Happy music day to all for every day is a music day since the music never stops. #CoverLover
“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” ~ Victor Hugo
If you love this article and the video as well, share this write up on social media using #CoverLover and let others know how significant music is in your life.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.