Kozo over at Everydaygurus has again set out several challenges for the Monthly Peace Challenge, which this time is centered around Music and Peace. One challenge was to write a song about peace, which I did a long time ago. However, I haven’t figured out where my song file is and all I remember is the first line of the chorus: “Come and dream a world with me…”. So I’ll have to keep hunting and wow you with my song-writing prowess some other time.
Another challenge was to make a top 10 list of songs or artists that bring peace to our world. I’m not sure that I can hit an even 10 but it’s been interesting to ponder. A couple of other bloggers who are apparently in my age range wrote of songs from the Vietnam-era peace movement like the Beatles’ All You Need Is Love, protest songs, the Youngbloods’ Get Together, Lennon’s Give Peace a Chance, etc. I think there were lots of powerful songs in that time that contributed greatly to the peace movement.
But all these years later when I think of peace I don’t really think of it the same way. When I hear those songs, even though I love them, some part of me remembers the marching and the signs and the police with billy clubs and the ANGER. I loved those days and I have great nostalgia for them so I love hearing the music that reminds me but it doesn’t really bring me to peace.
I also have a spirit playlist on my various music devices and apps — you’ll note on the Spotify version that a chunk of the songs aren’t available. That’s a list that uplifts my spirits — often because of actually spiritual words but sometimes just because I like the beat or the melody. But I don’t know that I’d say that list brings me peace. Sometimes. Just because feeling uplifted can also open that heart space where peace dwells…
When I want to be calm and centered and feel peace through music I now turn to very different pieces of music. Some of my current favorites (in no particular order):
1. Deva Primal, Moola Mantra
2. Paul Winter, Common Ground
3. Peter Kater and Carlos Nakai, Migration (whole album)
4. Riley Lee, Satori (whole album)
5. Any Dvorak string quartets
6. Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, Healing Mind System
7. Paul Winter, Icarus
8. Krishna Das, Breath of the Heart
9. Mike Rowland, Fairy Ring (whole album)
10. Tulku, Trancendence (whole album)
11. Jean Pierre Rampal with Bach’s Sonatas for Flute and Harpsichord
I have a pretty long list of things like this because it’s what I use for yoga classes but those are probably my favorites.
In a different vein, some of the most amazing moments I’ve had with music and peace have been at the end of every Unity church service I’ve ever attended, holding hands with those around me and singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth”. The group energy of a big bunch of people singing that together is mighty powerful.
Music has been central to me most of my life. Lots and lots of music lessons. Untold hours of listening. Had a band. Sang in choirs. I think there are so many levels on which music can aid in bringing peace. And I think what sort of music brings what sort of peace is different for different people.
Check out some of the other posts for the challenge to see that in action:
One Starving Activist
Many Little Drops