"There is no truer truth obtainable by man than that which comes of music."
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Author: J H McIntosh
Music has always been an essential element at the core of my existence. I believe I inherited this connection to music from my father who, despite enduring some pretty tough times (the great depression, WWI, WWII, the Korean conflict and the assassination of JFK) could almost always break out in song.
For me, that connection to music took on a slightly different form. Nearly anything anyone says to me makes me think of lyrics in a song. Sometimes I cannot control myself and I articulate that lyric that has been brought to mind by what another has said. This can, to some make me look like an escapee from a mental institution.
Musicality wasn’t my father’s only talent. The other two I remember most include a terrific sense of humor and a keen intellect. But, in terms of ” joie de vivre“, music was definitely number one.
Now don’t get me wrong, he was no Mozart and was definitely not classical trained in any sense of the word. But he could listen to a melody on the radio and days later still play it perfectly on the harmonica.
Many that knew my father as a red-headed kid continued to call him “Red” even when his adult hair was black.
People greeted Red’s visits in their day-to-day life enthusiastically because he was sure to have a humorous take on whatever was reported in today’s news.
Red’s intellect also, was not the result of formal education at Harvard, Yale or Stanford, or any school of higher education for that matter. My father’s education was the result of a voracious appetite for reading. He read all of history’s great philosophers, great thinkers, and the contemporary commentators of his time. He read the newspaper daily. He devoted his weekly day-of-rest devouring the Sunday paper, every bit of it.
In his senior year of High School my father skipped school and while looking for his truant son his father was in a fatal automobile accident. I never knew my paternal grandfather. At the wake for his father my father’s aunt confronted him with: “You killed him, you killed my brother”. Sadly, my father was blamed for the death of his own father.
There was little in the way of a “safety net” in those days so Red, as the oldest of four children became the family breadwinner. I wrote about the impact this event had in Red’s life in “Can’t Stop It!” My brother Jimmy and I wrote twelve original songs that punctuate events that take place in the life of fictional teenager Jimmy Rogers’ battle to break from his father’s belief that “life is a cruel joke barely worth living”. You can listen to those songs here.
And, if your music tastes run more to the classical instead of the rock, blues and country that Jimmy and I create, then you will really enjoy your time at Classical Music 247. Either way, let music fill your heart, for as Kahlil Gibran said: “Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.”
That’s something we all can benefit from always.