Sunday, 28 June 2009

James Taylor and the power of a good song

Today's a day off and before going to church I went for a walk. Next to the house we have a cut-through to some lovely parkland with a stream connecting a number of small lakes. As I passed the second lake, the two swans, with their two fast-growing cygnets were idling across, ducks were upturned, moor hens were scampering. It was a familiar but pleasurable sight.

The music I was listening to on the iPod shuffle, wasn't really doing it for me: Shostakovich Sixth String Quartet, Vaughan Williams Ninth Symphony, not even the Mozart Third Horn Concerto with Dennis Brain, or the Handel aria sung by Mark Padmore. And then it happened. James Taylor singing Roger and Hammerstein's 'O what a beautiful mornin', and that did it! What a good song. It had a remarkable effect upon me, the goodness of which I'm still living in.

It struck me that there is something 'psalmic' about it, and if you were to use Brueggemann's structure, definitely a psalm of orientation. Even singing a Doug Horley song at church, hasn't dislodged the particular quality that James Taylor brings to a song and it seems to be on repeat in the background of my mind.

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