The Gift of Music

I would certainly like to praise music with all my heart as the excellent gift of God which it is and to commend it to everyone…Next to the Word of God, music deserve the highest praise. She is a mistress and governess of those human emotions–to pass over the animals–which as masters govern men or more often overwhelm them. No greater commendation than this can be found–at least not by us. For whether you wish to comfort the sad, to terrify the happy, to encourage the despairing, to humble the proud, to calm the passionate, or to appease those full of hate…what more effective means than music could you find?

…the gift of language combined with the gift of song was only given to man to let him know that he should praise God with both word and music, namely, by proclaiming [the Word of God] through music and by providing sweet melodies with words.

Martin Luther, LW 53:321, 323-324

“Young at Heart”

Driving to work this morning, listening to NPR’s “Morning Edition” as is my routine, I heard a great story about a music group I’d really like to see sometime. The group is called Young at Heart, and this is part of their story:

When the Young@ Heart began in 1982 the members all lived in an elderly housing project in Northampton, MA called the Walter Salvo House. The first group included elders who lived through both World Wars. One of our members had fought in the Battle of the Somme as a 16 year old and another, Anna Main, lost her husband in the First World War. Anna was a stand-up comic who at 88 told jokes that only she could get away with. She sang with us until she was 100. We celebrated her 100th birthday with a parade downtown. We actually had to reschedule the parade for a year later when her family informed us that we had the date wrong and she was only 99. This initial group also included Diamond Lillian Aubrey who came on our first two European tours and wowed the audiences with her deadpan version of Manfred Mann’s “Doo Wah Diddy”. In later years she appeared “on stage” via video, performing the Stone’s “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

Young at Heart

The Rolling Stones? That’s right! James Brown, too! Sweet! These folks prove the point that you’re only as old and feeble as you want to act.

Anyway, here’s their website, with lots more information, including biographies and photos. Also, here is the Morning Edition story I heard today, which features lots of audio of the group singing — I highly recommend spending three minutes listening to it.

If they don’t make you smile, perhaps you need to rethink your attitude!

Amusement (6 Feb)

It’s been awhile since we’ve taken a walk on the lighter side of things, and after finding this jewel of a YouTube special, I can wait no longer…I’ve always been amused by celebrities making fun of other celebrities, including themselves, but this treasure is somebody else poking some light-hearted fun at celebrities, saying the things we’re all thinking.

This video is a parody of Nickelback’s “Rockstar,” video, which is side-splitting in itself, if not a bit off color. Anyway, enjoy:

(For the uninitiated, here is Nickelback’s original)

Other classics of the genre include two of my perennial favorites…

“Celebrity” by Brad Paisley…and the song that may have started this madness, John Mellencamp’s “Pop Singer”