My Lyfestyle Through Lyrics
Hello everyone! Today’s guest blog is one of my favorite people to follow on twitter (@lefolauga). He’s also one of my favorite bloggers. Seti Matua is a wonderful father, awesome husband and I’m sure he’s a great uncle, brother, son and nephew.
Seti inspires me with his words of wisdom in his blog posts. He always has a unique yet relatable perspective on his life experiences.
If you don’t follow him on twitter, you’re missing out on some of the funniest tweets I’ve encountered on twitter; witty with wisdom.
So here you go readers… enjoy yourself!
Thank you Seti 🙂
“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.”
Redemption Song – Bob Marley
I was in minivan on the western coast of the island of Savaii in Samoa. It had been a particularly tough day for me. I had been sick for several days leading to weight loss and a bout of the blues. Nothing seemed to be going my way and I couldn’t get my head straight no matter what I tried. As I sat in that second row seat, my head resting against the window and my mind wondering why I couldn’t break out of that funk, that familiar Bob Marley anthem ‘Redemption Song’ shook the haze from my mind and allowed the tears to flow freely. To this day, those lyrics, the smoky timbre in Marley’s voice and that simplistic guitar twang brings me solace and reminds me that no matter what frustrations and difficulties I have to endure, I still have the power to redeem myself.
There are moments in life that can only be expressed through music. There are raw emotions that when allowed to break free, provide us with the greatest inspiration, but it can only be interpreted through rhythm, striking a chord a resounding beat.
There are milestones and events in life that are recalled from memory, simply by hearing the first few notes of a song that is associated with that event. There are songs that for no apparent reason invoke emotions because it moves us.
For me, music is a translator. Music is a vehicle. It is transcendent and empowering. Music helps me explore, explain and expound. Music heightens the senses and dulls the pain.
I recall a recent Christmas holiday when I was missing my mom tremendously. We lost her to cancer in 1993. Christmas was her favorite holiday and some of our most memorable times together as a family were our Christmases in Samoa when we had absolutely nothing but each other. On one particular Christmas Eve in Samoa we sat around the Christmas tree talking about all of the things that we were grateful for and the only thing on public radio was Jim Reeves’ Christmas Classics. The deejay played it non-stop the entire day and through the night. As corny as it sounds, decades later, I heared a Jim Reeves song and I started sobbing like a little kid who dropped his ice cream cone on the hot cement during a summer heat wave. That’s what music does to me.
When I’m angry I can either escalate that anger with a bit of Ice Cube or Eminem, or I can simmer my thoughts with Marvin Gaye or Donny Hathaway. When I’m feeling glum there’s nothing like a pick me up with The Black Eyed Peas. When I need to calm things down you can’t go wrong with Babyface and when you’re having that lovin’ feeling can anyone beat Brian McKnight, Phil Perry or Luther Vandross?
I’ve made a fool of myself at public parties just because I cannot suppress the power of music. An old music professional once told me that I had the worst voice she had ever heard. But she still encouraged me to sing because she knew that I may never be a Pavarotti, but singing would always help me when my soul needed something that medicine and a good therapist could never fix.
As a writer I enjoy a good melody and a catchy hook but I’m a stickler for engaging lyrics. And yet, at a symphonic, orchestral or jazz concert where often the absence of words cannot assist you in touching one particular emotion, masterful artists like Chopin, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Beethooven, Bach, Goodman, Shaw or Dorsie can still build us to a crescendo then bring us down slowly to diminuendo before taking us back up and down and up again to the very end. It is an emotional and spiritual experience.
Music is fundamental for us as human beings. Imagine the world without a little music and you’ll come to realize that the human experience seems rather bleak and unbearable. No matter where you go in this world there is music in all of its various forms. Find a culture, people or government that suppresses creativity and you will still find music. Go to a prison, read books about slavery and captivity and you’ll find that music helped and still helps people get through those hardships of the mind, body and soul.
I’m a sentimental old fool and old fools believe the words of the dead and dying like Jimi Hendrix who said, “Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.” I know that to be true in my life. In times of difficulties, in family, business and community relations, some of the biggest changes in the lives and minds of people have come about through music. Take a moment today to change something in your life through the power and influence of music.