The musical ties that bind us

I have been thinking about this post all day, and when I finally sat down to write it, a song came on that binds me to someone. In amongst all of the songs I’ve heard today, that one came on. Hearing it this afternoon was bittersweet.

Musical ties bind us together and, like scent, sometimes all it takes is the opening notes of a song or piece of music to transport us to another time and place. To someone or somewhere. Someone we spent a lifetime with or a moment with. Some place that is home, or somewhere we’ve travelled.

There are times, though, when music binds us to people we have never met – and are never likely to meet. The power of music to give us hope and a feeling of community in times of despair can never be understated.

My first experience of this was in 1984 when Bob Geldof and Midge Ure got some musicians together {Band Aid} to record Do They Know It’s Christmas to raise money and awareness of the famine in Ethiopia. It has been re-recorded a couple of times in the decades since to raise money for different charities. Across the ocean a few months later, US musicians banded together {USA for Africa} to record We Are The World.

Last week, like so many people around the world, I watched my television in horror as flames engulfed Grenfell Tower in London, knowing there would be very little hope of anyone surviving the terror. I held my breath watching firemen coming out of the tower, and turning around to go straight back in. What incredible heroes.

Yesterday I heard Artists for Grenfell’s rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water. This is a song I’ve always loved, but hearing it in the context of it’s latest release, it hit me with renewed power.

In a world where terror seems to have become commonplace, I fear that it threatens to lessen our reaction to tragedy. Not because we aren’t as impacted by it, but I think because of the seeming unendingness of it.

Later in the week, I saw one of the survivors was being interviewed. Uninsured, he spoke of the complete loss of all of the material things in his life. In closing the piece, the journalist asked him what he would do having lost everything. His response? “People lost children and whole families. But for the grace of god, I actually have everything.”

Listening to Bridge Over Troubled Water, and hearing some of the musicians interviewed after they’d laid down their part, I was transported back to 1984 in a heartbeat.

Musical ties binding us – a global community – together once more.

musical ties that bind us
{source: Artists for Grenfell video}


One Comment Add yours

  1. ksbeth says:

    this gave me chills and is a beautiful post. what powerful words from that survivor.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s