Today is a very important day, many guitar players may not be aware of the importance of it. Once we are aware of something, from that moment on we have the choice to act upon it if it appeals to our intelligence / conscience / heart. So here’s my story.
I’ve always had a knack of finding great ‘T shirts’. I found one about a year or so back, it was a cheapie and it said ‘Music is the Weapon of the Future’. Not being an overly violent person apart from enjoying football and martial arts, I could see the wisdom in it and it appealed to my sense of humour. A lot of people would talk to me about the shirt whenever I wore it, this would lead into some tremendous discussions on the role of music and its misuse. Although I have a social conscience, I’ve never really gone out hugging trees and tying myself to fences or other inanimate objects to make a statement, for me, food is an essential item and not being near a coffee shop or kitchen can be extremely stressful.
Apart from being a money spinner, an obsession or hobby, music is a very powerful tool. It has the ability to influence peoples subconscious. Stop for a moment, and think about the songs you grew up with and the lyrics than run through your head. Here’s a few examples: ‘What do you get when you fall in love, you only get pain and lies and sorrow… I’ll never fall in love again’ (Um, yes I will) ; ‘I don’t like Mondays’ (actually I don’t mind them), ‘If you leave me now you’ll take away the the greatest part of me'(No, no, I’m the greatest part of me, not you) … all musically valid of course, I have nothing against any of these great songs but if you let too many of those thoughts run around in your head, eventually if you are not careful, you’ll end up manic depressive or accidentally thinking that what somebody else was processing through writing music could be the the norm or absolute truth without even giving it too much thought.
Social change does not come from the top of the social hierarchy, there are decisions made that impact on everyone but from little things big things grow (thanks Paul Kelly). As musicians, songwriters and performers, we are in a prime position to not only create an awareness of things through music but also to create music that can enhance the communities we live in. I don’t just mean by writing songs about Human Rights issues, I mean writing music and lyrics that if people find themselves repeating the words over and over in a mantra style that at the end of the day when it has finally turned itself off, the person will feel good about themselves, not beaten and battered by love.
I have a friend, a very good drummer and he knows I like bluegrass music ( as well as many other styles) and he came up to me one day and said “Did you know that there are more suicides by people that , listen too country music than any other style’. My obvious response was ‘no’.
What I think we now need is music that when it is played backwards says things like “I will fall in love again and I’ll send you a picture of us on a romantic holiday”, “I like Mondays, because if I don’t by the time it reaches Friday I’m going to feel so crap that I’ll hate that too” , “if you leave me now, well, thanks for the visit but I’m up grading to a better model” .
As musicians we have the ability to bring about powerful social change. If you have written a piece of music that you like that can add something nice to the world we live in, please let us know about it through our comment section.
I also would like to encourage the other guitar blog sites to write about this issue today in some way. For more information on todays joint venture between Blogcatalog and Amnesty International go to http://unite.blogcatalog.com/ And we could also congratulate them on there efforts to help create a more harmonious world.