A Question for You about Music

There are only two weeks until the release of Darkwater: A Pastor’s Memoir of Depression and Faith. I’m spending these days sharing some questions with you related to themes in the book. I invite you to answer in the comment section!

One of the minor themes in the book Darkwater is music. (And much of that music is, as you might guess, minor.) In several chapters, I talk about songs and music that moved me very deeply, from “Learning to Fly” by Pink Floyd to “Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand” by Primitive Radio Gods. From “Persona” by Blue Man Group to “Bless the Lord” from Godspell. Especially in my teens and twenties, I was obsessed with music. Music had the ability to tell my story in a way I couldn’t myself. It had the ability to deepen or change my mood. As I wrote twenty-six years ago, “The Barenaked Ladies can write my songs, but there’s nobody out there to right my wrongs.” Or, as I wrote in Darkwater:

The song ate through my heart like an acid corroding metal. It washed over me and through me, the words and beats and notes and harmonies filling my lungs with each breath and entering every cell. My soul danced.

Darkwater, chapter 15

What songs have touched you in deep ways over the years, affecting your mood and your outlook on life? Please answer below!

Photo by Aditya Chinchure on Unsplash

6 thoughts on “A Question for You about Music

  1. If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
    And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
    Would you hear my voice come through the music?
    Would you hold it near as it were your own?
    It’s a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken
    Perhaps they’re better left unsung
    I don’t know, don’t really care
    Let there be songs to fill the air
    Ripple in still water
    When there is no pebble tossed
    Nor wind to blow
    Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
    If your cup is full, may it be again
    Let it be known there is a fountain
    That was not made by the hands of men
    There is a road, no simple highway
    Between the dawn and the dark of night
    And if you go, no one may follow
    That path is for your steps alone
    Ripple in still water
    When there is no pebble tossed
    Nor wind to blow
    You who choose to lead must follow
    But if you fall, you fall alone
    If you should stand, then who’s to guide you?
    If I knew the way I would take you home
    La da da da…

    Ripple. Once back when i was a Catholic I mentioned to the music director I would like Ripple played at my funeral. She said it was not allowed because it was not sacred music and also because of the Dead’s connections to the drug culture. My thought at the time was isn’t all music sacred and who are you to judge?


  2. Ripple! A favorite song!

    Music has always been important to me. Through life, there are certain songs tied to times, people, events. Very powerful.

    Desert island album- Widespread Panic- Everyday.

    Current favorite album- Imagine Dragons- Mercury. (Roller coaster of emotions. Love it.)

    Music can make you cry, contemplate your life, raise you up, get you motivated.


  3. I wake up to Mozart, greeting the day with a lightness of being. The Beatles bring me lightness and fun (Yellow Submarine).


  4. Changed my outlook on life? You’re gonna laugh, but the first thing I think of when you say this is Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason.” It got me out of a very unhealthy relationship in college. Made me realize that who I’m with also has to be there for me. I can’t always be waiting for them like I’m on call. I’m a person, too, but not if every I do is centered around them. Sadly, it took me a few more years to get to the point where I realized that it’s okay that not everyone is going to love me the way I love them. It’s okay if someone doesn’t like me, there’s probably nothing I can do to change that, and trying will just waste energy better devoted to people who DO like me.

    Favorite songs that just affect me and my thinking:
    “All Will Be Well” – The Gabe Dixon band
    “Downtown Letdown” – Louden Swain
    “Something in the Water” – Steve Carlson

    All three of these are in my current “Favorites” playlist and probably will be for years to come.


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