Roots to Grow

I Believe in Music by George Spencer

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Years ago a country music composer named Mac Davis wrote a song called “I Believe in Music”. It was an okay song – not a great song – but an okay song. I even learned how to play it. If you listened to that particular song you might think that the words were a bit maudlin, but even if the words do not make a great composition, I would still say that I believe in music.

Of course I believe in a lot of other things. I believe in God. I believe in the love that I have for my wife and my son and my daughter-in-law and my granddaughters but I really do believe in music!

Music has been my comfort and joy to me since I was a teenager. I learned how to sing by listening to my mother. I refined that skill in my church choir. Later I sang in the high school chorus and the college chorus and my fraternity glee club. I listened to The Kingston Trio sing “Tom Dooly” and was encouraged to buy a Gibson guitar at the local music store. I learned how to make chords by looking at pictures in a “Mel Bay Learn to Play the Guitar” chord book. I memorized the protest songs of Bob Dylan . . . and in so doing became somewhat of a rebel myself. I played the chords and sang the songs and found a great deal of joy in the process.

Music has been a faithful companion. It has never left me lonely. When I was away from family and friends I still had a song to keep me company. When I was depressed I could still find a song to cheer me. When I wanted to celebrate I had a song of thanks. When I wanted to rekindle a cherished moment in time a song reminded me.

Most important, songs have given me expression. The tune and the words have spoken for me when I couldn’t express myself. So these are just some of the songs that I would use to express myself:

· “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” by Van Morrison – to my wife

· “Amazing Grace” by John Newton – a song that speaks to my faith

· “That’s My Daughter in the Water”, by Loudon Wainwright III – a song that reminds me of my granddaughters and my daughter-in-law – It makes me smile.

· “May You Stay Forever Young”, Bob Dylan – a wish that I give to my son, my granddaughters and my daughter-in-law

· “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack – another song to my granddaughters (Please find this song and play it to your granddaughters!)

· “Slip Sliding Away” – The third verse reminds me that there is so much I would like to say to my son . . . but I don’t know how. I cry when I sing it.

· “From a Distance” by Julie Gold – my “world view”

· “Take It Easy” by Jackson Browne and Glen Frye and Sweet Baby James, James Taylor – just because I like to sing them

· “Tom Dooly” by The Kingston Trio – the first song that I ever learned to play on my guitar

· “These Are The Days” another song by Van Morrison – a good philosophy for someone who is “getting older” – No one has ever heard me play this song because I feel that I can’t do it justice.

These Are The Days

Van Morrison

These are the days of endless summer

These are the days the time is now

There is no past, there’s only future

There’s only here, there’s only now

Oh your smiling face, your gracious presence

The fires of spring are kindling bright

Oh the radiant heart and the song of glory

Crying freedom in the night


These are the days by the sparkling river

His timely grace and our treasured find

This is the love of the one magician

Turned the water into the wine

These are the days of the endless dancing and the

Long walks on the summer nights

These are the days of the true romancing

When I’m holding you oh so tight


These are the days now we must savor

And we must enjoy as we can

These are the days that will last forever

You’ve got to hold them in your heart