“I’ve been alive forever and I wrote the very first song…” –’God,’ to quote Bruce Johnston
The entrance examiner for Songwriters Heaven asks the candidate: “WHO WRITES THE SONGS THAT MAKE THE WHOLE WORLD SING?” The candidate sings out, “Bruce Johnston, of the Beach Boys, wrote ‘I Write the Songs (That Make the Whole World Sing)’ and said he wrote it about where music comes from, God.” The examiner asks, “Is that a fact?” The candidate replies, “I read it at SongFacts.com.” The examiner thinks, “Thank God! I thought it was Barry Manilow.”
No disrespect intended to any musical soul, least of all one whose name is enshrined at the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Our seriously funny philosophical joke honors all writers of songs that make the whole world sing. Songs that put a smile on our face for the whole human race. Golden oldies and New Age. Arias and Grand Ole Opry. Country and rock. Gospel and bluegrass. Metal and folk. Freedom songs and love songs, never out of date. Soul music, that make our existence an endless melody.
“The principle of the endless melody is the perpetual becoming of a music that never had any reason for starting, any more than it has any reason for ending.” –Igor Stravinsky quote
For rocking our soul up the Mississippi mud through Tin Pan Alley along Broadway across the heartland over Rocky Mountain High to Songwriters Heaven, and rolling Home on the Range, writing a song is the ticket to ride…be it in a surrey with a fringe on top or a low-swinging chariot.
“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz” –Janis Joplin song
Writing this song, well, this post, is a metaphor of knock-knock-knocking on Heaven’s door, literally.
“With a Song in My Heart Heaven Opens its Portals to Me” –Rogers & Hart song
Writing it tunes our heart and mind, body and soul, to the basso profundo of Old Man River and the healing ways of the Navaho.
“Seemed to me that drumming was the best way to get close to God.” –Lionel Hampton quote
We want our song to pluck the chords in harmony with a universe of music.
“In essence, string theory describes space and time, matter and energy, gravity and light, indeed all of God’s creation… As music.” –Roy H. Williams
We write it to voice a mute child’s silent appreciation of a deaf composer’s Ode to Joy.
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” –Aldous Huxley quote
We hum and we write, to soothe the savage breast in an echo between an Alpine yodel and a Himalayan mantra.
“Music is not the notes, but in the silence between.” –Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart quote
We write it in the key of levity, to hear the ring of truth on a symphony orchestra’s typewriter.
“A song makes you feel a thought.” –E. Y. “Yip” Harburg
We write it, between far more sublime musical lines, to feel a seriously funny philosophical thought: Every good boy does fine who writes a song to every good girl who just wants to have fun.
“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” –Lao Tzu quote