Music is a world within itself
With a language we all understand
With an equal opportunity
For all to sing, dance and clap their hands
So sayeth the Wonder. Stevie, that is.
I first learned the song SIR DUKE in Grade 7. I’ll never forget my class’s tragic yet enthusiastic version of this song. Wow! We were really something. Voices and triangles and wooden blocks and recorders and tambourines. It was a melting pot of unmusicality!
But it was also beautiful.
I had already been deeply into music for several years. I had the good fortune of living beside a record store a few years earlier. And my older brother and I not only visited that store often, but we actually worked there. And being just out of diapers at the time, we were paid in vinyl. We were far too young to appear on any payroll list.
Stevie Wonder’s song spoke of the universal truth of the importance of music for me. I had always known that music was just as important as books. My entire life I wanted to surround myself with both. I wanted to use words and listen to music. By Grade 7 I had already discovered–with a deep sadness one could not even measure–that I had zero musical talent. I spent several years learning guitar at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. But all those lessons would soon be wiped from my memory. Whenever I opened my mouth to sing, I would have several invites to close it.
Music knows it is and always will
Be one of the things that life just won’t quit
Wonder wrapped my feelings for music up in this beautiful love letter to the pioneers who inspired him, like; Basie, Miller, Sachimo
And the king of all Sir Duke.
Now, decades after that nasty little Grade 7 rendition of a beautiful song that somehow opened my heart to the truth of the marriage between writing and music, I find myself a writer. An author, no less. And I still surround my writing time with the one thing I love maybe even slightly more than words. Music. If you’re a human being alive today, you have a favourite song, a favourite psalm, hymn, chorus…something. Like breath, I intake sound. And, wonder of wonders, I am fortunate enough to have found my bliss…I exhale words!
The question asked by Stevie Wonder in this classic song that, once heard, will never be forgotten? Can’t you feel it all over? The answer, my friends, is blowin’ in the wind. The answer is YES!
Enjoy SIR DUKE now:
If you want to follow a great blog that combines the loves of music and writing, look no more…go to ALL THE WRITE NOTES and dig in! Stay tuned. I will be posting my interview with Canada’s Bif Naked on ATWN this coming Monday, July 29th!