by Bob Romero
I wrote an article about increasing your psychic senses with music, but music can also rejuvenate us and make us feel better. My musical library is full of songs that I’ve collected over the years that I really enjoy. It’s composed of different genres ranging from the Billboard Top 100 from each year in Pop and Rock for over 60 years, as well as in Country, and in New age. Now it’s easy to build a playlist of favorite songs.
When my mother was in a rehab and nursing facility, I noticed that the music that the staff played for different activities, was from an era that I resonated with, which was from the golden oldies from the 60’s, but the patients in their 80’s and 90’s really didn’t associate with that music. I put together a playlist from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s and gave it to the staff to use. Some of the music was from the Big Band era, and some included the old crooners like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Vaughn Monroe. There was a 101-year-old woman who bobbed her head to the music, and I heard her say “Now that’s music”! I would play the playlist for my mom sometimes when we would visit, and one day I noticed a tear in her eye. When I asked her what was wrong, she replied that they brought back good memories. There was one in particular which was “My Blue Heaven” by Gene Austin that would put her in a really good mood. So, whenever I would find her in a feisty mood, I would either play that song or show her pictures of my granddaughter, and she would smile and be in a good mood the rest of the day. Now I play it to remember her.
We had a little Shih Tzu dog, Snooky, and when he would ride in the car, he would start to shake when my favorite Rock station was playing. When I changed the station to classical music, I noticed a significant change in his mood, and he was much calmer. Some of the best channels on cable TV are the ones that only play music. There is one channel, “Soundscapes” that plays New Age music that is very soothing and relaxing. When certain songs would come on, Snooky would come running into the room and bark so that I lift him up on the couch. That was because he was old, and he could no longer jump. He would then fall asleep and even roll over on his back. Whenever my wife and I hear one of those songs now, we say “Ah, that’s a Snooky song”.
We are blessed in our parish to have a very musically talented pastor who can compose, sing, and play the piano. He wrote his own rendition of “Litany of the Saints” and sings it with the congregation during the month of November. It was so beautiful that my wife asked me to record it when she was unable to go. I also added it to my collection. He was on Broadway before he became a priest, and his beautiful trained voice just lifts everyone up. On one Christmas, instead of giving a homily, he sat down at the piano and sang a song about the Christ Child as his Christmas gift to us. He had stayed up until 2 a.m. writing it the night before.
During my senior year in high school, our English teacher, in addition to studying literature, gave us a project to analyze and critique three movies. One of them was “The Graduate”. The soundtrack consisted of Simon and Garfunkel’s hit songs. We also had to analyze these songs as well. We all became very fond of “The Sounds of Silence”, so much so, that it became our class song. That project and that song helped us form a bond, and we appreciated the teacher who got us to critically think for ourselves, and question authority when there was a hypocrisy, or if it went against our fundamental values. Fifty years later, as part of our fiftieth high school reunion, we had a tour of the grand old Fox Theatre. It had been closed for a few years, but it was now being restored. It had two balconies in addition to the main seating area. The huge velvet curtains still raised and lowered. The theatre opened in 1908 for plays and Vaudeville acts until being converted to motion picture theatre in 1929. So, in the back of the stage were huge backdrops and a piano. One of the classmates went to the piano and played “The Sounds of Silence”, and we all joined in and sang along. That bond among us still exists, and we are all still friends.
Bob Romero has been a diligent student of esoteric spiritual subjects and metaphysics for many years, with a life-long quest for answers. He has submitted new and original articles that focus on life lessons and experiences he wishes to share with our readers and the world.