If music be the food of soul, play on……..my generation of people who grew up studying Shakespeare will instantly recognize this line. It’s the lure, the beauty and its power to provoke thought. It forms the very basis of what we undertake be it chores or on some errands. Music defines the person and his time and also attributes in character building (on what is happening to youngsters these days). A well written song is a good poem. Song-writers are masters of this poetic expression.
“Who can live without it,
I ask in all honesty,
what would life be,
without a song or a dance, What are we?
So I say thank you for the music,
for giving it to me”
These lines are from the song, “Thank you for the music” by ABBA. Now, the word ABBA would be an alien for today’s youngsters instead they prefer the modern ones which I am unfamiliar to. These lines speak volumes about the presence and the magic of music. It has the power to move emotions and instill a sense of being in a fairyland. The choice of music one prefers to listen is directly proportional to the person one is. That it tells so much about the reasoning of the individual. Such is the power of music.
One of my friends remarked, “Lobzang, mo tero gari ma kailey pos dhe na, toh khali English music sun tsha” (I will never get in your car, you always listen to English songs) and this friend of mine prefers Dzongkha songs instead. My friend grew up herding cows while attending school. The songs he grew up with were what the radio stations played. I would have been him if it was not for the Jesuits that taught us the ‘hymns’. I got introduction in to the world of western music very early. We were supposed to speak in English and thus, this is how I ended up listening and understanding to English songs. The bands of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s lured me and I still listen to the numbers from these times. “Learn to be still” by the Eagles hits the top list in my favorite numbers.
Whether one loves to listen to traditional, western, bollywood, Nepali, Zhungdra etcetera doesn’t really matter but what matters is the love for listening to music. Music binds us together irrespective of regions and the differences we have. The power of music enchants us. For some, it would be the lion share of time they spent till now listening to music.
My generation grew up with ‘walkmans’ and cassette players. The pride of owning one would be a moment of ‘Eureka’. The thought of forwarding or rewinding songs in a walkman would mean a quarrel with friends as the batteries needed to be saved for longer listening. It would be considered ‘hip’ to own one. Now, the sight of a man listening from a ‘walkman’ would be something hilarious. And now still, the gadgets and gizmos provide efficient listening. The internet is now the medium of all music. Perhaps my cousin was right when he opined, “Google is god, it answers everything” years back.
Whether one listens to a Sufi song, Ghazal, Rock, Hip Hop, RnB etc. is primary when thought of simply loving music is on a higher degree. Whether in Gaza or Gasa, Tingtibi or Timbuktu, Zhemgang or Zimbabwe, Arekha or Arizona, Bumthang or Buenos Aires we all love listening to music. And it is this love that will continue to enchant us until the very concept of music becomes obsolete. And I on behalf of all the human civilization would like to repeat what ABBA wrote 5 decades ago, “Thank you for the music”. Folks, what are you listening to lately?