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info pls: 60s music & spirituality

sixtieschick 23 Dec 04 - 03:06 AM
Peace 23 Dec 04 - 03:39 AM
*daylia* 23 Dec 04 - 07:11 AM
Peace 23 Dec 04 - 07:16 AM
*daylia* 23 Dec 04 - 07:23 AM
Peace 23 Dec 04 - 07:35 AM
sixtieschick 23 Dec 04 - 01:45 PM
PoppaGator 23 Dec 04 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Guest 23 Dec 04 - 11:00 PM
Peace 23 Dec 04 - 11:02 PM
Peace 23 Dec 04 - 11:03 PM
Bobert 23 Dec 04 - 11:07 PM
Peace 23 Dec 04 - 11:14 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 23 Dec 04 - 11:28 PM
Peace 23 Dec 04 - 11:45 PM
dick greenhaus 24 Dec 04 - 12:09 AM
Peace 24 Dec 04 - 12:15 AM
ev 24 Dec 04 - 12:40 AM
sixtieschick 24 Dec 04 - 12:44 AM
Peace 24 Dec 04 - 01:13 AM
GUEST,Sidewinder 24 Dec 04 - 01:53 AM
Peace 27 Dec 04 - 05:09 AM
ev 27 Dec 04 - 02:28 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder 27 Dec 04 - 06:00 PM
PoppaGator 27 Dec 04 - 06:12 PM
Peace 27 Dec 04 - 06:13 PM
Peace 27 Dec 04 - 06:14 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder 27 Dec 04 - 06:54 PM
sixtieschick 27 Dec 04 - 08:06 PM
Azizi 27 Dec 04 - 09:19 PM
sixtieschick 27 Dec 04 - 11:21 PM
Peace 27 Dec 04 - 11:33 PM
Kaleea 28 Dec 04 - 01:59 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 28 Dec 04 - 02:17 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 28 Dec 04 - 02:45 AM
Peace 28 Dec 04 - 05:48 AM
GUEST,Sidewinder 28 Dec 04 - 08:01 AM
Peace 28 Dec 04 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,Sidewinder 28 Dec 04 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,Sidewinder 28 Dec 04 - 08:30 AM
Peace 28 Dec 04 - 08:34 AM
*daylia* 28 Dec 04 - 09:11 AM
PoppaGator 28 Dec 04 - 09:25 AM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 09:35 AM
*daylia* 28 Dec 04 - 10:14 AM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 10:30 AM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 12:32 PM
PoppaGator 28 Dec 04 - 12:56 PM
Azizi 28 Dec 04 - 01:25 PM
Wesley S 28 Dec 04 - 01:42 PM
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Subject: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: sixtieschick
Date: 23 Dec 04 - 03:06 AM

A very sincere question I am asking as part of research for a book: Did any songs or musicians from the sixties influence or inspire your spiritual life? Many people first learned about spirituality from music and musicians. For instance, "Tomorrow Never Knows" by the Beatles really intrigued me. Its cryptic lyrics were supposed to come from "The Tibetan Book of the Dead." It sent me on a wonderful journey into Tibetan Buddhism for awhile. Did a song or artist send you down a particular spiritual path or to a particular teacher or teaching? Has that continued for you? Thank you very much in advance.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 23 Dec 04 - 03:39 AM

The song that impacted me most in a 'spiritual' sense was Dylan's "Hard Rain." I listened to it repeatedly, and I was struck forcefully by the evocative images of what I took to be a post-nuclear world. I hadn't been oblivious to the cold war I grew up with, but that one song 'brought it all back home' for me. It set the course of my life for a few years, and when I worked for McCarthy in the 1967 primaries, I think maybe it was because of that song. It has never left me, with all its one-line statements and its haunting pictures. It is, to me, the most 'visual' of Dylan's work, although otheres may disagree with that.

This likely isn't what you are looking for, but I am not 'spiritual' in the sense you imply, and it's all I got to offer at this time.

BM


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: *daylia*
Date: 23 Dec 04 - 07:11 AM

Sounds "spiritual" enough to me, brucie. I remember learning Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind", also "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and "One Tin Soldier" (wish I knew who wrote that!) in elementary school. I consider them all pretty spiritual!

But can anything beat the Beatles?

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom - Let it Be..."



Or "Yes" for their metaphysical melodiousness ...


In and around the lake
Mountains come out of the sky and they
Stand there ...

Along the drifting cloud the eagle searching
Down on the land
Catching the swirling wind the sailor sees
The rim of the land
The eagle's dancing wings create as weather
Spins out of hand
Go closer hold the land feel partly no more
Than grains of sand
We stand to lose all time a thousand answers
By in our hand
Next to your deeper fears we stand
Surrounded by a million years

I'll be the roundabout
The words will make you out 'n' out
I'll be the roundabout
The words will make you out 'n' out


Oooo just pondering those words still makes my head spin a bit. Hmmm ... maybe the song's not inspired as much by "spirituality" as by the mind-bending acid that was around in the 60's!


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 23 Dec 04 - 07:16 AM

ONE TIN SOLDIER
(The Legend of Billy Jack)
words and music by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter
Copyright © 1969 by ABC / Dunhill Music, Inc.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: *daylia*
Date: 23 Dec 04 - 07:23 AM

"One Tin Soldier" was from "The Legend of Billy Jack"? But but but - I saw that movie in the early 70's and it was great, but I don't remember the song. Maybe I was the one on acid! Thanks, brucie.

daylia


(PS just funnin - I was only a kid so I was still too smart to voluntarily mess myself up that way. Yet.)


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 23 Dec 04 - 07:35 AM

Welcome, daylia.

Loved that movie BTW.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: sixtieschick
Date: 23 Dec 04 - 01:45 PM

These are great. I was thinking about ""We Shall Overcome." It was eventually sung to death, but in the beginning it was a very spiritually powerful anthem. It was moving, inspiring and unifying when blacks and whites would hold hands--in public!--and sing it together, led by M.L. King and Joan Baez and others. On a totally different note (literally) when Peter Townshend of the Who embraced Meher Baba and wrote parts of Tommy in a spiritual vein, and other Brits followed other gurus and started singing about a new, drug-free way to get high, it changed a lot of lives. Any thoughts or personal experiences along those lines? There was also a lot of obnoxious stuff going down--the zeal of converts--like the kid who practically tackled me in Lucerne, Switzerland in 1976, trying to convert me to Christianity by telling me that "Bye Bye Miss American Pie" was a Christian song, therefore proving that Christianity was really hip and cool.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: PoppaGator
Date: 23 Dec 04 - 01:51 PM

I certainly agree about "We Shall Overcome," and it's true that the *context* in which one heard/sang such a song had everything to do with tis spiritual impact.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 23 Dec 04 - 11:00 PM

Many songs back then seemed to have a kind of oracular quality that touched on spiritual currents that were part of the time, not necessarily easy to get in touch with now.

The Pearls Before Swine song "Another Time" felt (still feels) like something out of the Tao Te Ching, maybe. Tom Rapp supposedly wrote it as a high school student in Florida after a serious car accident suddenly thrust him into a new perspective.

I thought the self-titled Traffic album was very oracular, a kind of Rosetta Stone to what it was to be alive them, veiled under a pop veneer.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 23 Dec 04 - 11:02 PM

All songs have to be contextualized, IMO. That's what performers do on stage when they 'grab' an audience. Pacing and context. It's the job of the performer to ace where a given audience 'is' and take 'em where the performer convinces them they wanna go.

A tremendous rendition of WSO can be found on Seeger's WSO Concert at Carnegie Hall. It worked, and the audience was up for it. It was a song meant to give people heart and determination.

Some demonstrations were pretty damned scary. Having an 80-90 pound German Shepherd straining at the end of a leash snarling at you is a situation calling for a .357 or some serious spiritual support. That's what the songs were meant for, IMO. They were the expressions of dreams and hopes for a better world; the expressions of will from the singers: little kids to old adults. They helped give a sense of comfort--as much as one can find that while looking down the muzzles of rifles held by kids who were just as scared as the people who were protesting.

Still, today, great oratory can move people, even when it's 'old' oration. I read MLK's "I have a Dream" speech to grade 11 or 12 students after establishing the historical context. I am a percent of a percent of a percent the speaker that King was, but my students love it. Imagine the feeling in that crowd when King did it in person? Wow!

Good eye, sc and PG.

Later.

BM


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 23 Dec 04 - 11:03 PM

You, too, Guest. Cross posted.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Dec 04 - 11:07 PM

Oh, where to start???


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 23 Dec 04 - 11:14 PM

In the beginning, there was light!


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 23 Dec 04 - 11:28 PM

After I returned from the first Woodstock, I was as revved up as everyone else who was there. At the time, I was going to a fairly nervous Catholic church, and I was approached to do something for the teenagers. They'd been looking at all these heavy-handed movies about drugs and smoking and the dangers of sex, and were only coming because their parents were forcing them to. So, I offered to do an evening of music from Woodstock, correlating songs to biblical passages. It was really quite easy because there was a lot of biblical imagery in folk-rock during that time. For each recording, I included a reference to a related bible scripture. The poor Priests almost had a heart attack the night I did the program. The church was in a gymnasium, and the kids wanted to move the pews so they could lie on the floor while they were listening to the music. And, the wanted the lights off. I somehow convinced the young Priest that it would be alright (and I had two young Priests who were friends who gave credibility to my efforts.) And, instead of the usual four or five kids who were forced to come to the programs for teenagers, we must have had 100 kids there. They'd never experienced anything like it (and never did again.) It was such a success that I was asked to repeat it at another Catholic church.

I've long since lost my notes about the program, or I'd be glad to share it with you.

One thing I never am sure of. What do you mean by Spirituality? It means many different things..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 23 Dec 04 - 11:45 PM

Spirituality to me is the deep feeling and assurance that 'someone' more important than me is takin' a personal interest in my well-being. I found the music to be a way to keep that communication/link open.

Funny how folk masses/services did attract kids, huh?


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 24 Dec 04 - 12:09 AM

iI've always suspected that the bulk of 60s spirituality was chemically induced. But what do I know?


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 24 Dec 04 - 12:15 AM

God spoke to me one day while I was on acid. He told me to stop doing it. I did.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: ev
Date: 24 Dec 04 - 12:40 AM

hmmm, this may not be the sort of spirituality you're looking for, but the first time I heard Dylan's "Shelter from the Storm" not only was I stunned by the Matrilineal / goddess imagery -- it was coming out of such a Judeo-Christian poet..? I'm hardly a Dylan scholar, but this thread is not so much *what is there* as *what you need to be there*.   And So It Is for me.
But I've often said religion is what a person pours one's faith into, a container that helps give that faith a shape -- spirituality can be an alternate to organized religion: indeed it is a much more personal set of parameters for most individuals.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: sixtieschick
Date: 24 Dec 04 - 12:44 AM

Thank you for all the great posts. I'll try to respond individually to some. But for now I'll attempt to clarify what I have in mind: Basically, most of what I learned in the sixties I learned from musicians and music. I feel there was an especially intense collective search for meaning going on at that time that was expressed through music. Vietnam was horrific, and every male under 35 was faced with the draft. People were dying in the struggle for racial equality. King made nonviolent resistance a spiritual practice, just as Gandhi before him had done. The original leadership of the Civil Rights Movement were mostly ministers. The songs reflected that. In another arena entirely, in terms of spirituality as an inner exploration, many people initially took psychedelics and pot to gain insight and break perceptual boundaries. (Drugs were often called 'sacraments.') The music also reflected that. Out of that culture, a number of musicians embraced a variety of formal spiritual practices, with or without drugs, and wrote music to express the meaning they found in their practices, or teachers, or religions. I was influenced by some sixties music to explore my place in the world, to look within, and to take action to try to make things better. I am wondering what songs or musicians inspired YOU to undertake similar explorations, or that inspired you spiritually--in any way you wish to define your spirituality.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 24 Dec 04 - 01:13 AM

Dear sixtieschick,

"Mary, You Are my Friend"

Step down the air raid siren says,
Don't walk in the rain.
It's true they fought their battles,
Where the graveyards remain,
And now machine guns testify
That Hitler's back again,
Washington you know his footsteps,
What he's done is change his name,
And perhaps go more insane.

Mother Mary have forgiveness,
The Church has got you taking sides.
Your Son was killed for silver,
It's the same when soldiers die,
But I refuse to sell myself
Into illicit enterprise,
Genocidal Quisling governments
Sanction war with killer's pride'
But war's just murder undisguised.

Traitors govern us, they're inventing
Lies to hide their vicious smiles,
From Holy Mary representing
Every virgin with a child.

***************************************

I think I wrote that in '67 or '68. Not sure. It was a response to the continuing insanity of the Vietnam War, the NYC Cardinal (Spellman?) getting into it on the side of Washington, and the flow of garbage being fed to people in the news. The image of Mary was a powerful one for me. I was not religious in a formal sense--that is, I didn't go to church or have any involvement with one, but as twenty or twenty-one year old, I knew in my heart that things just weren't right. In retrospect (and that song has a really good melody BTW, pardon my immodesty), it was a search for something beyond the 'facts' per se, and a dip into the poetic world of image, archetype and symbol.

The song ended--on the record--with an explosion to symbolize a nuclear blast. It is one of four songs on that vinyl that I still like.

Don't mean to make this about me. Hope it's of help to you.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 24 Dec 04 - 01:53 AM

I believe spirituality means hope in a hopeless world i.e the spiritual songs sang by the slaves on plantations in the Mississippi Delta. Therefore I would argue that you cannot define any song from the 60s as spiritual as most were written by failed art students and sycophantic millionaires as opposed to penniless immigrants and despairing souls far from glory without any notion of chart placings and royalty cheques. Tomorrow Never Knows is merely an aural experiment given a "throwaway title" as Lennon stated (it was originally titled "The Void") to spare the song any intellectual or spiritual or avante garde analysis. There are far more admirable pretensions of Eastern mysticism in George Harrisons work if you choose to go down that road. Personally I think the 60s was a time when bubblegum pop music collided with high idealism and poetic whimsy to furnish pseudo intellectual dropouts with a quicker way to die. As a massive Beatles fan I do think their music epitomises the whole field of 60s creativity, the highs and the lows, far more comprehensively than any other artists work but I would never argue for any spiritual aspirations within the body of work; as I'm sure none of the group would.As Lennon also said "It's just music you either like it or you don't".I would add to this that the only 60s track that comes close to spiritual in my humble opinion is Sam Cookes " A Change is Gonna Come ".

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 05:09 AM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: ev
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 02:28 PM

Sidewinder brings up some valid points from the view of a strict academic interpretation.
There is a vast rift between the exploitation of a penniless immigrant and a pop sycophant. (looks around for the PC police)
But I ask you -- is it not the effect on the listener we are talking about? Enlightenment rarely if ever takes place during dutiful worship. We come together to share -- BUT (IMHO) to bring a person to the table of the spiritual feast, an individual invitation must be accepted. Certainly there was and is hopelessness in the world -- and the 60's was a time of awakening -- even if in hindsight it looks like most of us stretched, yawned and rolled over.

And yes, Bob Dylan was nuthin but a skinny tinny voiced midwesterner with possible pretentions of poetry -- but I will take,
"Oh but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now" with all it's implications, over any organized religion's pabulum dogma.
You get out of a thing, what you put into it.
When the need is there -- and our need never changes, we do seek to understand the void -- we take what we can find that speaks to us in the voice we can understand.

ev.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 06:00 PM

Thank you Ev for your gracious understanding of my point of view I really have no axe to grind with 60s music or its purveyors I truly love a great deal of it. However, I would add to my previous statement that all music is superficial and therefore has no real spiritual identity it is merely the second hand ( at best ) meanderings of less than brilliant minds and the tonal and modular qualities mean far more to the average listener than any spritual pretensions. The real understanding of spiritual qualities within music are as contrived as any Dylan song and for my own pleasure I much prefer Dylans' storytelling abilities to his malapropisms.

God Bless

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: PoppaGator
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 06:12 PM

"...all music is superficial..."

!??!?!?!??!?!?!?!??!?!?

I would argue the exact contrary -- that music can provide a depth of expression a least as great, if not moreso, than *any* other art form. And song, certainly, includes the literal meaning of lyrics enhanced by the musical setting. For an artist trying to convey a spiritual message, songwriting provides at least as effective a means as anything else he'she might attempt.

Now, whether any spiritual communication actually takes place depends as much upon the listener as upon the artist. And in the (very common) situation where a performer is interpreting another person's songwriting effort, there are three (or more) individuals in the mix, all of whom need to be "on the same page," all taking each other seriously, for a serious message to be conveyed.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 06:13 PM

Doth not music have charms to soothe the savage breast?


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 06:14 PM

But, if ya don't see it that way, that's cool.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 06:54 PM

An interesting difference of opinion here - firstly Brucie I like your attitude everythings cool whether we agree or not I am totally with you on that. Poppagator if your view is true why do all the gurus and spiritual leaders not make records rather than preach and write? It is, as I said; far too superficial a medium to really have a productive effect on any situation or existing state- intellectually and/or politically.Think of the people within music you admire i.e Lennon " I don't believe in Beatles" from the song God. Do you not think he contemplated what he was saying in that song? Dylan also many times has rubbished his best works and said it doesn't really amount to a great deal aesthetically. There is far more to be learned from reading Hegel,Descartes,Ionescu,Marx,etc. than listening to Mr. Zimmerman - believe me; though I do not knock his efforts by any means.

Best Wishes

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: sixtieschick
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 08:06 PM

Extensive research reveals that there were no victrolas or CD players during Descarte's time, so who can say whether or not he might have cut a "best hits" album if given half a chance? I have always found Dylan's remarks about his work and the public's reaction to it to be so much smokescreen. He seems to need to put down everyone around him, to what end I can hardly guess. Also, many artists disparage their own work; we tend to be a perfectionistic lot. The artist often sees only the gap between what he envisioned in his mind's eye and how it actually came out on paper or vinyl or whatever. Also, people like Lennon and Dylan knew that they were going through phases and trying to work things out for themselves--their songs expressed their work in progress on their psyches and didn't represent the illumination of a finished, enlightened soul. That doesn't cancel out the importance the work takes in the eyes or ears of the beholder. Sixties music introduced me to a world of possibilities. I probably would never have even read Tibetan and Vedic scriptures and Western philosophers had I not been introduced to them by rock, folk and protest music.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 09:19 PM

I had the honor of hearing Dr. Martin Luther King preach at my home church in Atlantic City,New Jersey in the 1960s. This may have been immediately prior to or during the Democratic Convention and the protest efforts of Fanny Lou Hammer and the Freedom Democratic Party. Or it may have been before the 1963 March on Washington.

My church, Union Baptist Temple, was a center of the both efforts in Atlantic City, and I distinctly remember an African American choir from the South singing the gospel version of "We Shall Overcome" there. Their rendition of "We'll Overcome" was much faster than the civil rights vesion, but had similar words. No one held hands to sing that song. Instead the song was sung with handclap {and piano/organ} accompaniment. This precluded the holding hands with those next to you in the criss crossed fashion that is symbolic of the civil rights version of "We Shall Overcome". I mean no disparagement of the unifying symbolism of such hand holding and moving side to side while singing that Civil Rights song. It works, at least on an ephemeral level to show people that we are linked together...

But the spirit that I felt from the Gospel singing of "We'll Overcome" was so much more.

As I wrote in another thread, that Southern church choir reminded us so-called "Middle class" African Americans from the North of the difficult life threatening conditions that they constantly face and that our ancestors faced in the South. They exhorted us to put our souls in our singing and not worry about form and fashion.

That singing was a real spiritual experience for me.

I also had the honor of attending the 1963 March On Washington. However, there were so many thousands of people there and I was so very far away from the stage, that I was not aware that Joan Baez or anyone else sang "We Shall Overcome" at event.

The atmosphere at the March On Washington was carnival-like in the best sense of that word. There was a feeling of disregard for those things that normally separate people from each other such as race, age, and economic class. You could feel the energy of so many people united in a positive cause. It felt good.That also was a spiritual experience for me, and I dare say for most of the others there as well.
---

The Encarta.com website says that "'We Shall Overcome' is one of many songs written during the sit-ins, prayer vigils, and poster walks during the civil rights movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s" and that it is "loosely based on gospels and spirituals. However, see http://www.pipeline.com/~rgibson/overcomehistory.html, for this historical overview:

"The song [We Shall Overcome] was born in slavery.

It began as a field song, a work refrain that helped men and
women in bondage endure from sunup to sundown. They would
sing: "I'll be all right."

Like many songs that began in slavery, it had no one author
and no standard version. It spread and changed with the
seasons and generations and as slaves were sold from one
place to another in the American South.

In time there was a war, and the slaves won their freedom,
but only in a legal sense. The song survived in a new time
of lynching and Jim Crow. In 1901, as laws decreeing
separation between the races were being erected, a Methodist
minister named Charles Albert Tindley published a kindred
version: "I'll Overcome Someday."

It was a song of hope, a hymn for a better tomorrow. It
spread through black churches in the South and in the North,
and then through the Southern labor movement.

And in the year that the second World War ended, a faction
of black women were on strike, picketing the owners of a
tobacco plant in Charleston, S.C., at a time when mill
owners controlled almost everything and everyone, white and
black, and at a time when standing up for your rights could
mean a one-way trip in the back of a police car.

The strike dragged on and the women grew disheartened, and
as the rain came down, many dropped off the picket line.

One of the holdouts began to sing the song, vowing to
overcome the odds. Soon they all were singing. In the spirit
of union, they sang "we" instead of "I." And they invented a
new verse:

We will win our rights.

And when the strike was over, they had won their rights, or
at least a contract, and in that time and place that meant
something.

Two of the women visited a union and civil rights training
school far from home, in the Tennessee countryside. It was
at the Highlander Center that they taught the song and its
new verse to a new generation.

Along the way, the "will" became "shall," an old word, one
that had the sound of the Bible in it, and people sang

We shall overcome

We shall overcome

We shall overcome someday.

Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe

We shall overcome someday."
end of quote

---
Those interested can go to that site for more information on the event that is said to have sparked the creation of the "We are not afraid" verse etc.

Sorry, I STILL can't figure out how to make those blue clickies, but I've not given up.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: sixtieschick
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 11:21 PM

Thank you Azizi, for your special experiences and some terrific information. You were very blessed to have hosted Dr. King and I enjoyed reading about it. Also thank you for the information on "We Shall Overcome." The gospel version must be very powerful. Some gospel groups must have recorded it. Info, anyone?


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 11:33 PM

www.fculittle.org/sermons/overcome.html

Another site to look at.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Kaleea
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 01:59 AM

The cover of the "Sgt. Pepper" Beatles album intrigued me. I used to sit for hours as a young teen listening to the album & looking at the pictures. There were 5 specific faces which I could not stop looking at. Finally, after I returned from Korea in '77, I read Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda & found out exactly who those faces belonged to.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 02:17 AM

Spirituality was not a generally known or used word in the '60s. If one was religious it was from going to an established religion's big building where your parents, both of them, insisted you go. There were the songs you learned to sing phonetically in Hebrew or Latin. The sixties, themselves, led to philosophical searching and delving that produced what we think of today as spiritual songs. Many of the most spiritual songs of that time were secular and they reflected more of a search for philosophical meaning than anything else.

That's how I saw it anyhow.

Today the spirituality dialogue is an attempt to bring some secular leaning thinking people back to the established old-time religions.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 02:45 AM

This reminds me that I heard Martin Luther King give a speech at Temple Sholem on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. It was the most meaningful and spiritual "preaching" I'd ever heard there. It was a reformed temple and there was a chorus with a wondeful black contralto we loved to listen to there. (There was no cantor---just the choral director who had a fine voice. He'd fathered an illegitimate child---and one day he just wan't there any more.)

One day I asked the rabbi where God was. He told me that God resided in an everlasting light above the pulpit. The next week I saw them change God's bulb. (It only took one person to do that---on a very tall ladder.) That was possibly and probably my first lesson in atheism. I'd been trying to resolve my father's death when I was 5 years old--although the conversation was at least 6 years after that. I'd been told, "God needs him more than we do; that is why He took him."

In that light, I submit "Plastic Jesus" as my suggested spiritual song from that era. Of course, I'm being facetous and truthful at the same time. But there wasn't much spiritual about the 60s that I ever noticed---except possibly my old and dear friends George and Gerry Armstrong singing "Simple Gifts"!

Art


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 05:48 AM

I agree with Art concerning the 'spirituality' statementThe quest for meaning was philosophical. To be sure, the 'age' of 'spirituality' was ushered in in the 1970s. The sixties came to a head and 'died' in Chicago in 1968. After that, many 'radicals' packed it in. The trial of "The Chicago Seven" was a sham, IMO, and although I hadn't agreed with the Yippie Party's 'platform' or the choice of candidate, I understood it. The war in South-east Asia was not going well and the body bags were being sent home to small-town America. The mood of the country was changing, and it was changing fast. And many of the people who had fueled the anti-war movement were dropping out. Recall that a schism occurred between the Black Panthers and the white liberals who had helped 'legitimize' the Civil Rights Movement. Prior to white involvement, middle-class America thought things were just fine, thank you. I am not mocking that or belittling the involvement of white liberals. It is hard to stop being racist and to throw out racial stereotypes. Many of the people who helped black people were Jewish. The view seemed to be that injustice was injustice. Starting in late 1966, many people in Greenwich Village 'took the last train to the coast', and supplemented the numbers of kids who were turning on, tuning in and dropping out. Music itself in the US was getting specialized, Boston had its scene; NYC its scene. The same for Chicago, Detroit, Nashville, San Francisco, LA, Seattle--and other places I am forgetting--poor memory, not lack of a wish to include them all. The age of anti-war protest was ending. Maybe it wa sthe absurdity of arguing over the shape required of the Paris Paece Talks table; maybe it was that people gave up on politics when Nixon won. Maybe, maybe, maybe. Also, electric was coming in, and single singers with only a guitar were beginning to be ignored.

Just putting some thoughts on paper here. I expect your view to be different. We none of us see the same picture, especially when the picture is filtered through memory.

BM


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 08:01 AM

Some fascinating insights into a time of upheaval and radical change - thank you for sharing your respective experiences. I do feel that the music of the 60s was not really that important to those great individuals and groups bringing about the changes. Sixties


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 08:12 AM

Sidewinder.

I am very interested in your views. I found them to be very different--and very radical. I agree that the music didn't do much to shape the policy of the movers and shakers--but that comes with a caveat: Hoffman and Ruben were influenced by music, very much. Ochs' writing/songs had an impact on them, and that I know for fact. To what degree? Your guess is as good as mine.

I don't know who you are, but I enjoyed your views, Thank you. (Of course, I don't agree with you, but I enjoyed them.)

Bruce M


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 08:16 AM

Some fascinating insights into a time of upheaval and radical change - thank you for sharing your respective experiences. I do feel that the music of the 60s was not really that important to those great individuals and groups bringing about the changes. Sixtieschick do you think the work of the singer/songwriter becomes something more meaningful when he/she has released it and the public have analysed every last detail and turned it into prophecy, then several years down the line the artist says "I was stoned when I wrote it I haven't got a clue what it's about, it's just a piece of crap I wrote". Do you think people try and preserve their own self importance within a group by maintaining the myth that a single song is mana from heaven when in fact it is merely a pop record aimed at the charts rather than the consciousness of a nation? My opinion is that great people change things by their deeds and selfless acts rather than 3 chords and a catchy chorus. I would be interested to hear (see) your thoughts on these views.

Happy New Year.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 08:30 AM

Brucie - I would be interested to pursue your perspective on how Ruben & Hoffman equate with music and spirituality. I am sure you are a fascinating individual with much more to offer this forum than little asides and quips and I look forward to your honest thoughts and feelings regarding the the issue raised.I am sure we can agree on something within this subject matter.

Happy New Year.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 08:34 AM

I will post to this later. I have to get some sleep. Thanks, Sidewinder. I too am sure we'll find common ground. And a Happy New Year to you, also.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: *daylia*
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 09:11 AM

Music is among the fastest and most effective mediums for triggering and supporting "evolutionary" changes in individuals and groups, even nations! The music of the 60's was no exception. Avant-garde "classical" composers like John Cage were creating "music" that expressed the post-WWII global fear and hopelessness in the face of the Cold War and constant threat of nuclear holocaust (ie the "Art of Nothing"). On the other hand, the music of the hippies and folkies raised awareness and heralded massive change in the "departments" of ecology and civil rights. I consider this kind of music spiritual, because it supports life and is aligned with truth, peace and love.

I think the "revolutionary" music of the 60's was much healthier and more positive than the "revolutionary" music of today, though. The brutal gangsta rap, the satanic heavy metal etc are much more powerful, insidious influence than "classic rock" ever was, because of today's added visual stimulus (music videos). The combination poisons the innocent minds/psyches of the young and naive with hatred, despair, bigotry and violence.

Together with the ever-more-vicious video games (ever watched "Grand Theft Auto" where you win the game by killing cops and mowing down pedestrians?), this so-called "music" desensitizes and robs the young of a conscience. It's the very opposite of what I consider spiritual because it idealizes destruction, sickness, violence, hatred and death.

THe sounds, words, ideas and images that would have repulsed and horrified me at age 12 (and still do!) - well, unfortunately many of the today's youth don't even blink an eye at it. In other words, what sickens me turns them on. That's how "their" music influences them.

So, what's this kind of music doing to the "collective human psyche" of the 21st Century? Perish the thought   :-(

daylia


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 09:25 AM

OK, Sidewinder et. al., much of what you're saying is persuasive; we probably shouldn't have (and still shouldn't) take all of that pop music too-too seriously. And, of course, everyone's entitled to their own opinion. But:

~ Why did Dylan and Lennon and (presumably) others find it so necessary to disparage the importance of their own work? I'd say it was because so very many listeners took it so very seriously that the artists in question found it downright scary. Their songs *did* reach people on a very deep level, so much so that the effect was evident throughout society, even on the evening news.

I think those guys were rightfully abashed to be given credit for "causing" the sudden social change that was happening; they were only acting as messengers, giving voice to insights and experiences that they shared with millions of their peers (and thereby passing the message along to many millions more). I think that they themselves must have understood this, but the quickest and easiest way for them to deal with badgering reporters and their stuipd questions whould naturally have been to respond "Who, me? I wasn't serious about that at all."

~ To those who say that all that business in the sixties had nothing to do with spirituality because it denied many aspects of established organized religion, I'd just say we differ on our definitions of the word "spirituality." There is a long tradition of Beatnik Buddhism dating back to the late '40s that rejects the trappings of the conventional churches while promoting serious spiritual awareness, and this school of thought grew exponentially during the 60s, quickly spreading from a few tiny bohemian ghettos to college campuses and suburban homes everywhere. Yeah, sure, not everyone "got" the entire message, and many failed to pick up on the subtlest aspects -- certainly including anything remotely spiritual. But many listeners did hear something that prompted them to look into previously unfamiliar expressions of spirituality such as meditation, yoga, Sufi dancing, etc. etc.

In the end, should we take all that stuff with a grin of salt? Yeah, maybe so. The world didn't change overnight, not nearly so radically as many imagined that it would. In retrospect, it was foolish to expect the kind of cataclysmic social change that many were looking for, and I would contend that the so-called counterculture *did* have a profound and lasting effect on ensuing events.

I would argue that people today -- in the industrialized English-speaking part of the world, anyway -- *do* have a more subtle and highly-realized sense of spirituality than they did a generation or two earlier, whether they are committed churchgoers or adamant opponents of religion as it had been taught to them as children. And I do still believe that the 60s culture of social upheaval and "expanded consciousness," as spread via mass media including but not limited to popular music, had a tremendous and irreversible effect on society as a whole.

The fact that we're even *having* this debate must mean something. These ideas would not have meant anything to anyone in, say, 1957. I realize that the mergence of Dylan and Lennon, Hunter and Garcia, et. al., isn't the only thing to have happened between now and then, but it's gotta count for something!

But hey, if you're not buying into any of this, Happy New Year anyway. ;^)


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 09:35 AM

I disagree with the idea that music opens doors to the higher realms (with the exception of the chemically induced kicking in the doors as has already been mentioned).

When it comes to spirituality, for me at least, I find music to be perhaps the most superficial aspect of spiritual questing and/or having authentic spiritual experiences.

60s music hasn't been particularly long lived, and was pretty superficial for the most part. The songs people still associate with the civil rights movement were religious for the most part, like "We Shall Overcome" which always sounded to me like the flip side to "Onward Christian Soldiers". Not a song to my liking.

The great power of some 60s music, though not much of it, was the revolution in pop music, some of which is still with us today and/or has stood the test of time as truly great pop music. And there was some great anti-establishment music you would never hear in today's pro-establishment times.

None of my deeply spiritual experiences have human music as a soundtrack, but the sounds of nature are definitely part of them. Silence is a large part of spiritual experience to me, because contemplation or meditation or prayer (pick yer poison) is the essence of spirituality in my mind, along with living through tragic circumstances that tests us. Like the Asian tsunami, which reminds us all again that the force and power of nature is in charge here, regardless of our illusions to the contrary.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: *daylia*
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 10:14 AM

And I do still believe that the 60s culture of social upheaval and "expanded consciousness," as spread via mass media including but not limited to popular music, had a tremendous and irreversible effect on society as a whole.

Yes it did - but I'm not sure it's irreversible. Ideas like "Peace and Love" just don't seem to arouse the enthusiasm of the young the way they used to.

In the mid-70's when I was 16, I'd quit my lifelong studies of classical piano and viola to teach myself guitar. I dreamed of becoming a rock star ... and one night I had an very interesting dream experience that seems to fit right in here.

I dreamed I was sleeping in the old bedroom I had when I was only about 4. All of a sudden Paul McCartney was leaning over me. In his outstretched hand was something that looked like a tiny little round microphone. I thought he was offering me a chance to sing with him, and I took it all excited -- but as I looked at it more closely I realized it wasn't a microphone at all. It was a hit of acid. My disappointment and surprise woke me up. And I've never forgotten that dream (obviously!).

Now I'd never been one of those "Beatlemaniacs", so I was surprised that Mr. McCartney had figured in my dream at all. And an interpretation? Well ... first, I was less than 4 when the Beatles first hit the charts, so it's quite interesting that the dream took place in that 'time frame'. They'd influenced me more than I realized at the time, even though as a little kid I didn't like them much. Their stupid Yeah Yeah Yeah love songs were so sappy and irritating to me at the time...

But by the 70's I recognized and appreciated them for the powerful social/musical influence that they were. And now I think that dream was warning me about what was truly "spiritual" about music and musicians back then, and what wasn't.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 10:30 AM

sixtieschick, upon closer reading of your "what I mean is..." explanation, I've got a few questions that would help clarify for me what exactly it is you are suggesting. I'll just quote, and ask, if you don't mind.

First, you started with:

"...in terms of spirituality as an inner exploration, many people initially took psychedelics and pot to gain insight and break perceptual boundaries. (Drugs were often called 'sacraments.') The music also reflected that."

Are you suggesting that drug takin, especially psychedelics, was a spiritual endeavor?

Then you said:

"Out of that culture, a number of musicians embraced a variety of formal spiritual practices, with or without drugs, and wrote music to express the meaning they found in their practices, or teachers, or religions."

Perhaps you could give us some examples of the musicians you are thinking of, and what spiritual practices you are referring to? This is a very big subject. For example, many children of the 60s "found religion" in the 1970s, especially in church run drug rehab centers that sprang up all over after the 60s drug culture came home from flying eight miles high. Sure a lot of Brit hippie musicians followed the Beatles to India, but how many of them were genuine rather than following the in crowd? How many of them are still actively involved in conventional religion (Buddhism is, after all, a very conventional religion) today as a result of their involvement with the music/musicians of that time?

Dylan had his Xtian phase. Cat Stevens converted to Islam and never looked back, but again, that was the 70s, and it was conventional religion that drew in Dylan and Cat Stevens, not the new age "spirituality" movement which was far less conventional. Is it that latter movement to which you are referring, or the trend among many 60s musicians to "find religion" (ie conventional religion, even if not the one they were raised in) in the 70s when their drug hangovers were taking a toll?

You also said:

"I was influenced by some sixties music to explore my place in the world, to look within, and to take action to try to make things better."

Again, it would help if you gave some examples if for no other reason than to help me get what you are talking about. If I knew you were talking about George Harrison and Ravi Shankar vs. Ray Charles or Aretha Franklin vs. Procol Harum vs Hendrix, it might be easier for me to understand where you are coming from.

I LOVED the Beatles. But I was pretty much embarrassed for them by the whole pilgrimmage to India & John and Yoko things.

I liked Dylan, but I like a lot of music and musicians much better than him. I grew up around traditional Irish music, so the whole 60s folk thing seemed very phony and inauthentic to me, especially the Dylan/Baez stuff. I was very into the Byrds, the Band, Buffalo Springfield, Poco, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins (I loved her Leonard Cohen phase!), Leonard Cohen, Rolling Stones, Traffic, Arlo Guthrie, Sly and the Family Stone, Ten Years After, and ESPECIALLY Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young! Their music influenced me and my thinking much more than Dylan's, to be honest. With Dylan, it was the occassional song that wowed me, but those songs never influenced me more than other equally as good songs by other very talented songwriters of the day, like Neil Young or Paul Simon.

I was never much of a fan of the Beats and hippies either, especially the way they interacted with women. And I had a few educated women friends in the 60s who did the San Fran/NY Beats scene, The Farm, Diggers, back to the landers, and Yippies sorts of stuff who were the first to abandon "the cause" because of the extreme sexism and exploitation of women among those groups. Not exactly my idea of "spiritually enlightened" people or music for that matter. For me, that came in the 70s, with the rise of the women's and environmental movement, not 60s folk rock and San Francisco psychedelia.

Finally you asked us:

"I am wondering what songs or musicians inspired YOU to undertake similar explorations, or that inspired you spiritually--in any way you wish to define your spirituality."

Well, I answered in my above 9:35 a.m. post that the music didn't influence me in a spiritual sense. For me, the influence of some 60s music was purely political, and in that sense I think music and musicians have some influence. But not very much. I mean, even album length "experiences" aren't all that meaningful. Especially because I believe most "spiritual" or "meaningful" memories of the time by people who were there are largely romanticized nostalgia trips back to their golden youth.

If you doubt that, look at your own kids views of their years with music. Music is the main glue that holds youth culture together. Nobody defined that youth culture in America better than our generation that came of age in the 1960s. But honestly, we haven't left much of a mark, even now. We are doing the very same things our parents did back then, right on down to waging another war against an invisible enemy of guerrilla warriors fighting off our imperial global reach.

Sorta makes you think that no matter how much things might change (as we thought they were in the 60s) the more they stay the same. I'd say that is as true of "spirituality" and religion as it is the music and politics.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 12:32 PM

And I have to admit to being appalled by the "folk music" services back in the 60s and 70s. That just isn't the music I found to be spiritual at all. I sang in church choirs a lot growing up, was very much a 60s wild child, but man did I detest that churchified "folk". Appallingly trendy and it, probably more than any other factor, drove me out of church for good.

Give me Gregorian chants and my girl Hildegard any day over that guitar mass/service crap!


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 12:56 PM

Amen, brother -- that "folk" church music was the pits! Made me most reluctant to admit that I even *owned* an acoustic guitar back when I was a Catholic college student.

In theory, of course, changing the language of the Mass from Latin to the local vernacular was a good idea, making the words and their meanings accessible to all. In practice, however, the whole business just seemed to become more prosaic upon translation in to English. The loss of all those beautiful and time-honored Latin hymns was perhaps the worst aspect of the whole changeover.

Funny how something we don't understand (e.g., recitations and singing in Latin) seems more "spiritual" because of its aura of mystery. Making the ceremonies more understandable also made them less impressive, less elevating. Perhaps this shouldn't be so, and is symptomatic of a shortcoming on the part of the rank-and-file folks in the pews, but it seems to have been (and to still be) a very real problem.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Azizi
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 01:25 PM

Guest 28 Dec. 9:35 AM wrote

"The songs people still associate with the civil rights movement were religious for the most part, like "We Shall Overcome" which always sounded to me like the flip side to "Onward Christian Soldiers". Not a song to my liking."

As I posted today in the African American Permathread, the history of the civil rights song "We Shall Overcome", is at least partly religious. I believe it's spiritual mother is the song "I'll Be Alright" and it's spiritual father is the song "We'll Overcome".

IMO, it's the context as much as the words that makes individuals consider a particular song to be spiritually moving. I'm not nearly as fond of the slower paced "We Shall Overcome" song as I am the spirituals that birthed it. But when I think of songs that have demonstrated the potential to bring diverse people together, "We Shall Overcome" sure comes to mind. "Even" a song such as "Kumbayah" sung with a group's whole heart and soul can raise spiritual energy. While that song is now relegated to campfire sings, and is largely considered a joke, I am moved when I think of the enslaved people who sang it. Given the current state of this nation and the world, particularly in light of the horrendous natural disaster that recently occurred in Asia, a song like "Come By Here, Lord" [a translation of the USA'Gullah phrase 'Kumbayah'] is as relevent today as it was way back then.

Also IMO, what the world needs now and has always needed is more music that helps raise our spirtual energy.

I'm not sure if it's from the 1960s or 1970s, and it probably may not be considered folk, but one record that works this way for me is John Coltrane's A Love Supreme.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Wesley S
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 01:42 PM

I'm not so sure that music is responsible for changing anyone's views - rather that it supports and justify's the views we already have. Did anyone purge themselves of racist feelings because they heard "We Shall Overcome"? Did anyone become a pacifist because they heard "Masters of War" or "The Universal Soldier" ? I doubt it. I do belive that music is a powerful medium - and it can give us new ways to look at our world. But I doubt that any large amounts of people made any radical changes in their belief system because if it.


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