Music is a powerful thing. It’s good for the brain and it blesses the soul. But the lyrics of some popular songs are harmful for older people, according to recent media reports. Researchers found 76 popular songs written since 1930 that focus on ageing, with three quarters of them showing old age in a bad light, and older people as frail or pitiful. They include the Beatle’s ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’, written by Paul McCartney when he was 15. Now that he’s actually 74, I wonder what he thinks of ‘when I get older, losing my hair … ,’ and so on. A study led by Jacinta Kelly at Anglia Ruskin University, said such negative representations of age ‘can be dispiriting, and can affect confidence and the esteem of older people.’ The lyrics also reinforce the ageist views of younger generations.
The news pieces reminded me of the dedication in the front of ‘Worshipping with Dementia’, a book of simple but relevant thoughts, with Scripture verses, prayers and readings for dementia carers, and for people with dementia. It’s one of those slow but sure sellers, and brings blessings to – and from its readers. The dedication is to all those people who share their lives with each other, and with God. It reads:
‘Some years ago a friend called Robert was learning to play the flute. Elizabeth, a professional flautist, came to stay with me and Robert brought his flute around one afternoon, hoping for some tips. Towards the end of his impromptu lesson Elizabeth suggested they played a simple tune together. I have never heard anything like it. Robert played what sounded like “chopsticks” for Piccolo.
‘Elizabeth listened for a minute or so then she lifted her instrument to her lips and began to play, lilting, dancing notes that were an amazing counterpoint to “chopsticks”, making it sound altogether wonderful. Imagine a rough, wooden stick being loosely wrapped in the finest, transparent silk; it was like that.
‘According to the online Free Dictionary, counterpoint is ‘the technique of combining two or more melodic lines in such a way that they establish a harmonic relationship while retaining their linear individuality.’ How amazing, that the notes of God’s song over us strengthen our indivuality!
You can buy the book on Amazon, or from our website.
And you can bless your brain right now with a really good song by Matt Redman, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtwIT8JjddM
And put the negative others in your mental trash can, remembering to empty it in prayer at least once a day. Ephesians 4:23.