This I Believe

Steven - New Oxford, Pennsylvania
Entered on October 16, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in the transformative quality of music. While often ignored by politicians it is my firm belief that through music we can affect change in the human situation. As a singer/songwriter I look back to Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs and countless others who put word to music and spread their messages of labor struggle, social equality, peace and universal civil rights far beyond the time and distance the written word can, unaccompanied by music, ever travel. I believe that if we were all to raise our voices in unison, for a common cause, that we could change the course of a world gone, in many ways, wrong. We cannot do this without music behind the words. When people are angered and speak or shout out in protest, their calls are often shouted down or ignored, their messages evaporate from the minds of those who heard them, and they are forever gone and forgotten. Put those thoughts to music, however, and the melody draws you into the story, as the words become your own. You are, forever, transformed by the ideas and emotions conveyed through song. I have felt this transformation in myself, and have seen it in the expressions reflected back to me as I perform on the stage, in the street street or on a field. Generations to come may forget the names of those who stood before them and protested with song, and that’s fine, that’s to be expected I suppose, but they will recall the song and the message, many times being able to apply it to their own time and circumstances. I believe in the transformative quality of music.