Music and Poetry; Poetry and Music

Poetry is the music of the soul, and, above all, of great and feeling souls.”-Voltaire

“Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.” – Jimi Hendrix

For National Poetry Month, I’d like to remind some of us and introduce to some of us to lyrics my generation clung to; hungered for; breathed in as if our lives depended on it. These lyrics spoke of our times, disappointments, outrages, anger, frustration, love, empathy and compassion and innumerable emotions. If you have time, click onto the highlights to view all of the lyrics; or see the performer in action or read about the performer. There are countless lyrics/poems I could’ve included, but just thought this sampler of 4 would do the trick…inspire!

 Phil Ochs,What’s That I Hear Now?” (My students used to perform this song in its entirety in the elementary school auditorium!)

“What’s that I hear now ringing in my ear

I’ve heard that sound before

What’s that I hear now ringing in my ear

I hear it more and more

It’s the sound of freedom calling

Ringing up to the sky

It’s the sound of the old ways falling

You can hear it if you try

You can hear it if you try”

Bob Dylan, “Masters of War

Come you masters of war

You that build all the guns

You that build the death planes

You that build the big bombs

You that hide behind walls

You that hide behind desks

I just want you to know

I can see through your masks

Civil Rights Song, “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round” (Oh my students loved performing this song…we’d even sing it very hush-hush in the hallway!)

Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me ‘round,

Turn me round, turn me ‘round.

Ain’t gonna let nobody, turn me ‘round.

I’m gonna keep on a-walkin’;, keep on a-talkin’,

Walkin’ into freedom land.”

Pete Seeger’s (You can just listen to Pete Singing, but not see him performing.)

 “My Rainbow Race

“One blue sky above us

One ocean lapping all our shore

One earth so green and round

Who could ask for more

And because I love you

I’ll give it one more try

To show my rainbow race

It’s too soon to die.”









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