My mother died just a few days ago, and I started thinking about my childhood — when I was very small, mom would sing to me; silly songs or popular songs of the late 40’s and early 50’s. Songs like “How Much is that Doggy in the Window?,” “Yes, I have no Bananas,” or “Happy Trails to You” take me back to that time. (Does anyone else remember these, or am I just really, really old?)
Music connects us with other times and places. “I Can’t Stop Loving You” by Ray Charles takes me back to the days of watching American Band Stand as a young teenager; “Hey, Jude,” (Beatles) “Leaving on a Jet Plane,”(Joni Mitchell) and “I Second that Emotion”(Smokey Robinson) take me back to college days, playing records in the dorm.
There are plenty of hymns and Christian songs that take us back to significant times and seasons in our spiritual journey as well. As a child, I sang “Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam” in Sunday School and “Beautiful Savior” in church. “I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb” recalls singing in the car with my young daughters. “A Mighty Fortress” is, of course, for Reformation Day; “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” — Advent, “Silent Night” — Christmas, “O Sacred Head Most Wounded”–Lent and “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” — Easter. For Lutherans, the liturgy is a constant that binds all those songs together as we walk through the birth, life and death of Christ and the seasons of the church year.
Like Michele, I’m going to give our authors and readers a challenge — what song takes you back to an important time in your life with God? I hope to see some posts and comments about the music that takes you back this month.