Music

Music is another activity that can transport individuals towards the spiritual. Each piece of music has been chosen for its significance to a particular individual.

Listen and read the word and see where the spirit leads you in prayer. The links take you to a video version of the songs.

Come Healing – Leonard Cohen

One of Cohen’s later Songs from the album “Old Ideas”. Its message of kindness and gentleness combined with Cohen’s wonderful delivery give this song a tenderness that is hard not to enjoy.

O, gather up the brokenness bring it to me now
The fragrance of those promises you never dared to vow

The splinters that you carried the cross you left behind
Come healing of the body come healing of the mind

And let the heavens hear it the penitential hymn
Come healing of the spirit come healing of the limb

Behold the gates of mercy in arbitrary space
And none of us deserving of cruelty or the grace

O, solitude of longing where love has been confined
Come healing of the body come healing of the mind

O, see the darkness yielding that tore the light apart
Come healing of the reason come healing of the heart

O, troubledness concealing an undivided love
The heart beneath is teaching to the broken heart above

And let the heavens falter let the earth proclaim
Come healing of the altar come healing of the name

O, longing of the branches to lift the little bud
O, longing of the arteries to purify the blood

And let the heavens hear it the penitential hymn
Come healing of the spirit come healing of the limb

O let the heavens hear it he penitential hymn
Come healing of the spirit come healing of the limb

Songwriters: Leonard Cohen, Patrick Raymond Leonard

An Eala Bhan (The White Swan) – Julie Fowlis

The words are a poem written by a soldier from Scotland in the trenches of WW1. He says that if he “could fly like the white swan, he’d fly home to her”. If he returns he will marry his love, but if not he wishes her to think of him fondly and to not be sad. Lyrical language and also a beautiful story.

I reckon I’m in a pretty sorry state with my heart being seized by sadness

from the time when I left the high mist-shrouded hills,

the little valleys filled with lovesongs, with their lochs, bays, and streams.

and the white swan who stays there every day when I am hunting.

Magaidh, don’t be unhappy my dear, even if I should die.

What man amongst all people can live eternally, for ever?

We are all just visiting, like daisies in an empty fold,

the year’s wind & rain will bring them down & the sun won’t pick them up.

Kneeling in the trenches my mind’s on you, love.

When I sleep I dream of you, and I don’t expect to survive.

My thoughts are filled with overwhelming sorrow,

and my hair that was so red, now it’s almost white.

If it is fated for me to return living from the battlefield,

and I see again the place where I was brought up,

we’ll have ourselves and clasping hands and warm lips giving kisses,

and my promise will be fulfilled for you by placing a ring on your finger.

But if the time comes and I die in France,

and I’m placed in a grave where there are thousands of others,

my blessings will be with the maid, the fair noble girl,

let each day pass without troubles for her & let her have no contact with shame.

Good night, my love, in your warm fragrant bed,

may you have a peaceful sleep, and then awaken in health and happiness.

I’m here in the cold trench, in my ears the racket of death,

with no expectation of getting out victorious, the sea takes so long to swim.

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/eala-bh%C3%A0n-white-swan.html

Summertime – Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker’s recording of Summertime, partly for the phenomenal sax player Parker was and is a testament to his hard work. Partly as a celebration of musical diversity, epitomised by this song: and operetta’s opening soprano aria composed by a Jew (George Gershwin) in New York, played here by a Jazz saxophonist from the complete opposite end of the musical spectrum coming together to create something wonderful.

It’s summertime and the living is easy
Fish are jumping and the cotton is high
Your daddy’s rich and your mama’s good-looking
Hush, little baby don’t you cry
Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry
No no no no
Don’t cry, don’t cry

One of these mornings you’re gonna rise up singing
You spread your wings and take to the sky
But until that morning there is nothing can harm you
With your daddy and mommy standing by
They are standing by, I know, don’t cry

Summertime, summertime, summertime
And the living is, living is easy
Fish are, I know the fish are jumping
And cotton is so high
Your daddy is so, so rich and your mama good-
She had to be good-looking
So hush, little baby, don’t you cry
Don’t you cry, no no, don’t cry
No need to cry, don’t cry, don’t cry
Summertime, summertime.

Arms of the Angel Sarah McLachlan

A song inspired by articles that Sarah McLachlan read about musicians turning to drugs to cope with the pressures of their life & their subsequent overdose. McLachlan empathised with the  sometimes hopelessness of life saying: “I’ve been in that place where you’ve messed up and you’re so lost that you don’t know who you are anymore, and you’re miserable… I’ve done plenty of other things to escape.” McLachlan said that the song is about “trying not to take responsibility for other people’s problems and trying to love yourself at the same time”. The song featured in the film ‘City of Angel’ another resource this Lent.

Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it okay
There’s always some reason
To feel not good enough
And it’s hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
Oh a beautiful release
Memories seep from my veins
Let me be empty
Oh and weightless and maybe
I’ll find some peace tonight

In the arms of the angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You’re in the arms of the angel

May you find some comfort here

So tired of the straight line
And everywhere you turn
There’s vultures and thieves at your back
And the storm keeps on twisting
You keep on building the lies
That you make up for all that you lack
It don’t make no difference
Escaping one last time

It’s easier to believe
In this sweet madness

Oh this glorious sadness
That brings me to my knees


In the arms of the angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

Songwriters: Sarah Mclachlan