Songs reflect the times PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 June 2017 11:54

REFLECTION

I LOVE love songs. I listen to them whenever I can, but especially when driving for hours in my out-of-town trips. Of course, they make me feel good and the driving less tiring.

If my skills are up to it, I sing along with my heart, adapting their passion but converting their lyrics, with proper modifications, of course, into a heartfelt prayer. Thus, if nothing else happened on the road, I usually arrive at my destination still looking good and feeling fresh and inspired.

These days, however, I feel the need to be very restrained in this pastime. Most of the songs I hear now, all minted in recent years and surprisingly rating high in the charts in the so-called developed countries, have lyrics that give me some discomfort. They often speak of anguish, frustration, depression, of a lover spurned, a person misunderstood and despised, etc.

Many cuss words enter into these songs. Sexual references too. The sentiments projected are mainly the casual, highly transitory and inconsequential ones. The love expressed seems not to be based any deeper than the passing instincts and passions.

They give the impression that they are stuck in some mud of emptiness to which they react either by wailing, lamenting and complaining, or by some naughty if not wild and violent expressions.

The melody itself has become a monotonous repetition of notes that give one the feeling that the singer is trapped in some predicament from which he can hardly escape. It’s a repetition of boredom and angst, not the one usually associated with being in love.

What is happening, I often find myself asking. Is this just a generational thing with me, or is there something objective? I believe that there is certainly something generational and subjective in this issue, but I also believe that there is something objective going on these days about which we have to be alerted.

I believe songs reflect the temper of the times. They somehow express the status of the culture of the people at a given time. My suspicion is that these songs are only the product of the years of permissiveness, secularism, unhinged liberalism that have been fiercely afflicting many Western countries.

These cultural viruses have a way of confining us into our purely subjective ways. They can give us the sweet sensation of floating freely in a sea of relativism without any absolute moorings.

God is discarded even as we make ourselves our own god. We bury religion and unwittingly make our own version of it with us as the main deity.

Especially when we happen to be quite talented and brilliant, with many ideas, initiatives, discoveries and inventions to prop our ego, we can think that we can just depend entirely on our own powers and throw God into the dustbin of ancient history.

We fail to realize that no matter how gifted we are, without God, those gifts which actually are God-given, not only have their limitations that sooner or later we will experience, but also will pose as a mortal danger to us.

Many modern “love” songs, I believe, are mere symptoms of a much graver crisis taking place in the world today.