Songs for the Times

by Bob Sparrow

John Legend and Sara Bareilles

We know that all that 2020 brought us, doesn’t go away with the flip of a calendar page, although we will have a new president next week and no doubt the press will be kinder to him.  But with the vaccine rolling out and no major holiday gatherings in the immediate future to bump up ‘the curve’, we have reason for optimism.

I have observed that music has helped sustain many during this pandemic; so I thought I’d share with you a few YouTube videos that were written during or about some of our more ‘trying times’ of the past and present.  Hope you enjoy.

(Click on the links below and a separate link will appear, click on that to watch the video; if it doesn’t take you to the YouTube video, just copy and paste the link in your browser)  A brief advertisement may come up initially, it will either go away on its own or you can click “Skip Ads” to stop it.

  1. This first song harkens back to 911 and is a song Alan Jackson wrote right after the bombing of the twin towers in New York City.

Where Were You (That September Morning)?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvnlyeBN3sU&list=RDzvnlyeBN3sU&index=1

    1. Grace Potter’s song, Eachother (words put together on purpose) is a song about the Corona-19 pandemic, which includes, among others, Jackson Browne.  This song, and the next, coincidently echo the word ‘enough’ – sharing Suzanne’s focus on it last week.

We’ve got each other

And for now, that’s enough

Eachother

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_N8fVhQn8w

  1. This raw, emotional duet by Sara Bareilles (my favorite female artist, who co-wrote the song with Lori McKenna) and John Legend, is my favorite of this group of songs. In spite of the fact that the song was written a few years back about immigrants, if you listen to the lyrics, it fits today.

Be the hand of a hopeful stranger

Little scared, but just strong enough

Be the light in the dark of this danger

‘Til the sun comes up

A Safe Place to Land

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ht2NCrlghS4

  1. I had to get a song that was a little more up-beat, with a positive thought as I didn’t want to leave you in tears; so here’s an oldie but goodie from the Bee Gees.  Incidentally there is a great documentary about this group on Netflix called, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart.  Hope you’re following their advice and . . .

Stayin’ Alive

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNFzfwLM72c&list=RDfNFzfwLM72c&start_radio=1&t=0

Hope you found some joy, solace or simple entertainment from these songs – share them with someone who you think might enjoy them.  Hope you all can be the light in the dark of this danger ’til the sun comes up in 2021 and that we all find ‘a safe place to land’.

 

ENOUGH

By Suzanne Sparrow Watson

I’m writing this post on New Year’s Day and thinking about all that occurred in 2020.  I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a bit shell shocked from the past 12 months.  We had such high hopes going into the year – a new decade before us seemed so full of potential.  The biggest controversy a year ago was the guy buying his wife a Peloton for Christmas.  Little did we know that he would turn out to be the smartest guy in the room.  We got a bit of foreshadowing of a bad year when Kobe died in January but we persevered, thinking it was a one-off piece of bad news.  Then in March, everything shifted and life as we knew it changed.  But for better or worse, we’ve made it through and with a vaccine on the horizon I am hopeful for a better year.  Or, more realistically, a better half year.  I’ve resigned myself to the notion that the first half of 2021 is going to look a whole lot like 2020.  Still, it’s a new year and worthy of some resolutions.

NOT me after months of being at home

With the new year approaching there are lots of people opining about how to make 2021 a better year.  The best piece of advice I read was to find your “enough”. Not as in, “I’ve had enough cake” because we all know there is no such thing.  Instead, the author suggested that we all learn to be grateful for having “enough” of something – food, shelter, friendship, health, money.  Personally, I think 2020 was a good year for analyzing my “enough”.  Watching innumerable people lose jobs, and subsequently housing and security, made me more grateful than ever for a roof over my head and knowledge that I had “enough” to weather the COVID storm.  I learned that I had “enough” hobbies to entertain myself for endless days/weeks/months without going completely batshit crazy.  I had “enough” self-discipline to log 13,000 steps every day this year with one exception (I can be forgiven – I had minor surgery that day).  Prior to March I wouldn’t have known that about myself but now I’m pretty proud that I did not slink into a vegetative state on my couch watching the entire “Tiger King” series.

Most importantly, 2020 taught me that I have “enough” family and friends.  My husband and Dash The Wonder Dog have been great company over the past several months, providing support, laughs and a reason to go for a walk every day.  My friends have also been a source of support this year.  I have “enough” good friends to render me one of the luckiest people around.  I read an article from Instyle magazine that posed the idea that 2020 allowed you to narrow down your true friends by using the yardstick of who you would allow to see you topless.  I’m thinking that the average age of an Instyle reader is 19, so maybe that makes sense for them.  I can tell you at age 70, NO ONE wants to see me topless so my friends might be narrowed by those I would spare that visual.  In any event, 2020 brought into focus who I really treasure spending time with and that is a good guidepost going forward.

Had we all known a year ago what we were to face, I suspect we would have thought we couldn’t get through it. But the last 12 months has taught us that we have more grit, resilience, patience, and strength than we gave ourselves credit for.  In truth, we had “enough” to get through it and we are better off now for knowing that.

I hope that 2021 brings all of you “enough” of all the things that matter to you.  While we still have a few months to go before there is some semblance of normalcy, there is hope on the horizon and for now, that is enough.