Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Minstrel boy to the war has gone...

...But the bard songs will remain, they all will remain.

I can't say there are a lot of transgender themed songs out there nor thankfully we will ever have hymns to our condition. Yet music does have a certain healing power when it comes to our emotions.

What do you pop in when you're in a bad mood or even just tired after a hard day of work? For me, nothing beats some good brassy swing or ska-punk or even the theme to Star Wars when I need to elevate my mood. When angry, nothing beats The Mighty Mighty Bosstones' “I want my city back.” When feeling like I'm about to go over the edge, I put in some Three Doors Down. Sometimes I enjoy the band name more than music.
Music can have almost magical effects in our life and its hard to imagine life without it regardless of what your personal tastes are. (Regardless of what anyone tells you I do not like reggae. No, really I don't.)

What does this have to do with transgender or spiritual issues? Nothing with the first really, but music has been a part of spirituality for over a thousand years. Even if you aren't Mormon, who can't appreciate the bitter irony and beauty of "Come, Come Ye Saints?" Even an atheist can appreciate the sentiments behind "How Great Thou Art." And even I can appreciate the mocking of the song Amazing Grace. (Hey, wake your non-morning children up with this and country music at 5:00 A.M. And see how well they learn to like the music you love.)

If nothing else, reaching for a needed cd when down can give us a quick emotional boost or provide us with the necessary frame of mind to face whatever the next challenge is. . I haven't found music to help with any kind of confusion, but as I go through life's frustrations popping in the right cd or even singing one of my favorite songs is a great help.

If it helps, here are the lyrics to the song I referenced in the title.

The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone
In the Ranks of Death you'll find him
His father's sword he hath girded on
and his wild harp slung behind him
“Land of song,” cried the warrior bard
“Though all the world betrays thee,
One sword at least thy rights shall guard
One Faithful harp shall praise thee.”

The minstrel fell but the foe man's chain
Could not bring that proud soul under
The harp he loved ne'er spoke again
For he tore its chords asunder
And said, “No chain shall ever sully thee,
Thou soul of love and bravery.
Thy songs were meant for the pure and free
They shall never sound in slavery.”

The Minstrel boy will return one day
When we here the news we'll cheer it
The Minstrel boy will return we pray
Perhaps torn in body but not in spirit.
Then may he play on his harp in peace
In a world as Heaven intended
For all the bitterness of man must cease
And every battle must be ended.

I'm told the third verse was added after the civil war.


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