A while ago I did a series on songs which I find inspiring. I’d like to add two more to the list.
“The Sound of Silence,” Simon and Garfunkel
Hello darkness my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again.
If there was ever a song which described how I experience my vocation, as well as my personal journey, this is it. “The Sound of Silence” has a mournful tune, but it teases cheerful voice which can get stuck in a brain in a moment. This is contrasted by a poem marked by deep lament and longing. It is, literally, painfully hopeful.
The journey on which the song guides listeners spirals into moment of anguished revelation, with the vocalist pleading with the audience to understand itself.
“Fools,” said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in wells of silence.
One day I will sing this song in public.
Simon and Garfunkel’s version is a classic, and I love it, but Disturbed’s cover brings in a whole new level of passion.
“For Good,” Wicked
I am, in general, not a big fan of the whole “the villains were the heroes the whole time” trope we’re on. Deconstruction is great, I do it all the time. It’s become a commercial gimmick.
Having communicated this, I make an exception for Wicked. The music is fantastic, and the way it flips the characters to achieve its deconstruction is interesting. I was able to see the show when it came to Philly a few Summer back, and fell in love with the story. It’s one I recommend for anyone who enjoys theater.
“Defying Gravity” is the signature song of the show, but “For Good” is the one which hits me in the heart. I’ve been those characters as they communicate just how much the other means to them, even if they taken different paths. Glinda and Elphaba know their relationship has created a permanent change in who they are, but at the end the double meaning of “for good” becomes clear.
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better
I do believe I have been changed for the better
And because I knew you
Because I knew you
Because I knew you
I have been changed for good.
There are many people I’ve encountered in my life who have changed who I am as a person. That is perhaps the greatest compliment I can give someone, and I have been privileged to know the people to whom I can offer it.
The original performers are still the best ones though which we can experience this song.