What is your favorite song…and why?

By: Gail Armatys

HeartSong Life Coach

Recently, on the first day of a new bible study, the icebreaker question was, ”What’s your favorite song and why?”.

Hmmmm. That’s a tough one. Most of the people in attendance grumbled for a while because there are so many great songs from which to choose.  And since the age-range of the class is 22 to 80 – something, we heard selections anywhere from “Hallelujah” (Buckley), “Someone Like You” (Adele), “Fraulein” (Locklin), “Don’t Stop Believin’ “(Journey), “I Got You, Babe” (Sonny & Cher), “God and I” (Rastafari version), “Stardust” (NK Cole), “Love Never Felt So Good” (Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake- selected by the 80 – something, by the way!), “The Prayer” (Bocelli), “Precious and Few” (The Carpenters), and my selection, “What A Wonderful World” (Armstrong)…along with anything sung by Michael Bublé (can I get an Amen, ladies?).

 

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I had no idea at the time why I selected this song except to admit to you that I have never been good at remembering the names of songs or their recording artist/composer/writer. For some reason, out of the millions of songs I’ve heard, sung, and played, “What A Wonderful World” immediately popped into my head – so I went with it. (I think my actual favorite is “Forever” by Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys).

Really Good and Meaningful Things

After class I came home and began listening to some of these selections.  There is a lot to like about many of them.  But when I listened again to Louis Armstrong sing “What a Wonderful World”, I realized why this really could be my favorite.  Here are the lyrics.

I see trees of green,

red roses too.

I see them bloom,

for me and you.

And I think to myself,

what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue,

And clouds of white.

The bright blessed day,

The dark sacred night.

And I think to myself,

What a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow,

So pretty in the sky.

Are also on the faces,

Of people going by,

I see friends shaking hands.

Saying, “How do you do?”

They’re really saying,

“I love you”.

I hear babies cry,

I watch them grow,

They’ll learn much more,

Than I’ll ever know.

And I think to myself,

What a wonderful world.

Yes, I think to myself,

What a wonderful world.

To me, this song represents peace, safety, enjoyment, and more…some of the really good and meaningful things in life. And it captures the essence of the beauty we can still find in this world, if we will pay attention.  If, we will see.

The Untold Story

Take a look at the song’s reference to the beauty found in nature. I love nature.  I find peace and energy sitting, walking, exercising, eating, napping, working, and doing pretty much anything outside.

I grew up in Nebraska (not normally thought of as the most beautiful state but those who live there know) where the colors are vibrant and the contrast intense; a multitude of greens, the bluest of skies, the golden harvest corn and wheat blowing in the wind like waves of the ocean, the deep darkness of the dirt – (real dirt, unlike East Texas gumbo), the white clouds and the starry nights. Even during tornado season we would talk about the grey-green of the sky as the clouds peaked downward toward the horizon…and we headed toward the basement to take cover! Color everywhere.

Even better, my parents had a magical flower garden, a multi-colored vegetable garden, fruit trees, a yard of green carpet with a small cascading hill to roll down, a pasture inclusive of a tree house complete with a drawbridge – type ladder for entry and a secret cubby hole to hide and store gathered treasures – all built within the arms of a stately Cottonwood tree that yielded its white wispy fluff in the Spring. Sounds like a fairy tale…no wonder I loved (love) being outside.

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In my mind, nature is a glimpse of God’s creativity, imagination, and poetry. It is my place to be alone with and surrounded by God.  I guess I could call it My Secret Garden or My Hiding Place. For it is when I am outside that I feel His presence most…blessed, protected, loved.  It sets my mind on what is good and positive and energizes me to move on.

All of this brought about just by listening to the lyrics and melody of a song.  Sweet memories.  What song evokes positive memories for you?  What’s your untold story?

Hear It?  See It?

If you’ll notice, woven into the landscape of the lyrics of ‘What A Wonderful World” is a verse that steps away from nature for a moment and focuses on the beauty of people; the gentle touch of a friend, a kind word spoken.   Each day God gives us the opportunity to see the splendor of his creation and the wonder of the world all around us. It’s just that sometimes we are too busy, involved, hurt, or preoccupied with ourselves to see. Could be that we are too focused on the negative – what can or is going wrong – rather than what can or is going right.

While it’s true; flowers fade, leaves turn brown, global warming is or isn’t occurring, destruction is caused by angry winds and waves or human hands or greed, the horror of war exists, the sorrow of goodbyes weighs heavy, and the trials of life march on – it’s also true that God continues to create beauty, rest, and hope in your life and mine.

Just look in your garden (if necessary – someone else’s garden).  Look into the eyes of a child, the lonely, the lovely. Listen to a story, a voice, play that favorite song. See it? Beauty. Hear it? Hope. It’s the music from your heart.

As I sit quietly in the presence of the Lord, the sacred night retreating, I enjoy the new, cool morning breeze, see the brilliance of the stars in the dark pre-dawn sky, I listen.  And I think to myself, thank you, Lord, what a wonderful world.

Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord. Ephesians 5:19

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Prayer

Father, thank you for music.  For songs and lyrics that bring us peace and memories of good and tender times. Thank you for the color, the detail, the variety, and uniqueness of nature and people you have provided for our enjoyment and placed in our care.  Sometimes we don’t notice.  Sometimes we forget to take time to see all the good that’s going on in and around us. Help us focus on these things and find hope in our lives and in this wonderful world.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Purpose Steps

  1. What’s your favorite song?
  2. Reminisce on the positive memories the song conjures up.
  3. Where do you find beauty and peace?
  4. Schedule time each day to visit this place – even if only in your thoughts.
  5. Hum a few bars of, ‘It’s A Wonderful World’…or better yet, listen to it (click below)
  6. Smile and enjoy your day. You are loved.

Listen to your HeartSong (Click Below!)

What a Wonderful World/Louis Armstrong

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5TwT69i1lU

Live the Song Written On Your Heart.