“Dad, it makes me feel yukky..”
My 7 year old son said this to me in tears the other night after hearing a particular song on the charts right now. I won’t mention the name of the song in question that upset him. It did have highly emotive lyrics more suitable to a teenage crowd and a certain vibe that just registered too him that it wasn’t right.
Josh is a fun and sensitive kid. We love that about him. He loves the pure and the innocent. He loves music that he can sing and move too.
That evening, after hearing the song that upset him, he offered to pray with his mum. Now Josh has some bad dreams- he is has a vivid imagination. Yet this night, his words floored us. “Dear God, please help all the people who have bad dreams. Catch the bad dreams and the bad songs”.
Songs come and go, and I have begun to wonder about their perceived long term value. So as a song writer my question is, what is a bad song? Is it the cliché words, a sloppy production, boring chords? I think that is true. Yet I think Josh taught me something new. Could it be that in an attempt to break through the clutter, there is a temptation to write songs that roll with the cultural landscape? Riding the wave of negativity and hurt in a world gone wrong- celebrating our bad dreams. Isn’t that too easy?
A Song that dreams are made of
I think the challenge for song writers is to write song that uplift, inspire and stir the imagination. To offer sanctuary from the bad dreams and bad songs. As a song writer, I want to write songs that lift up the human spirit. I believe that the well trained song writer can stir the imagination, give expression to something inexpressible and touch on a heavenly realm. A great new fresh song is like experiencing a fulfilled longing for a far off country.
Let’s make music that makes people feel good. In our words and in our music, let’s consider beauty and magnificence. Beautiful songs that mirror beautiful dreams.