Monday, December 12, 2011

John Denver, Freddy Mercury, and Peace on Earth!

I love Christmas. Love it.

I love the twinkly lights, the yummy tastes and smells, the tree, and the pretty wrapping. But more than anything, I LOVE the music. And not the new-fangled stuff you hear on the radio. Lordy -- they really should have stopped recording Christmas music after the 70's because it's mostly been an embarrassing mix of blah since then. (With the exception of James Taylor's recent album. Well done, James.)

When I was in third grade or so (1979!), John Denver and the Muppets released a Christmas special/album called A Christmas Together that became iconic in my little world. Some of the pieces weren't even traditional carols, but spirituals, and one in particular captured my heart. It's titled "It's in every one of us," and the words follow.
It's in every one of us
To be wise
Find your heart
Open up both your eyes
We can all know everything
Without ever knowing why
It's in every one of us
By and by

To me, it speaks of being true to your heart and ideals. Trusting that inner voice. And lately, of course, it speaks to how we should be brave and pay attention to the plight of others, be they human or non-human, despite the plight's feeling too big and unfixable. It's simply astounding the difference one person can make. Find your heart. Open up both your eyes. Such simple, powerful words!

So here is the song as was originally aired in the aforementioned Muppet special. There's a reference to Christian beliefs here that I take with a grain of salt. (I don't believe or disbelieve...I just take it in as I do the beliefs of other religions and let it sit there in my brain. Whatever makes sense to my little neurons hovers around in there, and whatever feels silly seeps out of my ears in an ethereal kind of way.)

"Say a prayer for the wind, and the water and the wood. And those who live there too." I mean, how great is that?  I have always had a smidgin' of a crush on John Denver, which my husband is very accepting of, among my other crushes. (Paul Newman and Robert Redford) I remember so clearly the day I heard John Denver died. I was traveling sola on a bus headed for southern Chile and saw the papers there covered with the headlines. It was a very sad bus ride. :(

Here's another version of the same tune with Freddie Mercury! No video here, but a great rendition of the song! Some songs just make you want to be a better person and this is one of them.

So I hope this song has inspired you as well. And you know what is just as inspiring? According to the Harris Interactive Poll, the number of vegans in the United States has doubled in the last two years. DOUBLED! Approximately 7.5 million people in the U.S. have said a resounding "Yes!" to following the Golden Rule and it continues to grow. The wall the meat industry put up is rapidly disintegrating and people are starting to see the reality of what is behind it.

And to leave you with a happy chuckle, lest I get too deep, here is another great moment from the Muppet special! Ah, Fozzie...

Do you have any favorite tunes (Christmas or otherwise) that fill you with similar hope and contentment?

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