My local Public Radio station has a wonderful series called Music that Moves Me, which was conceived and originally produced by the inimitable Suzanne Nance who has now (sadly for us, but happily for her) moved on to bigger things in a big Chicago market. For this series, people across Maine submitted touching or funny stories about how a particular song or specific music has moved them in their lives. As a result, this series inspired me to make a playlist of songs that move me whenever I hear them. The songs that move me the most are those that promote sensitivity and kindness in the world or in me.
Here are just a few of the songs that move me. What are some of yours and why?
Sarah Jarosz, “Ring Them Bells”
Jarosz beautifully interprets this Bob Dylan Chestnut with the help of Vince Gill. There’s just something in her voice that makes me feel that she’s emotionally connected to the song and it’s inclusive message, which, in turn, connects me to the song.
Vince Gill, “What You Give Away”
The inspirational gospel chorus is enough to elevate anyone’s giving spirit, but the message of giving will trigger something inside me that makes me want to be a better and more charitable person.
Kacey Musgraves, “Silver Lining”
Since Kacey Musgraves does a great job of singing about the grittier parts of life, it stands to reason that her songs with more hopeful messages would be palatable enough not to make us cringe, as happens to be the case with “Silver Lining.” Furthermore, I’m a sucker for an inspirational sing-along chorus and this song’s got it in spades! Throw an irresistible clap line in there and I’ll do anything the song tells me to do!
Waylon Jennings, “America”
Jennings sings about the America I love and want to champion. Josh Turner does a great live version of this song that’s worth checking out as well.
Radney Foster, “Not in My House”
A couple of months ago, I heard someone who is close to me casually use a racial slur and then vehemently defend it when he was called out on it. This experience knocked the wind out of me and left me feeling very disappointed. I heard this song for the first time soon after that situation and it gripped my heart and reached deep into my soul.
While I was sadly not able to convince that person that he was wrong, he certainly now knows without a doubt that saying such a thing will not be tolerated in my presence or “in my house.” As I hear this song, I’m proud to have a home where it is well established that neither my husband nor I will tolerate bigoted comments or attitudes within our walls. So, as Mr. Foster sings, “Not in my house, not from my mouth.”