Music was my First Love, but it won’t be my Last…

There is an Afrikaans song called “Tussen Treine, which has always been a favourite of mine.  I’ve always felt that I should be thinking of someone specifically when I’d hear it, but I never actually knew who.  Anyhow, recently I had an epiphany as to who the person is, but I’m not going to elaborate because this is where the title of this entry stems from…

But, staying with the subject of music.

It has been linked to intelligence.

“The influence of music on society can be clearly seen from modern history. Music helped Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence. When he could not figure out the right wording for a certain part, he would play his violin to help him. The music helped him get the words from his brain onto the paper.

Albert Einstein is recognized as one of the smartest men who has ever lived. A little known fact about Einstein is that when he was young he did extremely poor in school. His grade school teachers told his parents to take him out of school because he was “too stupid to learn” and it would be a waste of resources for the school to invest time and energy in his education. The school suggested that his parents get Albert an easy, manual labor job as soon as they could. His mother did not think that Albert was “stupid”. Instead of following the school’s advice, Albert’s parents bought him a violin. Albert became good at the violin. Music was the key that helped Albert Einstein become one of the smartest men who has ever lived. Einstein himself says that the reason he was so smart is because he played the violin. He loved the music of Mozart and Bach the most. A friend of Einstein, G.J. Withrow, said that the way Einstein figured out his problems and equations was by improvising on the violin.” From http://www.cerebromente.org.br/n15/mente/musica.html

Now, I’m not remotely close to the leagues of these extraordinary gentlemen, but I like to think that my parents’ exposing me to music from a young age has contributed to my above-average intelligence.  What I’m even more grateful to them for, is exposing me to the real Golden Oldie legends – The Beatles, Queen, Elvis, Billy Joel, Chris de Burgh, Elton John, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, The Hollies, Neil Diamond, CCR… and I have solid favourites from every single one of these bands/artists:

The Beatles:  Let it Be* and From Me to You

Queen:  Bohemian Rhapsody, I Want it All and I Want to Break Free

Elvis:  In the Ghetto, Suspicious Minds, Always on my Mind and I Can’t Help Falling in Love (with You)

Billy Joel: We didn’t Start the Fire, Innocent Man and It’s Still Rock ‘n’ Roll to Me

Chris de Burgh: A Woman’s Heart, The Same Sun, The Head and the Heart¸ In a Country Churchyard, Lonely Sky¸ The Words ‘I Love You’  and A Heart Divine

Elton John:  (I Guess) That’s why they Call it the Blues, Sad Songs, Blessed and I’m Still Standing

The Doors:  Riders on the Storm

The Rolling Stones:  Satisfaction, Time is on my Side and Paint it Black

The Hollies:  Long, Cool Woman in a Black Dress

Neil Diamond:  Cherry Cherry, Headed for the Future, Soolaimon and Holly Holy

CCR:  Proud Mary and Have You Ever Seen the Rain

*Now, I have a HUGE celeb crush on Adam Levine, so I am partial to his cover of this song, where he sang it with Tassanne Chin on The Voice.

My parents also gave me the opportunity to do take classical piano at school as a subject.  It was something I enjoyed, but I was not remotely at good at it as my cousin, Lara.  In my first year of high school, I had a male music teacher and I literally suffered from performance anxiety every time I sat in front of the keys.  As a result, I opted to change subjects to do art, which I really sucked at.  But the angst didn’t kill my love of the genre.  I love listening to Vivaldi’s violin concertos while relaxing in a candlelit bubble bath.  I am also always swept away by Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and of course Handl’s Messiah.  Reading a book with instrumental music playing in the background is one of the best ways to relax.

Having a predominantly Afrikaans circle of friends, I’ve grown to love and appreciate our very own home-grown talent.  I know I may get lynched for saying this, but I am quite a fan of the quite-controversial Steve Hofmeyr.  He has been around for more than two decades and his music has a message.  I also particularly Bobby van Jaarsveld’s music, particularly his song ‘n Vrou wil dit Hoor and his sister Karlien’s Hande.  Then we have our very own angelic songbird, Nianell.  She sings in both English and Afrikaans and every show of hers that I’ve been to, has left me in awe.  She knows she is a vessel and uses her God-given talent to get His message across.  I have many favourites when it comes to her music, but if I have to choose only one, it would be Crazy About my Life, simply because it reminds me to ‘smell the roses everywhere I go’.

As I type this, with my earphones on, I am contemplating a glass of red wine, the book I’m currently reading, Adultery by Paulo Coelho and a hot, candlelit bubble bath.  The question begs What music will accompany this perfect winter’s evening?  Maybe a little Vaya con Dios or alternatively any reader suggestions?

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