Can hair change your life? Or perhaps more to the point can somebody else’s hair change your life?
I was walking through a Ralph’s grocery store with my dad. This in back in the days before the Internet, CDs, home entertainment systems, even eight-track players existed. In fact, it was one year after cassettes had been introduced. But I digress, which I do a lot.
Anyway, back then they kept albums –ya, know the big circular black vinyl discs that you put on a turntable – in a bin at the grocery store! So my dad and I were heading to the check out line when a photo on an album cover in the front of the bin caught my eye. It was a picture of four haircuts.
Intrigued by the picture I asked my dad if we could buy the album. Since it would only set us back $1.99 dad said yes. And that is how I came to own my first album, a copy of Meet the Beatles.
Obviously it was what was inside the hair-covered album jacket that changed my life. It was the music. If you’ve read my book or any of my previous blogs you know already that I believe in the power of music.
I talk a lot about healing songs and healing music because my life has led me to the point where I seek to serve those who are hurting with songs that can help set them free from their pain.
But the truth that music and songs do their healing work in all sorts of ways and in all sorts of places where you might not normally think to look.
Now perhaps that little boy in the Ralph’s grocery store in Sherman Oaks, California wasn’t in need of healing exactly. But there was something lying dormant in his spirit that was waiting to be awakened. Something that was going to bring him joy, bring him companionship, teach him discipline, and ultimately a meaningful and rewarding vocation. And aren’t all of those things, in their own way, healing?
Studies have shown that children who participate in music do better in math. They learn teamwork. Spend ten minutes watching my granddaughter playing by herself and you will be treated to quiet little songs. My son hummed so constantly as a toddler that we actually called him The Hummer.
According to Bright Horizons “Music ignites all areas of child development and skills for school readiness: intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. It helps the body and the mind work together.
Hmmm. Helping the body and the mind work together. Sounds suspiciously like something that might be healing.
Music Speaks for Us
The fact is we already know this innately.
That’s why we sing at church. That’s why we have national anthems and college alma maters. It’s why we have music at graduations and weddings and funerals. It’s why every generation of youth has recording artists they are devoted to. It’s why every culture has its distinct musical style. Music creates community. This sharing heals us.
Music speaks for us and expresses for us. It tells us we are not alone because it taps into feelings deep within us and then pours them out into the sunlight where the truth can set us free. Music understands, and this understanding heals us.
So, you might think it is a stretch to say Meet the Beatles is healing. But from the innocence of I Want to Hold Your Hand, to the wounded-ness of Don’t Bother Me, to the exuberance of I Saw Her Standing There, to the longing of This Boy – would say it is. It speaks for us and moves us and reminds us we are alive and that others know what it feels like. And that’s what healing songs do.