Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Seals and Crofts' "Intone...": Older Age Hope
A very powerful, inspiring song by Seals and Crofts.
Caution note: I've never been a part of the Baha'i religion, don't take kindly toward any literature or song lyrics that call humans "servants-slaves" or speak of ultimate reality as "lord." So many of the latter represent that which is worst about religion and ideology.
HOWEVER, some aspects of the more liberal parts of the Baha'i faith do represent ethics, justice, and inspiration at their best.
AND, most of the lyrics of "Intone" by Seals and Crofts are very powerful, describing many of the tragic aspects of our lives when we humans get older. Many studies have shown that the most lonely and saddest humans are the elderly.
The irony of when I first heard "Intone," listening to a new album by a new group that one of my buddies had just bought, I was only 24, in good health, and renting a nice apartment in Huntington Beach, California only a few miles to the beach.
But I could imagine and empathize with the individual suffering in the song--of the tragedies and losses of which the singers were relating. The song enthralled and uplifted me spiritually even though back then in 1971, I had few worries, and only the angst typical of young adults.
Besides the intense, lush instrumentation, I felt deeply the words of loss partially because at the time my mom was devastated by the early death of her father, the failing health of her elderly mother, and she was still grieving too vivid memories of her little brother who had gotten killed, run over by a car years before. As years passed, and my mom got older, she agonized even more over her little brother's death.
This song speaks so deeply and powerfully to all of that.
Yes, "Intone" posits holy writing from religion as a hope.
I don't think religions offer real hope. But some writings in religions do inspire. With a little revising, one can listen to this hopeful song, emphasizing what to do when encountering tragedy. (Hopefully, Seals and Crofts won't mind. I wonder where they are and whether or not they are living this song now in their old age.)
>>when everything is wrong...your friends are gone
Intone my [beloved], the verses of [the Light]. Intone my beloved, the verses of the Light
Let me hear you sing, let your voices ring
>>throughout cities of men's hearts...
Don't despair. Don't negate. Don't, for hope's sake, have a pity party (that you probably do deserve).
Instead, look to the wise words of great inspiration.
Seek hope, even when hope is missing.
In the LIGHT,