“To live is to be musical, starting with the blood dancing in your veins. Everything living has a rhythm. Do you feel your music?” ― Michael Jackson
As we approach the end of African-American Music Appreciation Month, I wanted to pay tribute to the essence of old school music with this poem The Soul of Old School Music.
The Soul of Old School Music
Oh the sweet sounds of music
whether it’s classical, jazz or rap
rhythm and blues, rock ‘n’ roll
country, alternative or neo soul
the essence of old school music
messages that were thought provoking
soul stirring and entertaining
timeless lyrics still resonating today.
Old school music continues to be sampled
re-recorded by singers of this new age
the foundation of most old school music
was grassroots planted and church choir trained
not vulgar or obscene, but sexy and sensual
not too excessive, retaliatory or rebellious
but smooth and united with a funky style.
Voices rich in tone, range and technique
unique vocalists defined by their style and pitch
when you close your eyes you identified who they were
voices that could never be duplicated although imitated
colorblind to the treble and bass clef of any singer
running through scales that seemed impossible.
There were groups who brought the music
and played with live bands
crossing over to audiences of various cultures
with amazing showmanship, costumes and life-changing lyrics.
With all of the finger snappin’, body thumpin’
hip shakin’ and toe tappin’
the music echoed with reminders of the time
disconnecting people from war, discord, injustice and poverty
to connections of love, peace, understanding and unity
old school music became our great escape
with messages still ringing with purpose this day.
From the ballrooms of the big band era
to the bright neon lights of Broadway
bleeding throughout the corridors of posh dance halls
to the streets of neighborhood juke joints
from barber shops to beauty salons
from a Cadillac to a Chevrolet
crooners of old school music
command the attention of new school style.
As the music plays on, it lives on
giving us a deeper appreciation of what it historically says
how we hear and what we feel through the tempo
bridging a generational gap in worn out dancing shoes.
Thank you Dick Clark, Ed Sullivan and Don Cornelius
thank you Motown, Arista, Columbia, Epic and Atlantic
if you didn’t introduce them, we never would have known
the ambassadors behind the soul of old school music.
Wings of the Wind: A Cornucopia of Poetry © 2013 Kym Gordon Moore