YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollectionsMusic

Sonic Boom


January 03, 2002|By RICHARD MONTENEGRO, Staff Writer

Music has a real way of helping people heal. Nowhere was that more evident than after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

Simple songs sung in the classroom as a kid, such as "God Bless America," were reprised with a renewed passion. Suddenly the lyrics made sense and the melodies tugged on our heart strings as we grieved for the thousands who died.

While monstrosities like Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" undeservedly made it back onto radio, Americans, it seemed, got a rare opportunity to rediscover important music that in a lot of ways took on new meaning.

It was nice to hear American masters like Willie Nelson and Ray Charles pumped over the airwaves with "America, the Beautiful," a song that done by either brings tears to the eyes.


On more than one occasion I heard Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" on the radio. That, to me, was more important to hear than a thousand tunes trumpeting God and country. Although it didn't seem to be such a wonderful world after 9-11, you knew it would be. And the simplicity and beauty of "Satchmo's" gravely voice telling you so was all one needed to hear.

Nine months into 2001, music was uneventful, consisting largely of uninteresting rap and uninteresting rock, with the exception of a few artists and bands. Still, what we may come to find in the next few years is music may actually get better because of Sept. 11.

It may seem a stretch, but think about all the superstars who laid aside their tales of bling-bling and woe-is-me childhoods to support relief efforts for victims of the attacks. When they performed at such events as "America: A Tribute to Heroes" and "The Concert for New York City" more often than not there was a passion present you just can't find on Top 40, rap or modern rock radio.

Hearing Neil Young tackle John Lennon's "Imagine" or even Wyclef Jean perform Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" was certainly uplifting. To listen and watch some of this country's most influential and popular musicians perform for a good cause did my heart good and was healing when healing was needed most.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles