A Good Night: Special Wednesday Edition

“Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse” (Walt Whitman, O Me! O Life!).

I did an abbreviated personal tour of Franklin this evening, hitting up all the usual haunts — McCreary’s Irish Pub, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and Frothy Monkey.

The reason I chose Wednesday for my tour is simple: I had a ticket to a singer-songwriter benefit concert for Preston Taylor Ministries. The main four were Barry Dean, Natalie Hemby, Luke Laird, and Lori McKenna.

I was already smitten by the music of Lori McKenna going in to the concert, but I was floored by all of them. These are people who know how to write good songs.

On a side note that has absolutely nothing to do with anything else in this post, I figured out one of the main reasons I can’t abide the current country music scene. Most of the songs are about as authentic as the fake twang that a vast majority of artists in the country music industry seem so fond of these days. I know I’m an old fogey. Get over it.

Still, it’s always a pleasure to witness four of the top songwriters doing what they do best. Generally speaking, I’ve found that it’s always a joy to see any kind of task done well by experts who love what they do, no matter what the field.

That’s what a watching world needs from you. They need to see you doing something that makes you come alive (to borrow from something Howard Thurman said), something that you are uniquely gifted to contribute– your verse to the great ongoing play of history.


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