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What’s Your Favorite Music?

As a child of the 60’s I grew up loving folk music. This photo was taken of me and Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul and Mary) a few years ago when Woody Guthrie was being honored here in Tulsa. My dad was a professional musician, and allowed us only to listen to classical music and jazz, with an occasional folk tune thrown in. He absolutely forbid us to listen to the new rock and roll, especially Elvis and the Beatles, because it was “noise,” not “music,” or country music, because It was, well I won’t say what he said. My friends always shake their heads when I ask them about some rock or country star or other. But I think it’s true that what is beautiful to one, may very well be noise to someone else. Our brains develop specific pathways that are familiar, and other sounds may not fit into them. As an adult I have learned to listen to the other forms of music, even developing some fondness for Oklahoma red-dirt country music.

As a poet I listen for lyrics, and am disappointed with the lack of creative lyrics in rock. Repetition is boring to me. Country music still tells awesome stories, sometimes with great humor. The lyrics in church music are especially important to me. That’s why I tend to like the older, more classical hymns, and dislike singing praise music, which I think is one-sided theology.

What music were you raised on? Do you still listen to the oldies? Have you reached out to new genres in music, or are your hearing pathways too set to respond to the new sounds?

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