National pride

So, yesterday was 4th of July.  Independence Day for us in the US.  A good time to get together with friends and loved ones, have a massive barbeque spread, celebrate our countries independence and watch the fireworks.  At least 3 of those are done with anticipation.  Sad to say.

I turned on my computer yesterday morning and the first song I heard when I went to Youtube was rendition of “Stars and Stripes Forever” by the Boston Pops Orchestra.  It’s a piece that I used to hear all the time growing up, but not so much now.  So I was excited to hear it.  It’s about as American as our National Anthem.

Speaking of which, the Olympics are coming up soon.  I’m super excited about it, even though I may not get to watch it, what with me not having a tv and all.  As usual I’m looking forward to Track and Field, basketball, gymnastics and the equestrian event.  People always find it weird that I like watching the equestrian event.  Like all the others, it’s fascinating to watch.

I can’t wait for my countrymen to bring home the gold.  I always love seeing the ceremony when the gold is placed around the neck of the competitor and the National Anthem plays.  Sure I don’t know those people, but when they win, I still feel that sense of pride.  That in an event in which hundreds participate only few reach the top and there is only one gold medal.  And when my country comes out on top I get so excited.

Last time I watched the Olympics I remember hearing the French National Anthem for the first time.  They have a beautiful national anthem.  I’m positive they know this and are damn proud of it.  As they should be.  I’m gonna take the time this time around to really listen for the National Anthems of other countries just to hear them.  I see that the people in other countries feel that same sense of pride hearing their song as I do when I hear mine.  So even though we don’t share a song, or a country, we all feel the same kind of pride for our countries.  And that is a beautiful thing.

Mr. Marvin Gaye

It came to my attention that Marvin Gaye’s birthday was yesterday.  I also learned that he was killed the day before his 45th birthday.  It’s so tragic and sad.  I often wonder what his music would be like now if he was still alive.  He had the effortless talent of being able to change up his style and his sound and still be special.  So this seemed like the perfect time to talk about his wonderful music and its impact on me.

My love of Marvin Gaye’s music was given to me by my parents.  They always listened to all the stuff that they listened to growing up, so of course I had to listen to it.  But in this case it is all love.  Marvin Gaye was a true musical maestro.  He played piano and drums and had a killer voice.  He wrote a lot of music and songs as well.  Unfortunately a lot of his stuff went under appreciated.  Looking back I can see he was truly ahead of his time.

The song that immediately pops into my head when I think of him is “What’s Going On”.  I will forever be impressed with how he used his craft to speak on the social ills of the time.  It’s one of the reasons among many why I have so little respect for the rap music of today.  That genre used to be about something.  Not so much now.  But he managed to get a message across to people without sounding angry and frustrated, while being angry and frustrated.  He did it so smoothly and respectfully and I admire that so much.

By now you know my thoughts and feelings on remakes and reboots and what not.  Well, another exception to this is when Gaye performed the song “You Are Everything” with Diana Ross.  I will always love the original of that song.  Forever.  But these two singing together was so freaking amazing I don’t know how my head has not exploded from awesomeness of it.  They both had fantastic voices and listening to them sing this song still brings tears to my eyes.  It is so incredibly beautiful.

I know I said in my Whitney Houston post that she did the national anthem the best, but I must amend that statement.  They are both tied for #1 for me due to the fact that they both had their own style.  The lyrics to the national anthem are some of the most boring lyrics in creation.  I get goosebumps listening to bands play the music than I get from the anthem itself.  But listening to him sing it just gave it a new lease on life.  His version of it gives me goosebumps, a high, a sense of triumph.  Our national anthem makes me feel patriotic.  I’m a proud American.  But Marvin Gaye’s version makes me feel both patriotic and human.

I miss music like his.  I miss songs like his.  I miss talent like his.  He was an original through and through.  He has impacted music in a way that no one is ever going to repeat.  His music continues to keep him alive in my heart and in my headphones.