Mike’s ecclectic jukebox

Billy Joel is near the top of the list for me and “New York State of Mind” is just about my favorite, so . . .

This is several years old but it remains a favorite. Especially dig the look of joy on the kid’s face when he starts playing. You can almost hear the voice in his head, “I’m playing piano for Billy Joel . . .”

Sorry about the video quality.

On beauty

The other day I heard a song that moved me to tears. That is, NEARLY moved me to tears, because crying over a song is just ridiculous, after all.

But I had to think about why I was so moved because emotion like that is very rare. In fact, I don’t ever recalled being so moved by music before. And what quickly became obvious was it was because of the beauty of the song.

The song was the old and familiar hymn ‘Just As I Am’. This hymn is known to just about everybody in the Western world, I think. It always closed the preaching services of Billy Graham and it is often associated with the part of evangelical church services in which people are encouraged to consider the claims of Jesus Christ and yield themselves to faith in Him.

Though freighted with spiritual meaning, it was not that meaning that moved me. It was simply melody itself, or more precisely, the particular arrangement I was listening to. It was beautiful. Beautiful like a flowing river. Beautiful like a black sky filled with stars. Beautiful like Ozarks hills aflame with autumn color as seen from atop one of those hills.

It got me to thinking about beauty as an ideal, or as a concept. I know next to nothing about the subject, yet am persuaded that beauty is something that can be defined somehow, and that it is worth knowing about and understanding.

Here’s where I am – while I don’t yet understand the “real” definition of beauty, or the “ideal” of beauty, I know that after hearing that song, I am not really interested in hearing songs, or music, that do not even attempt to get at that place in me that makes me say, “That’s beautiful.” In other words, “Splish, splash, I was taking a bath” just doesn’t cut it, anymore. I’m not saying there won’t be a time for the Eagles, or Billy Joel, or Frank Sinatra again. I am sure there will be.

But not for a while.

Meanwhile, here is the song that so moved me.

All I once held dear

All I once held dear, built my life upon
All this world reveres, and wars to own
All I once thought gain I have counted loss
Spent and worthless now, compared to this

Knowing you, Jesus
Knowing you, there is no greater thing
You’re my all, you’re the best
You’re my joy, my righteousness
And I love you, Lord

Now my heart’s desire is to know you more
To be found in you and known as yours
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All-surpassing gift of righteousness

Oh, to know the power of your risen life
And to know You in Your sufferings
To become like you in your death, my Lord
So with you to live and never die

Graham Kendrick
Copyright © 1993 Make Way Music,