I wish you music to help with the burdens of life, and to help you release your happiness to others.

-Ludwig van Beethoven

A happy heart sings regardless of ability.  We sing along with others who inspire us.  Lately I’ve been searching on You Tube and Pandora for songs worthy of listening to repeatedly.  Then one favorite song leads me to another and then to another.  To me it doesn’t matter what type of music I like, it all speaks to me differently.  I’ve switched from the Three Tenors to Hans Zimmer (composer) to the Celtic Woman, then back over to New Age and Carrie Underwood or Demi Lovato.  Right now I’m listening to the songs from The Greatest Show on Earth.  I especially love the song, This Is Me.

My brother, Jim, had musical talent. From an early age he sang and played a guitar.  In high school he played at school events and tried to look like Ricky Nelson.  The girls adored him.  He eventually became a struggling musician and then was well-known in the San Antonio, Texas area before his death in 2005.

Jim married Jean who is an accomplished singer (and former Miss Taunton in Massachusetts). Her sisters and mother were singers and musicians.  Of course Jim and Jean’s daughters, Jill and Jess, are now talented musicians.  Jill plays viola with the Santa Cruz Symphony and Jess sings in the Dallas Opera chorus.

My mom sang a lot around the house but always down played her singing ability, as she downplayed all her talents. But I can see that Jim got his musical ability from her.  Dad and I got the writing gene.  He and I tried to play various instruments but I think it was obvious the musical skills were with mom and Jim.

Every morning I listen to Top 10 music while walking with my dogs. In the Honda I’m playing Sirius radio on either the Top 10 channel or music from the 1990’s. While writing I listen to songs from The Greatest Show in Earth, or more Top 10, although sometimes I’ll switch to Pandora and pick something different.  So pretty much all day long I’m singing to joyful or sad or uplifting music.  My animals never complain.

When I decided to start writing the Great American Novel I realized that music, like animals, is another great way to bring strangers together. So, of course, it’s in The Book.  When you read it someday, if you remember, the song the main character is singing on the rocks in Maine one early morning is Let It Go from the Disney movie Frozen.  Love the words.  Always pay attention to the words of songs.  They are a story unto themselves.

There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent.

-Michel de Montaigne

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