Before we get into today's blog post, I would like to announce that we have a book signing on our hands! On July 25th (this Saturday), we'll be at 410 Collective in Denison, Texas from 9:00 to 3:00, or until we're sold out. This is the first time Where I Stand will be available for purchase, so I'm super excited. See you there!
I, generally, believe that a fair amount of human beings place way too much emphasis on music. Why must you always have noise in the background? Are you afraid of being alone with your own thoughts? Nevertheless, music certainly has its place in the world. I listen to it while writing in order to stay focused. I've been known to listen to Weird Al parodies while crocheting. I sing to the babies while volunteering at the church nursery, and I play piano on worship team.
Yesterday, I stumbled across a YouTube playlist I'd made a while back. It's full of songs by Twila Paris, along with a few by Selah and Sierra. But mostly Twila Paris.
For those of you who haven't heard of Twila Paris, you're in for a treat. She made Christian music back in the 90's and early 2000's. I'm especially fond of her because, when I was very young, my mom would play her True North or Where I Stand album every night while I was falling asleep. Listening to her music today provides a very nice calming effect.
Additionally, Hillsong released a song not too long ago called "Jesus Loves Me." Everyone's heard the original nursery rhyme. Mom would sing it to me every night, right before she turned on my Twila Paris CD. I even have a memory of my grandmother singing "Jesus Loves Me" while rocking me in a rocking chair, then carrying me through the living room and the hallway and into the nursery.
My sister played Hillsong's rendition of the song the other week. I almost fell asleep listening to it.
Interestingly, Irish myths tell of a fairy timpan (a lyre-type instrument) that was able to put people to sleep. Its peaceful songs were said to soothe wounded soldiers and mothers in labor. Since fairies aren't real, the songs aren't real either, but perhaps there's some truth to the notion that songs have a calming effect. In fact, there's a scene in Where I Stand to that effect....
"Leif had brought with him a three-stringed lyre, and Rowan tuned it after dinner. He played the reels and jigs Alynn had grown up with, plus a few more he'd learned in Scotland, and everyone sang along. Caitriona pulled Alynn out of her chair and danced with her while Drostan watched with shining eyes. When Caitriona was out of breath and Rowan was running out of songs to play, the lyre's melody changed. It was calmer now, like a glassy starlit sea, and under its spell Lukas fell asleep.
"They were blessed. They were so very, very blessed."
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.