Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Spiritual Hobo and The Spiritual Bourgeois - How to write Songs and Prose

A songwriter is driven by his feelings. I know of one famous songwriter with a large portfolio of beautiful songs before his conversion to Islam. The songs were sincere, melancholy and yearning, with a certain edginess in his music which attracted me.

After he converted to Islam, well... the songs are still rather good. But I could sense the feeling of contentment and satisfaction in the music - A 'I-am-home-already' sorta sentiment which permeates through the music and lyrics. And that is good for him personally, but for me it has lost that 'I-am-lost-I-need-to-find-my-way-back' drama and tension which rippled to the surface of his older songs.

I was talking to my brother about it, and I (cruelly, I think) commented that this musical phase as being the songwriter's 'spiritual bourgeois' phase - That middle-class suburban reality of self-satisfaction you achieve when you think that you have "made it". There is not much edginess or grit in this sort of music. The 'Blues' mood of separation, solitude, rejection, yearning and desire just fell away from the songs.

I hope that at a metaphorical level, we shall always be like hobos riding on a freight train of God. Not knowing where we might end up, living life a day at a time, a loaf of bread and an apple a day, utterly in the Mercy of the Lord who made us all. Because frankly, there is really no other way to write beautiful prose or songs.

The Love is in the searching and yearning. So may our search and yearning never end.

Have a lovely day, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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