oh happy day

Do you know that gospel song?


(Edwin Hawkins feat. Shirley Miller – Oh Happy Day)

Can you NOT be moved by that song?

Can you not be affected totally affected by that song?

I’m not saying religious conversion, although that could surely do it. I’m saying: her conviction in the words, the beat, the music. It’s felt.

And it takes me back. Way back to my childhood. In the south. At a time of segregation. Yes. I was born into that. And I was held/loved/sung to by beautiful dark-skinned women. To them I owe so much of who I am. So much of what I know about love. So much of what I love about music.

I adored these women to the point where my mother admitted to me – as an adult – that she was jealous. I would have been too. I can only feel lucky that I had day in day out, year in year out, time with them. When my parents would leave, I felt safer in the house with my caretaker. That’s how deep it was.

So, yes. Gospel music goes into me. Right to my heart.

It’s an indicator to me: how powerful expression can be.