Music is a wonderful gift. It can transport you to places you would never normally go. You might say that I am a little biased, having spent half my life as a musician, songwriter and producer. Some time ago, at a marriage retreat my wife and I attended, I heard heavenly music playing in the course breaks. It was the angelic voice of Eva Cassidy singing Sting’s love song, ‘Fields of Gold’. Eva Cassidy’s voice was so beautiful, so powerful, so delicate and so haunting.
It pays to go to Marriage Retreats not only so that you can invest in your marriage. Andre Maurois was right to say, “A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day.” But sometimes you get wonderful presents that you would not otherwise get. Guess what my wife got for me the Christmas after that Marriage Retreat? Eva Cassidy’s ‘Songbird’ album. The Guardian wrote, “It is indispensable . . . one of the greatest voices of her generation”. I could not agree with that statement more. In my time I have recorded and produced a dozen albums and worked and sung with many great singers and musicians but for me as a female vocalist, Eva Cassidy is the best.
Eva Cassidy’s story is even more compelling. ‘She never really thought much of what she did’, according to her producer Chris Biondo. Eva only recorded a few albums of her own. She was mainly a backup singer for other performers. In 1996 at the age of 33 she died of cancer. Since her death ten more albums have been released from dubs and demos. In the year 2000 she was number one in England and now her albums are sold all over the world. All this from a girl who never really moved away from her home state of Washington, USA.
When you hear her voice you will understand why. Eva Cassidy is perhaps most well known for her beautiful rendition of ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’, the famous song from the Wizard of Oz. My wife and I spent a good portion of our Christmas holidays that year holding hands and listening to Eva Cassidy sing. On my part it was hard to hold back the tears. I have always been a soft touch for a great song well sung.
Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high,
There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby.
Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Remember I said that music is a wonderful gift that can transport you to places you would never normally go? As I listened to Eva Cassidy sing I remembered the way as a child I used to think. As a child our lives are filled with hopes and dreams. The grinding process of life tends to crush those hopes and dreams out of us, and yet it is our hopes and dreams that give us life in so many ways. In the Bible it says, ‘These three things remain, faith, hope and love’.
Yes, we have to grow up, but let’s not leave our hopes and dreams behind. Our children are born with a simple faith that grows out of the flower of hope. That’s why Jesus took a child and said, “Except you become like a child you will not enter the kingdom of heaven”. I have always been suspicious of the idea of growing up. Perhaps we as adults need to ‘grow down’. Maybe God gives the wonderful gift of our children to us so that we can see through their eyes and truly learn how to live again.
See life through the eyes of a child. Remember what it was like to dream. For inspiration listen to Eva Cassidy’s rendition of ‘Over the Rainbow’ and share it with your children, or perhaps go for a walk with your children or play in the sand pit. Life is to be enjoyed. Let your children teach you how to hope and dream again.
Yours for hopes and dreams