“Me and Mozart to Metallica” – The Skald’s Lyre

Happy Saturn’s Day

I am currently planning on doing a lot of research on Norse Mythology in order to do a few Crossing Bifrost posts with a little more knowledge behind them.  I am instead going to implement one of the changes I proposed which is to create a series of posts on music.  This will be subtitled The Skald’s Lyre and will most likely appear with Crossing Bifrost on Saturn’s Day.  I miss discussing music and I want to get back to it.  The one effect this will have on other posts is that the Pagan pulpit will probably only have one song now on Sun’s Day.

I find music to be far more spiritual the older I get.  It has always had an emotional effect on me and I can’t go for too long before I find myself looking for something to listen to either motivate men or calm me.  I have also discovered over the years I am far less devoted to a particular kind of music or a particular era.  I am most interested in musical discovery; that is the discovery of new music from any era that I can enjoy and from which I can draw inspiration.

My musical journey like most people started with my parent’s music.  They both grew up in the 40s and 50s so that music was a regular part of what was on the radio.  My mom was a band member in high school and so she focused on classical music; so I cut my teeth in understanding music as a child on Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, and Brahms.  I liked it, particularly Mozart. I don’t if she realized it but she sowed the seeds for my metal baptism later.

Dad was more of an eclectic guy when it came to music. He liked the 50s do whop groups, country (and by country I mean old country, not this new stuff that is more pop with a country twang) and he was the one that introduced me to Johnny Cash.  Both my parents were young adults during the 60s, and so that music was also around too. My dad must have had a thing for Janis Joplin and Iron Butterfly as he had their albums.

Of course, we went to church and the old hymns and gospel were there as well as some new fangled worship music later.  My problem was as I went through school, I never settled on anything.  Until my first day in high school.

I entered the doors as a freshman full of fear.  I have been introverted all my life. I was tall and skinny.  I had started playing football, but I had no real athletic talent. I was nerdy and kept to myself except for the few friends I would keep close because of church or school.  That first day though I walked in and half the school as wearing Def Leppard “Pyromania” t-shirts.  I bought the album a few days later and listened to it. My parents had gotten cable so I hit MTV and saw all kinds of what would be later known as Hair Metal.  It was not this that drew me, but I would close my eyes and hear Mozart, just played very fast and with electric power.

After that metal was a part of my life. We played it in the locker room before a football game so I began to understand the emotional power of music.  ‘Back in Black’ by ACDC became the unofficial school song as ‘red and black were our school colors and our home uniform for football was black, head to toe. Hard Rock, Metal and 80s Pop were aa part of the equation for me as a teen of the 1980s. When I hit young adulthood a band called Metallica would dominate my music in the 1990s.

Now you need to understand I lived a double life with music from my Freshman year in high school on.  I had an extensive Chrisitan Rock and Metal collection; which while it irritated the fundamentalist pastors I had at the time, they wouldn’t completely tell me to knock it off because of the lyrics.  That was my public music.  When I was away from the church and in my own room, there was a collection of devil worshiping secular music and Playboys under my bed.  It was this music, and perhaps even the Playboys, that brought out in me the side that was true to a part of me that church told me to repress.  I just never could shut that off and so I became a headbanger. A Christian one in public and a secular one in private.

I have always listened to what I want since becoming an adult. I like and prefer things with strings and multiple part harmony.  I like a lot of things my parents liked and since then I have a lot of very eclectic tastes.  I have never really gotten to be the old man shouting at the kids around – “That isn’t real music.”  Even as a metalhead, my only gripe is other metalheads who start decrying different types of metal as not real metal. What a bunch of noize.  If I like it, I like it and these last ten years I don’t think there is a genre of music that I don’t have at least one song in that I can enjoy.  That said. if I want inner peace, some form of metal, alternative music or a sappy love song hits my playlist.

The Skald’s Lyre will have different kinds of posts.  Sometimes I will focus on an artist or band. Sometimes I will focus on a particular song or group of songs. Sometimes I might focus on a particular genre of music.  I might follow a theme in music or even reactions to some songs that I have loved for years but some other person is hearing for the first time. The subject will be basically music I am listening to at the time and what I feel and think about it.

To close this week though I will leave you with a historically significant song.  This song was the first song to ever be played on MTV: “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles:

Perhaps it will be as equally prophetic for me.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


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