I have been gathering folk songs for awhile now as I have slowly come to understand why learning folk songs of other nations should matter to us.
I just read the foreword of an old folk song book I picked up and I think this sums it up:
"If we, in America, are going to be good neighbors with the rest of the world, it is important that we come to know how people in other lands think and feel. The songs of a people reveal more truly than do anything else the spirit and mood of their daily lives... Some of them are very old and all of them have for generations been used to express the spirit of the people from whence they came.
"Because we are such a young nation we, in America, have not yet developed very much fine music of our own. If, however, all of the boys and girls are given an opportunity for training in music, in the course of time we too shall have a great American musical art."
The Arts are the great preservers of Truth through the generations. What will we be leaving behind from which generations to come will learn about our hearts?
Our MU topic this month is History and this reminder from the Delphian Reading Course is a good one:
"...let us remember we are not reading chiefly for information. We read to: *develop our insight into the mystery of life *to gain an individual viewpoint *to establish our standards of conduct *and modify our standard of judgment
"The word heart...often denotes the inner feelings of an individual. Our hearts--the sum total of our desires, affections, intentions, motives, and attitudes--define who we are determine what we will become." --David A Bednar
That's why so much focus on a well-educated heart here!
I was reminded this morning of something I said when I addressed the World Congress of Families a few years ago. I don't believe we are in full blown winter yet, but nature and history cycles teach us it will come.
"This is the day of harvest. It is a day to thrust in your sickle and reap with diligence because you know what follows Fall's harvest. Already you may be seeing signs of approaching winter. The leaves are changing color and starting to drop off the trees. There's a bit of a chill in the air. But you don't have to be afraid. Within the harvest are lessons on how to survive harsh winters. And if you've been wise, you will have stored enough to sustain yourself through cold winter months when nothing grows. Winter can be a time to rest from heavy labors, to wrap up in a warm blanket, sit in front of a fire and reflect on things that really matter. Even on the coldest day of winter is found great beauty. Some of the greatest masterpieces of literature, art and music have come from history's winters. And if the winter's day seems especially long and dark and dreary, you can hold on to the hope and promise of spring, because spring always follows winter. Always. It will be a time of new beginnings; of clearing away rotting leaves and digging new furrows in the earth to plant the seeds saved from the fruits of fall's harvest. And there will be fresh scented breezes."