Subscriber Playlist (January 2023): It’s Gonna Be Alright
A collection of songs to bring comfort and encouragement at the beginning of a new year.
“May you live in interesting times,” or so goes the (apocryphal) Chinese curse — and these are definitely interesting times.
COVID is still a thing despite our best efforts to pretend otherwise. War continues to rage in Ukraine as tensions flare around the globe. Everything’s getting more and more expensive, putting the strain on everyone’s pocketbooks and bank accounts — except for the ultra-wealthy, who are doing better than ever before. Meanwhile, our country’s political divides are deeper than ever, and we’re about to head into more political gridlock. (And that’s to say nothing of the 2024 presidential campaigns, which will be kicking into high gear this year and bombarding us with all manner of rhetoric.)
At times like this, music might seem trivial. After all, what significance does a song have compared to the world’s many ills? However, I’d argue that music — and all art, for that matter — becomes increasingly important, even vital, during such moments. For starters, music can provide a much-needed escape, with melodies, beats, and harmonies drowning out the world’s noise for a few blissful minutes. But more importantly, music can remind us of what’s truly important (e.g., love, faith, community, grace) and paint a picture of the way the world ought to be. A picture that can inspire us to make those things a reality, even if it’s just in our little corner of the world.