They say sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you. We all know they're wrong. Words are a powerful thing. They can lift you like a kite, beat you down, inspire you to change, and move you towards tears and laughter. Words can stay forever, be misinterpreted, or fly out the window just as soon as they leave your mouth. From political rallies to love poems, and great novels to songs of loss, words connect us and impact our lives daily; they move the world.
According to the Whorfian Hypothesis, we are a result of the language we speak. Language molds our actions, and more than we know, our thoughts. Without vocabulary to express ourselves, we would only have feelings void of their descriptions. Sure, we have body language, an incredibly important part of communication. Yet linguistics has given us the opportunity to channel our insides into art, literature, music, and speech. The great philosopher, Descartes stated, I think, there for I am. More so, I am thinking, therefore I exist. In a way, we create our very own existence from our words, and what we do with them is our choice alone.
Which brings me to Truth, a song by Alex Ebert, the front man of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, a 10 person band which has gained a serious cult following over the last two years. The power of their collective energy has earned them critical acclaim, particularly in their live shows. I would highly recommend checking them out ASAP. Alex recently came out with his own solo album, self titled , which I've grown quite an obsession for. Particularly because of Truth, although the entire album blew me away as a whole. I was sucked in with the guitar riffs, and stayed Alexanderplanted because of the lyrics. My goodness, can this young man write. Like some sort of musical prophet, Alex wears his honest heart on a naked shoulder, and never apologizes for it. The brilliance shines, leaving the message of the story up to your own interpretation, just as the best kind of songs always do.
Listening to Alex instills in me the faith I have in the power of words. And in this case, words turned into poetically powerful songs. Dylan did it, so did John Lennon and Paul Simon. It's amazing how deeply therapeutic and effective any song can be, if you just listen closely. Among many other artists, Alex inspires me to write more, read more, and express more. Recently, I've done a little more dabbling in my own song and poetry writing, along with short stories and even simple journal entries. I encourage you to do the same. Go on, pick up a pen (I know you want to). It's amazing what beautiful things you can create with your own words.
For past musicallyinclined articles, click here.