Songs that capture the unique perspectives on beauty (Perspectives)
By Michelle Liew for:
The Perspectives Team
An introduction to Perspectives by Mickey Haist:
The theme for Perspectives next month will be Bigotry. Do approach the team if you have insights to offer on the topic!
Offering insights as a guest writer for the theme on beauty this month for Perspectives, helmed by Mickey Haist(founder), Martie Coetser, Maria Jordan, Bravewarrior(Sha), Vicki Warner and Mohan Kumar (Docmo) has been a heartwarming and truly exciting experience. The topic of beauty opens up many avenues for exploration.
There is a lot to say about beauty precisely because it covers so many aspects. Anne Frank’s quote highlights a common thread that is descriptive of beauty-that whichever of its many faces is described or discussed, it is positive and empowering.
Having said that, there are many songs that capture unique perspectives on beauty. Before touching on that, here is a little take on what these are. I will also take us through some songs that showcase perceptions on beauty.
Our perspectives on beauty: what we should see
I am one for the less thought of or intangible. Much of what I will say about the many aspects of beauty are abstract, either hard to put a finger on or have many facets to describe themselves.
Most of these are trite intangibilities which we already understand too well. Perhaps each can be considered from a slightly different perspective.
Embracing the physical
It is in our very nature to be pleased by what the eye can see. But rather than ask a cliched question on whether beauty is but skin deep, it might be better for us to ask how judgemental we should be of those who embrace the physical.
There are many physically beautiful persons and things in life to be appreciated and perhaps always looking at that train of thought as ‘shallow’ is not always apt. Perhaps we should really
enjoy the beauty of the physical for just what it is.
Cherishing the beauty of patience
None of us would say that a patient person is not beautiful. But have we really considered the times when the beauty of that patience is overlooked and sometimes gravely abused?
I believe that we can consider the many times we have been in restaurants and given a poor waiter an earful for a steak being too tough or the fish being undercooked. Hastily making demands to see his manager, forgetting his presence at the frontlines necessarily means that he is not the said chef of that fish.
Through it all, though trained in patience these service personnel he might be, should we have given it more thought?
Appreciating the beauty of honesty
Honesty is, of course, a truly attractive trait. We cringe when someone tells us a lie and are quite quick to put down an iron fist the instant we find out that it has happened. There is truly no beauty comparable to truth.
But do we want to hear the truth all the time, though we do appreciate its beauty? When I think of an answer that is obvious to many, it makes me wonder about whether we are appreciating the beauty of honesty in the way it should be and how we should go about doing it.
Admiring the tough beauty of resilience
We all hear stories of those who have triumphed over odds or removed obstacles in their rough paths. Something of a trite recurrence.
We all have the ability to adapt and be tough when needed, and to develop this often ignored, beautiful trait.
Though difficult for most, the reality is that necessity enables us to harness this beauty. When it comes to the crunch, our innate beauty of resilience shines forth.
My grandmother’s friend, Millie, diagnosed with cancer in the fourth stage, epitomizes the beauty of resilience. She still eats elephantine portions and really enjoys her food!
Appreciating the beauty of true kindness
We make the natural association of kindness with kind words that are said, a hug or a pat on the back.
There is another aspect of kindness, the beauty of which is often ignored. The kindness that is tough, but well meant. Kindness that has beauty that can be difficult to appreciate.
I think of the tough teacher-disciplinarians I have worked with in the course of teaching. Often, they had a wholehearted kindness, the beauty of which many of their students found very hard to digest. They were the ones who sometimes received the fewest presents on Teacher’s Day.
The few they did receive, however, were heartfelt thank yous coming from students who really cherished the sincere nature of tough kindness.
The beauty of showing love to the unloveable
We all have the capacity to love others and easily show love to those who are essentially difficult to show love to.
Love in all forms is beautiful without question. What is truly beautiful is the ability to give love to someone who is difficult TO love. By definition I mean someone who returns that love with other than the loveable.
To truly be able to do so is emulating nearly every religious icon imaginable!
Harnessing the beauty of faith
I do not speak of our Faith in Providence, though that is of course beautiful. I touch on the beauty of trust.
The ability to trust someone wholeheartedly with no holds barred takes true courage that can be silly, yet beautiful.
Naivete may seem foolish, yet is a much needed entity. To have the innocence of a child is to see things as they are, with the beautiful approach of non-judgement.
Developing the beauty of non - judgement
Beautiful is the person who is able to accept his imperfections as he finds them. Even more beautiful are those who are able to accept others imperfections without serving judgement.
It is this quality that makes such beauty a rare quality to find. Yet, it is what makes us truly human. A complex idea to break into smaller pieces to digest!
Harnessing the beauty of awareness
Beauty is in being aware of oneself and the clarity of who one is as a person. In the ability to stand by one’s convictions no matter what, or whom, says no.
The many martyrs who have been persecuted for standing by their convictions, choosing not to compromise their beliefs because they knew what they stood for were the epitome of such beauty.
Valuing the beauty of hope
Hope is a beautiful intangibility to cling on to, a driving force of positivity that makes a person attractive.
Beautiful is the person who can find the hope in the hopeless. Anne Frank, despite her family’s and eventually, her own persecution by the Nazi’s radiated such beauty which behoove many to cherish her diary to this day. Her youth made that beauty even more pronounced.
This is my beloved from Kismet
Songs that capture perspectives on beauty
Beauty is always excellent musical motivation, and many singers have captured Beauty’s true essence in their music. Here are some of them, with a short take on how they manage to do so.
This is my beloved from the opera Kismet
Opera is not exactly my favorite genre, but it has majestic beauty and power to be cherished.
And so we have Kismet.Composed by Alexander Borodin, it was made popular by Mario Lanza in 1956 and made popular once again by Sergio Franci who sang it on Sunday Night at the London Palladium in 1962.
The lyrics of this song show clearly the admiration the protagonist has for the beauty of his beloved:
“All that can stir All that can stun
All that's for the heart's lifting
Imagine these in one perfect one..”
A simple yet lyrically powerful song that captures the beauty of romance.
What a Wonderful World Louis Armstrong
What a wonderful world
Written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, it was first recorded by the great Louis Armstrong in 1967. The version became so iconic that it was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
It is not surprising at all to see why it would have achieved that status, for the song clearly captures the beauty of being able to appreciate the little things and the people who surround us every day.
“The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They're really saying I love you.”
True Colors Cyndi Lauper
True Colors by Cyndi Lauper
This number by Billy Steinberg was the only number on Lauper’s album that she did not help write, and it spent two weeks at the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100. It earned Lauper a Grammy Nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
The song highlights the need to appreciate the beauty of the self despite the force of darkness that makes one lose sight of it.
“You with the sad eyes
Don't be discouraged
Oh I realize
Its hard to take
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
But I see your true colors
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show”
Beautiful in my eyes Joshua Kadison
Beautiful in My Eyes
This song has the honor of being one of the most played songs at weddings, peaking at #19 on the Billboard Charts.
And it is easy to see why. It touches on the beauty of non-judgement and simply appreciating someone for who he or she is.
You will always be, beautiful in my eyes.
And the passing years will show,
that you will always grow,
evermore beautiful, in my eyes.
Beautiful Christina Aguilera
Beautiful Christina Aguilera
This song was released by RCA records to contemporary hit and rhythmic radio in 2002, gaining a Grammy for Best Vocal Pop Performance in 2004.
The song touches on valuing the beauty of the self and the importance of not letting the opinions of others cause us to lose sight of that beauty.
No matter what they say
Words can't bring you down
In every single way
Yes words can't bring you down
So don't you bring me down today
Beauty has many facets, and is definitely not skin deep. These songs, though simple, capture the spirit of true beauty and definitely need to be given their due mention.
Do enjoy the trilinea on photographs of roses scattered throughout the poem!
Other titles on Beauty for June's Perspectives by:
Maria Jordan :
Vicki Warner (Vicki W)
Mary Craig (Tillsontitan)
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