Music to my ears

By Dr. Jim Ferguson

I’m a fan of many types of music. And I’m not alone in this appreciation which can at times be almost visceral. In fact, “music,” in the form of beating, drumming or rhythmic sounds predates human speech. The first sounds heard are those of a mother’s heartbeat, imprinted upon the soul of the child in the womb.

I do not play a musical instrument and only sing when alone in the car or sheepishly with the congregation on Sunday. Well…I also sing in the shower, “beautifully” I might add. I offered my services to the church choir director if he would add a shower stall to the choir loft. He just laughed and walked away.

Music resonates in my soul, and is very mathematical, though math was never my forte. When you pluck a string it produces a vibration and a resonating musical sound. Then, if you shorten the string by half, the resulting note is twice as high.

As a medical example, consider the human voice. Human vocal cords stretch from front to back in the larynx. A woman’s voice resonates at a higher frequency because her vocal cords are shorter than a man’s. The Adam’s apple of a man develops at puberty from hormone-driven laryngeal elongation producing the characteristic protrusion in his neck. As a result, men’s vocal cords are longer and produce a lower pitch. Interestingly, the timbre of a boy’s voice is different than a woman’s. Choral works have been written specifically for a boy’s voice and, surprisingly, for castrati.

Becky and I have thoroughly enjoyed the recent Ken Burn’s documentary Country Music. I like country music with its melodious sound and meaningful lyrics which speak of love and loss, joys and tragedies of life. But I also like rock ‘n’ roll, opera, Broadway musicals, bluegrass, classical music, and even the syncopated rhythms of hip-hop. I don’t identify with rap, especially the so-called gangsta rap. But Ken Burn’s documentary is about more than country music. It is the history of America told alongside its music.

Jazz originated in America as did the painting movement known as the Hudson River School. Though I am not a musicologist, I aver that country music, like rock ‘n’ roll, came together from diverse sources as part of our unique American experience and creation.

Each two hour segment of Burn’s documentary chronicles a different period of country music and corresponding American history. It was the episode of the sixties which struck a chord.

Becky and I were born in 1951 so we “came of age” in the sixties. It was the era of the Beatles, Motown, the Vietnam War and the Counterculture. I remember Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, the riots in Watts and at the Chicago Democrat Convention. And I remember Walter Cronkite covering the Tet offensive and declaring that the Vietnam War was lost . . . then it was. Burns observed that America in the sixties was as divided as during the Civil War. And it still is.

The media, Democrats and the ensconced non-elected bureaucrats of the deep state say Trump is the cause of our division in America. If you believe this you should apply for a job in Washington where hatred of Trump is all that matters. Character assassination and Congressional investigation instead of legislation is the modus operandi of Democrats. This is their 2020 campaign focus. They have to get rid of Trump to protect their power and the system.

And you know what? Trump is hated because we elected him to change a system we recognized as broken. And vicariously, Washington and the media demonstrate their disgust and hatred of deplorables who voted against “crooked Hillary,” against the status quo and for President Trump.

As I write this essay, Adam Schiff’s Congressional charade continues. He and the Democrats have moved their inquisition out of the SCIF room (sensitive compartmented information facility) in the Congressional basement, and ostensibly into the open. This is a crock and a facade. The Democrats and their media handlers have no candidate who can compete with Trump’s successes. All that drives them is hatred and the blind pursuit of power. As a doctor I can certify that this is a sickness and destructive. If you doubt me, just look Adam Schiff in the eye.

I watched a bit of the Schiff inquiry being touted as an impeachment proceeding. It is not. There has been no House vote to impeach and in their inquisition, Trump is unable to defend himself. As I watched unelected bureaucrats testify, it became evident that none of them had first-hand information of the so-called problematic phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian President. Apparently, the bureaucrats were frustrated that Trump decided to conduct American foreign-policy himself (which is the President’s prerogative) and cut them out of the policy loop.

The Democrats struck out again with the Ukraine quid pro quo just as they did in the Kavanagh hearings, the Mueller Russian investigation and pathetic Jerry Nadler’s House Judiciary Committee hearing. One media expert compared the hapless Adam Schiff and the Democrats to Wile E. Coyote, with Trump as the Road Runner!

I wonder if piping music into the Congressional inquiry would soften the souls of the participants. Nah. They are all too far gone. But if you could, what country song might you choose? Probably something more soothing than Roger Miller’s, “Dang Me, dang me, they oughta take a rope and hang me, high from the highest tree…” If I were Trump I might choose David Allen Coe’s “Take This Job and Shove It, I ain’t working here no more.”

I wish it were all over and we could get back to being Americans again. However, that is not possible without a victor and the loser admitting defeat. And that’s the root cause of our current national crisis. Hillary Clinton was defeated in 2016. However, the deep-state bureaucrats of Washington, Democrats, the leadership of the Intelligence agencies, the media and those who consider themselves smarter and better than We the People refuse to accept their defeat.

I guess we’ll just have to whip them again in 2020. And then, perhaps we can sing the old Buck Owens’ song, “Together Again.” 

 

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