The power of songs

A colleague and opera singer recently gave me an excerpt from the novel “Anansi Boys” by Neil Gaiman. I found the excerpt compelling, because it puts into words something that I thought was impossible to articulate – the power of music and the power of song.

Here is that excerpt:

It begins, as most things begin, with a song

In the beginning, after all, there were the words, and they came with a tune. That was how the world was made, how the void was divided, how the lands and the stars and the dreams and the little gods and the animals, how all of them came into the world

They were sung

The great beasts were sung into existence, after the Singer had done with the planets and the hills and the trees and the oceans and the lesser beasts. The cliffs that bound existence were sung, and the hunting grounds and the dark

Songs remain. They last. The right song can turn an emperor into a laughingstock, can bring down dynasties. A song can last long after the events and the people in it are dust and dreams and gone

That’s the power of songs


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