Today’s guest post is from Meadow Barrett, a young singer/songwriter striving to follow Christ and trying to work through what it means for her to be a “Christian Artist”.
My parents were both singer/songwriters who met through music. My Mom gave birth to me in a little white church in Franklin, Tennessee a few months after she signed a record deal with Forefront records (EMI). The main crib I slept in was a guitar case since her duo record deal with my Aunty Serene (Considering Lily) always kept us on the road. I’ve been told that Rebecca St. James would babysit me when we were touring with her and her family. And toddler that I was, I believed Cracker Barrel was my home since we were rarely ever home. I was surrounded by music . . . taken captive by it. Sometimes my Mom would put me under the spot light on stage, and I would sing “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” in front of a crowd of people.
There is a part of me which has always been ardently addicted to music. Later this grew to something even more meaningful to me than just singing songs — writing songs. The more I wrote, the more it became a habit, and later it felt as if I was breathing songs! Maybe it’s because songs are my favorite way of communicating. They can make people laugh, cry . . . and think. Songs are two of my favorite things put together — Writing plus Music. It’s my hobby. It’s my ministry. And it’s my obsession.
As much as I enjoy music, I believe that much of music is dead today. It’s dead because it has no meaning. No purpose. Sure, it might give us fun vibes and entertain and humor us. But is that all? Lyrics are often degrading. Thoughtful words are replaced with profanity, hope is replaced with despair, forgiveness is replaced with vengeance, joy is replaced with partying and alcohol, wholesome humor is replaced with dirty jokes, love is replaced with lust, and worship to the Creator is replaced with worship to the creation.
But I believe not all music is dead. There is some music that is very much alive. It’s only rarer. It gets people laughing over the little things. It makes us cry, not because of hopelessness, but because of empathy in trials and tribulations, or hope of overcoming them, or looking back at the good times. It believes in wisdom in all decisions, faithfulness towards loved ones, and a life with value. It is a lighthearted joke with a drum beat. It is a friendly conversation with a melody. It is story telling with emotion. It is a love letter with an orchestra. It is a preacher’s sermon with a backup choir. It is prayer in the form of art.
Some people mistakenly blame different genres of music for the demise. They are disappointed that musicians abandon classical styles to become more modern. While I have respect and appreciation for the classics, I don’t believe they are most important. A long time ago, these traditional styles were merely new trends that gradually became classics. People ‘invented’ those styles. They didn’t always exist. Any musician should have the freedom to explore music in many styles and forms. There’s nothing unique about following trends. But inventing new styles is certainly not the problem. Dead lyrics are the problem.
I don’t fit into a category of one main genre of music. I don’t want to be put in a box. I want to be free to write something fresh and new. But most importantly, I want to play a part in raising the standard of music.
I WANT MY MUSIC TO BE MEDICINE.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” – Philippians 4:8.