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Thoughts and ruminations  to complement the
books of  The Freedom Cycle

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When Music Calls You Back From The Brink of Lunacy

By Jonathan L Trapman
13 December 2019

Can one get any more ironic?

I was 14 when Simon and Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence first hit the eardrums. Formative years in my musical life. Stunned by its brilliance, this number has remained close to my heart. Many others formed the emotional stability through years of love, life, tragedy, disappointment, loss and joy. That all these sounds hold an even deeper resonance and comprehension today is testament to greatness beyond all our years.

The arts, music, painting, writing and creative expression of a variety too long to list, has always spoken truth, honest observance and a reminder to authority they never will be the overlord of the human spirit. When music, to take just one form, challenges and brings to account the terrors and influence imposed on a people, it will be the target of control, coercion, manipulation and force.

I was also blessed to be an energising part of the founding of one of the greatest groups of modern rock music – Genesis – and each of its original members were in their own way flagships of great transformational sounds for many generations. 

Mike Rutherford’s The Living Years issued under his own group Mike and The Mechanics holds a special place in helping us understand through the power of music – the power of life.

Today’s music scene is a very audible example of how controlled a corner it has been hustled into. Helped by a corporatocracy of controlling interests refusing airtime and recording facilities to music that challenges, these entities encourage sounds (I cannot call it music) doused in mind controlling inference and shallow presentation. They promote accompanying videos to create and normalise sexual proclivities, exhort previously illegal visuals and pander to a train full of pedophiliacs.

The distance from my generation’s musical efforts to what is served today is galactic, sudden and dangerous. Music is always, rightfully, subjective yet I, along with so many generations feel starved of a universal beauty we have previously been served.

Supertramp Says It All!

I recognise the younger generation is expected to shun their parents’ musical choices, yet today what is amply apparent is how many love choices that were ours in the 60s/70s and 80s. My personal hope is that the vibes these have planted in our own souls will migrate and become the saving grace and growth of the young today.

A revolutionary spirit as fired by the likes of Joan Baez, Dylan, Neil Young, Bob Marley, Nina Simone, Pink Floyd and on and on. Thank God all these greats blast their spirit into each the veins of new generations, showing how profound great music always will be.

We may be accompanying a mad, lunatic world as it lurches towards frantic self extinction, yet we can be grateful the soundtracks we choose to keep a calm serenity around us, feed us as they always did and live on, while we dance into a life of unknown expectations and foolish endeavours.

One thing’s for sure – most of us would never have imagined the world we see now, where hope and meaning are openly crushed in favour of self interest, callous disregard and cold calculated meanness.

It is therefore good to remind ourselves and be uplifted by REM’s stunning Everyone Hurts and remember we are all part of the whole healing process

Remember we are Strong!
Remember We will not Fall
Remember We are Greater
For the Sum of All our Parts
We are The Many, including
the Deluded and Mind Controlled
Let the Wheel of Time
Turn For Us All
We Are its Engine

Link to your own particular tracks, reboot and know the strength of art will, as it always has done, regenerate, rejuvenate and revitalise and face off the psychopaths and those with little or no emotion. Prepare yourself for crossing that bridge of suffering and sighs lying in between.

Those were the days, my friends!

I’ll leave you with Liam Clancy’s The Band played Waltzing Matilda:

Here are the lyrics:

Now when I was a young man, I carried my pack.
And I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murray’s green basin
To the dusty outback,
I waltzed my matilda all over.
Then in nineteen fifteen, my country said son
It’s time to stop rambling,
There’s work to be done.
So they gave me a tin hat,
And they gave me a gun,
And they sent me away to the war.
And the band played Waltzing Matilda,
As the ship pulled away from the Quay
And amidst all the tears,
Flagwaving and cheers
We sailed off for Gallipoli

Well I remember that terrible day
When our blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter.
Johnny Turk he was ready
Oh he primed himself well
He rained us with bullets,
And he showered us with shells.
And in five minutes flat
We were all blown to hell
Nearly blew us back home to Australia.

And the band played Waltzing Matilda,
When we stopped to bury our slain.
And we buried ours and the Turks buried theirs,
And it started all over again.

Those who were living,
Just tried to survive
In that mad world of blood, death and fire
And for ten weary weeks, I kept myself alive,
While around me the corpses piled higher
Then a big Turkish shell,
Knocked me arse over head
And when I awoke in my hospital bed,
And saw what it had done,
Then I wished I was dead.
I never knew there were worse things than dying.

For no more I’ll go Waltzing Matilda,
All around the green bush far and near
For to hump tent and pegs
A man needs both legs
No more Waltzing Matilda for me.

They collected the wounded
The crippled, the maimed,
And they shipped us back home to Australia.
The armless, the legless The blind, the insane.
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
And when the ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where me legs used to be.
And thanked Christ there was no one there waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity.

And the band played Waltzing Matilda,
As they carried us down the gangway.
But nobody cheered,
They just stood there and stared,
Then they turned all their faces away

So now every April, I sit on my porch,
And I watch the parade pass before me.
I see my old comrades,
How proudly they march.
Renewing their dreams of past glories
I see the old men, all tired, stiff and sore
The weary old heroes of a forgotten war
And the young people ask,
What are they marching for?
And I ask myself the same question.

And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men still answer the call
But as year follows year,
More old men disappear
Someday no one will march there at all.

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
Who’ll come a waltzing matilda with me?
And their ghosts may be heard
As they march by the billabong
Who’ll come a-waltzing matilda with me…

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Jonathan L Trapman is an author, creative writer and photojournalist who has spent the better part of his 45 odd years in public life, learning from his personal experiences, sharing them, listening to others, whose lives have allowed him to open his own mind to a beauty, even within horror, that is transforming and empowering. His written work endeavors to convey, through true tales and fiction, impressions thus garnered. Dreams and Realities can be purchased (signed by the author if wanted) here.

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