Song Lyric Mantras

Something I love about Paganism, is even though it is an ancient religion it has room for modern adaptions. I see one of these as being humans relationship with music, particularly popular music. We all have songs and musical artists that we love and music has the power to comfort us in times of need and help us get through tough situations. But it also accompanies our good times and is a powerful tool for setting the mood.

Within my favorite songs there are often one or two lines that really resonate with me. I call on these little one liners when I need strength, motivation, encouragement, or consolation, and I bet most people have their own collection of these song lyric mantras.  It often surprises me just how much I call on these mantras in my life. I think they’re pretty powerful stuff, and demonstrate the strong connections between humans and music.

On a slightly different spin, I’ve had people tell me that when songs pop into your head out of the blue it can be your intuition speaking. Since I’ve heard this I’ve paid more attention to the lyrics of those random songs. I get how this can be seen as the intuition at work, but often times the songs that pop into my head are so silly that it’s difficult for me to get the message. I’m plagued by Air Supply, Miley Cyrus, and Brittany Spears songs that jump into my brain and become ear worms, and try as I might it’s difficult for me to receive the intuitive message in “Baby One More Time.”

My husband and I love to sing. We sing whatever pops into our heads, and will often blurt out particular song lyrics that are fitting or funny to a particular situation.  We also like to take contemporary standards and add our own lyrics. I like to think we’re actually rather talented at improvising new lyrics off the top of our heads.

If you’re curious, here are some of my all-time favorites. In the process of actually sitting down and recording my favorites I realize that almost all of my most beloved song lyric mantras come from the Grateful Dead. I guess this makes sense because I was very involved with Dead culture. And, Deadheads loved to take their favorite song lyrics and put them on tee-shirts and bumper stickers they would sell or trade in the parking lot. In this way a person who spent a lot of time at Grateful Dead shows was exposed to a myriad of lyric sound bytes, or mantras. Deadheads also spent a lot of time studying the lyrics, and there are a myriad of Dead lyric books out there, many of them annotated.

My favorite Dead lyric mantras:

  • For personal inspiration and the will to keep going in the performance arts- Like an angel, standing in a shaft of light, rising up to paradise, you know I’m gonna’ shine (from Estimated Profit)
Grateful Dead

I’m not even going to get started with Grateful Dead art, which is a whole world into itself.

  • When life hands you a big shit sandwich- Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile (from He’s Gone)
  • When you feel you’ve lost your way- If you get confused listen to the music play (from Franklin’s Tower)
  • To celebrate the beauty of life- Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world……wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings….(from Eyes of the World)
  • And when I am down about dance (my profession) or in times I’ve been injured- If I’m unable to dance I’ll crawl (from Hell in a Bucket) and I’m still walkin’, so I’m sure that I can dance (from Saint of Circumstance)

I could go on with Dead lyrics for awhile, as all of their songs are close to my heart, but I’ll stop with those.

And here’s a non- Dead funny one that I actually use a lot-

  •  For when you have to handle a really difficult and problematic situation- When the shit goes down, you better be ready (From Cypress Hill- When the Shit Goes Down)

And finally, a favorite of mine and my husband’s-

  • This one’s for all the times when the U.S. government really pisses us off…which is somewhat frequent- America! Fuck Yeah! (this one’s from Team America: World Police, lyrics by Trey Parker, who has provided me with a wealth of brilliant lyrics and one-liners over the years. Thank you Trey- your words of wisdom always brighten my day) And let me add here, if you are really upset with American ideals, look up the full lyrics to this song. I promise they’ll make you feel better.

So there you go. Song lyric mantras- I think we all have them, and they completely demonstrate just how attached we are to the music we listen to.

Now I would love to see some sharing happen here. I encourage everyone who reads this blog to share their personal song lyric mantras. If we get enough sharing I think it could be very interesting to hear just what lyrics inspire you.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Aracely
    Sep 23, 2012 @ 11:08:32

    fantastic points altogether, you just gained a brand new reader. What would you recommend in regards to your post that you made some days ago? Any positive?


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