Lights and Virtues

“Here’s to reaching higher ground.”

I love music. As far back as my memory will reach, I have always loved music. And, for me, great music is crowned by great lyrics. Usually, it is the lyrics of a song that I connect with and which cause me to become a fan and want to share the love with others.

I like to share songs that move me or that I enjoy because of the sheer beauty, truth, or power of their message or their inspired use of language. By so sharing, I get that I am essentially expressing myself by way of someone else’s words – how I think or feel – and hoping that those who I share with also relate to such words or are equally moved. Selfishly, I want others to also like the songs, like the lyrics, that I like. I want them to reap the same emotional or spiritual “benefits” that I have – hope, insight, inspiration, etc.

Because of my love for lyrics, many of my all-time-favorite songs are performed by singer-songwriters. And my hands-down favorite is Jackson Browne. The playlist of my earliest FM-radio memories begins with Doctor My Eyes – an instant, and now timeless, classic. I never tire of listening to Jackson’s music nor wane in my appreciation for his brilliant lyrics. He is an extraordinarily-gifted storyteller, wordsmith, and singer. I can’t believe that I have been listening to his music for over 40 years now.

And while there are any number of songs that Jackson Browne has written and sings which I variously count as my favorites, his Lights and Virtues is for me a life-anthem. A very credo to live by. It is as inspiring and relevant in my life today as the first time I heard it 25 years ago. The message – although brief – is just as significant, just as important, just as timely. I have always thought of Lights and Virtues as both a statement of hope and the pronouncement of a blessing. And with that thought in mind, I share the lyrics with you here as my sincere prayer that our lives will be blessed and filled with hope and purpose.

Lights and Virtues – Jackson Browne

Here’s to lights and virtues.  Here’s to truths yet to be known.

Knowledge to light the darkness;  the search for things of your own.

Here’s to lights and virtues.  Here’s to reaching higher ground.

A life of hope and purpose.  Here’s to strength yet to be found.

Honor — though it goes unrecognized — and truth — though liars abound.

Here’s to lights and virtues.  Here’s to truths yet to be known.

Knowledge to light the darkness;  the search for things of your own.

The pleasure of love and friendship.  The courage to be alone.

So for you and everyone, I pray, “Here’s to lights and virtues. Here’s to reaching higher ground.”

Inspire and BE Inspired,

Jay

www.JayWTaylor.com

Lights and Virtues copyright 1989 Swallow Turn Music (ASCAP)

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