Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I just love music.

Did you know that when a person is in the process of losing their memories, that the music memories are almost always the last to go?  People may not remember their own names, but many can still belt out songs they learned as children.  Even people with head injuries who cannot speak a word will sometimes be able to sing songs they knew before the injury occurred. 

Music is powerful.

Have you ever heard a portion of a song from 20+ years ago, and immediately go back to a specific place and time, complete with smells and memories?

Music is universal.

Just about every culture through time has had a means of expressing themselves through music.  It is an essential means of communication.

Music is healing.

I have a wide range of taste in music.  I lean toward 40’s-80’s rock, 70’s-80’s country, some classical/jazz, some hymns/praise music.  Most of the time I can find SOMETHING to cheer me up or get me going if I feel a funk coming on. 

Lately, though, I have been in a much more contemplative mood.  I suppose cancer relapse can do that, but it just seems to be a season of loss and sadness for so many people that I know.  Friends dealing with loss-disappointment-depression-futility.  Questions abound, yet answers are few.  ‘YMCA’ and ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ just don’t make the musical cut some days.

It is right in the middle of this place that I have discovered a new (to me) artist named JJ Heller.  I don’t know how long she has been around, but her new CD, LOVED, is beautiful.  Achingly beautiful.  Kind of like Sarah McLaughlin on the abused dog commercial, but in a good (not depressing) way.

All 10 of the songs on LOVED are soulful in their sound and just plain soul-quenching in their message.  Way too many days I am drained and not responsive to ‘peppy’ or frivolous music.  LOVED, however, meets me where I am—tired, yet hopeful.

Just of a few of the lyrics I keep going back to—

Everyone has a dream
Everyone has a song to sing
Everyone’s soul is broken in two
I know that mine was made for you  (from ‘For You’)

Do you dream of a home you never had
An innocence that you cannot get back
The pain is real
You can’t erase it
Sooner or later you have to face it down
You have to face it down    (from ‘Loved’)

When you can’t feel a thing
After too many stings
When you forget about grace
The world is a lonely place   (from ‘Stay’)

And hands down, the one song I keep coming back to—

It was after midnight
When he answered the phone
The doctor said his daughter
Was never coming home
Sometimes life doesn’t make any sense
Full of war and pain and accidents

He’s praying, “I don’t know
I don’t know what you’re doing
But I know who you are”

You have a father’s heart
And a love that’s wild
And you know what it’s like to lose
Yeah, you know what it’s like..
What it’s like to lose a child. (from "Who You Are')

This one has the sweetest video—that meal at the end where they all come together—I want a ‘place’ like that.

Music is beautiful…powerful…healing.  This CD in particular has been all of those for me.

I even have an extra copy of LOVED to give away.  Just comment here or on For What It’s Worth Facebook page, and tell me what your ‘happy’ music has been lately.  The winner will be chosen by Tuesday, April 24.

You can find out more about JJ Heller at her website and on Facebook.  Enjoy.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."