When it comes to songs, I generally look for musical style and melody over lyrical content – for instance, my current favorite artist, Kevin Kern, is an instrumental pianist who manages to weave the very best landscapes of nature into sound. One of my most favorite pop songs ever, “Terrified” (made famous by Katharine McPhee), is such because of its beautiful melody. My most favorite vocal song, “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” by the Hillsong church, is such because of both music and lyric – it is, for me, the Christian purposeful liver’s anthem and daily prayer.
Because of how influential music has become, and of the scope of its proliferation, it is a very powerful device used to transmit messages to society. All kinds of mass media and multimedia with linguistic content are such – and sadly, today, they are not always using their power responsibly and for good. Gossip, rumors, fabrications, and intense privacy breaches are abound, as are pieces with themes such as pornography, war, and the devil. As early as 1957, Pope Pius XII issued an encyclical called Miranda Prorsus that reminds the media to be responsible in communicating to the world, and to serve as vehicles for good.
Fortunately, there are still a lot of artists today who are in sync with the universal truths, embrace their responsibilities of responsible communication, and use the latter to promote the former. In music, I’ve encountered many of them in the genre of Christian music or pop, but there are also quite a few gems in the mainstream pop sphere – such as the Spice Girls’ (sans Geri Halliwell) “Let Love Lead the Way”.
From their roots as a so-called manufactured pop band, the Spice Girls are one of those who have taken control of their lives and created a lasting identity for themselves. Known for being advocates of Girl Power, the Girls have also since branched out into other relevant themes – focusing very little (relative to other modern musical acts) on love. That is, romantic love. When they do talk about love, they do so from different perspectives, a welcoming refresh from the myriads of court-worthy musical poems – cheesy or not – that have dominated the world since the mid-20th century. (Perhaps that’s why they became so popular.)
“Let Love Lead the Way” stands out in particular, and reminds us that the millennia-old teachings of Jesus Christ are all the more relevant today and are definitely eternal. The song’s lyrics are structured like an observant and introspective narrator, who is watching and giving advice to a young girl who is clearly just about to enter the prime of her life. The narrator wonders if the girl may find the answer to the question “what makes the world go ’round?” kind of a let down – a nod to the fact that the wisdom of love is oft taken for granted today in favor of things like careerism or self-interest. However, the narrator insists that love, indeed, should be the guiding force in life. It even branches into more concretely Christian terms, telling the girl to “just keep the faith” and keep on going, even if things around her look vague or uncertain (which the narrator also expresses – “Part of me wants to question why / Why is there joy / Why is there pain / Why is there sunshine and the rain?”).
Living out your higher purpose, which must be anchored on consciousness and service – which is basically a world built on love, by love, and for love – can be, and most of the time is, difficult. It is actually far easier to live a life of self-interest and apathy, as true love involves effort on our part – even if that effort is not reciprocated or appreciated. But, taking a leaf out of the book of Mother Teresa, “Love anyway.” Have faith that we will eventually get to our promised land via the vehicle of love. Let love be your anchor. Let it be your guide. Let love lead the way.
Wishing you a love-filled week ahead!