Peter Gabriel & Me: The Power of Music (Revisited)


The face this guy makes when he listens to “Here Comes the Flood” by Peter Gabriel.

Maybe not every time, and certainly not every time he is driving.

But it’s definitely the face he made while driving home, a week or two before Christmas, and even though he knew that song was next, it caught him by surprise.

No, that’s not accurate.

This song can never catch you by surprise, especially if you know it’s coming.

It’s always an emotional event; it always does something. Something always happens.

But there are times, perhaps if it’s cold, or dark, or you are alone, or in a particularly reflective mood, or unusually open to receiving its message, or uncommonly moved by the inexplicable power of art, when it is overpowering.

Occasionally, the tears come. And not only is that not a bad thing, it’s a very good thing. A thing you want to feel, a thing you need to have happen, at least on occasion.

(He did cry during movies. And conversations. He often cried alone, especially when he listened to music. And not even sad music.

So, you might ask, are you really suggesting someone should want to listen to music that is capable of making them cry?

Yes, he would reply.

But, you might ask, why would one want to do such a thing?

It’s simple, he would say. So that you know you’re alive.)

In this instance the title of the song is too perfect, so perfect it can preclude cliché.

Do you know what I’m talking about?

Does this help?

More, another time, about this song in particular and Peter Gabriel’s power. Of the many artists I admire, I’m not certain there is another singer who can stir such meaningful emotions as Gabriel. Hearing is believing, and all it takes is some quiet time with any of his albums. Seeing him live adds considerably to the experience. In this great day and age, we can –and should– be grateful that moments we may have missed are preserved and can be returned to at any time.

Check it out.

That is the power we give and receive.

The power we share.

The power of music.


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