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People Are Remembering What Music Is Really For
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6/15/2020 at 7:16:10 PM GMT
Posts: 62
People Are Remembering What Music Is Really For

By Spencer Kornhaber--

"It was getting late on Sunday night. The cheers that wash over New York City at 7 p.m. every day for hospital workers had happened hours before. Inside, I was mainlining an HBO drama about doom and dissolution, as one does during a pandemic. Yet deep in my consciousness, a warm and familiar tune played. Sometimes in our lives / We all have pain … Of course: “Lean on Me” by the recently departed Bill Withers. It got louder. And louder. Turns out it wasn’t coming from my brain. A car outside, with its speakers turned up surely past any legal limit, rolled by with the slowness of an ice-cream truck.

Who was driving? No idea. It wasn’t the first time a one-ride parade had bombarded a New York block with some song. But in this instance, it shook up my night, mood-wise. I looked out, I hummed, and I felt fellowship—with whoever was in that car, with the planet’s worth of people mourning Withers, and with the other neighbors on my street no doubt hearing the same thing. It was as close to a concert or club as I’ve come in almost a month. That’s not because of the music’s loudness; it’s because the music felt shared.


To continue reading, see:

Spencer Kornhaber, "People Are Remembering What Music Is Really For," The Atlantic (April 9, 2020):



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