Songs of Praise the Angels Sang
“Only the lover sings,” said the wise philosopher Josef Pieper. Here at Word and Song we’re delighted to bring to you some of the great old love songs that people used to know, because it does seem that years go by in our time without anybody composing a single sweet or mirthful song of love. Groans of lust there may be, but lust is closer to hate and anger than to love.
When you love, you want to sing – but why is that? A song is more than a statement of purpose. Nobody sings a pre-nuptial contract. Nobody sings any kind of contract at all. Bare language will do. But song is not bare language. It is not even language with melody added. It is a different form of expression entirely: it springs from wonder and love, and it gestures toward, and longs for, what can never be reduced to mere words. Think of the difference between the grace of a dancer, and somebody just walking down the street. We do not say that the dancer is just like the walker, with something added …
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