We are the Music-Makers

Thursday, August 25, 2011

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One of my all-time favorite movies is "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" with Gene Wilder.  As a child and even now as an adult, I have always thought it was sheer brilliance.  A line that has stuck with me over the years was "We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams" --  it has been tucked away in my mind's file folder of inspirational quotes for as long as I can remember.  Just recently, I came across the actual poem that it came from (something I had never read before...)  in a book of Celtic Verse I purchased from Barnes & Noble... It goes a little something like this...


We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whome the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory.
One man with a dream, at pleasure
Shall go forth and conquer a crown,
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

~Arthur O'Shaughnessy (1844-1881)

What struck me about this poem is the truth at the heart of it- the power of the written word (whether sung or simply put on a page for a reader's pleasure).  What one writes can build up or tear down the most powerful in this world.  Each person has a voice that needs to be let out... whether it is one person's tiny blog that reaches only a handful and perhaps touches them at some point or another, or maybe it is a world-renowned writer or musician that is capable of touching millions in one fell swoop.  Either way, it brings encouragement to grasp the fact that we can move mountains with our own words if we so choose to let it.   Arthur O'Shaughnessy knew that.  We are all indeed the music-makers- the question is, what song would you like to be remembered for?


Leanne said...

Is it normal for a post that started about Willie Wonka actually bring me to tears??? That line has long been a favorite of mine, and I can't thank you enough for sharing it's origin with us. oh, those words (all of them in that poem) sent chills through me. What a wonderful way to begin my day, and to be reminded that 'yes, we are the music makers.' LOVE this post, my friend!!!

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