In 1971, the year I left The Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas and moved into the trailer house Larry had bought for us before he left for Vietnam, his parents came to visit Laura and me. One afternoon we drove to Forbes Air Force Base to shop at the Commissary and Base Exchange. I was thrilled to find a copy of George Harrison’s album, All Things Must Pass. The album was Harrison’s first as a solo musician. It proved to be an iconic and amazing recording that included Billy Preston, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and the group Badfinger playing along with the former Beatle. Although I loved most of the songs on the album, I bought it for one song, “My Sweet Lord,” the biggest selling single of that year and, according to Rolling Stone Magazine, one of the top 500 songs of all time.
What was so unique about “My Sweet Lord,” in addition to its beautiful melody, and unique slide guitar playing, was that its lyrics included praise for the Hindu god Krishna, interchanged with the Hebrew word, hallelujah. It seemed to me to be a very avant-garde and courageous song, and an inspiring call for the world to embrace spirituality and abandon religious sectarianism.
Some things in life are special for a moment, and some for years. “My Sweet Lord” has always reminded me of that period of my life and my resilience since then.
All these years later, listening to “My Sweet Lord” remains an uplifting experience, and reminds me that music is a force that can unify our minds in a world that can seem so divided. “My Sweet Lord” inspires me to know I can embrace spirituality in all its forms this New Year.
Enjoy the music.
(c) Tyra Manning 2018