Category Archives: Expressive Music

“Nearer My God to Thee” by Sarah Flower Adams

The song that played when the Titanic went down?

“Nearer My God to Thee,” was a hymn written in 1941 by Sarah Flower Adams. Her sister, Eliza Flower, set the lyrics to music. Sarah was born in 1805 to Unitarian parents. She worshiped in the Unitarian Church her whole … Continue reading

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“Wave Goodbye” by Chris Cornell

A touching memorial song about the loss of a close friend

Almost 20 years before his own untimely death, Chris Cornell penned a beautiful tribute to his friend and fellow musician, Jeff Buckley. “Wave Goodbye,” from his first solo album, “Euphoria Mourning,” details in perfect precision what it’s like to lose … Continue reading

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“Cemetry Gates,” by The Smiths

Song touches on the unfairness of death, yet ultimately is about love

“Cemetry Gates” by The Smiths is, on the surface, a song about two people who enter a cemetery to examine the gravestones. However, there are numerous ways in which you can dissect the deeper meanings that singer-songwriter Morrissey may have … Continue reading

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“Canon in D Major,” by Johann Pachelbel

A Baroque composition that soothes the soul and lifts the spirit

The first time I heard Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major” I was at a retreat for the pediatric oncology staff at Stanford Children’s Hospital, where I worked. It was January, and we had just gone through an emotionally devastating holiday … Continue reading

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“Anything But Lonely” from “Aspects of Love”

Finding another relationship after the death of a loved one

The song “Anything But Lonely” comes from the 1989 musical “Aspects of Love.” Andrew Lloyd Webber composed the music and Don Black and Charles Hart wrote the book and lyrics. The show itself was a flop, but it had several … Continue reading

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“Supermarket Flowers” by Ed Sheeran

Sheeran shares an intimate experience of loss in his new album, "Divide"

English singer, songwriter and record producer Ed Sheeran just released his new album, “Divide,” this past March. The musical genre of the album is pop. However, Sheeran decided to include an emotional tribute to his grandmother in one of the songs. Titled … Continue reading

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