I pressed ‘Play’ on my Ipod and this is what I heard…Many Rivers To Cross By Jimmy Cliff
First off, I must apologize for the lack of Photo Shuffles recently. I had planned it to be quick little blogs I could do once or twice a week but recently I seemed to get interrupted which kept me from writing more. However, I do have plans to expand Photo Shuffle in 2016, including opening the idea up to more people to contribute so if you are interested, please let me know.
Since I have not done a Photo Shuffle in awhile, I could not be happier with the selection that came up today by Jimmy Cliff. I have long wanted to write a blog about him and his music. He has long been a favorite, and a few years ago I crossed him off my list of ‘must see’s’ in concert. From his early beginnings releasing singles like Hurricane Hattie and Miss Jamaica in the early 60’s to the years of major success starring in, and contributing to the soundtrack of the Harder They Come right up until 2012’s stellar album Rebirth, Jimmy has never slowed down. Indeed his shows are high energy affairs with him moving around with the energy of a 20 year old. More than that, his music from the beginning has been filled with social concerns and love, which radiates outwardly to audiences around the world. A big reason for the the worldwide popularity of reggae in the late 60’s and early 70’s came from both Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley.
Many Rivers To Cross, one of his signature songs is something more though. It is a song born of loneliness, sadness, anger, confusion and loss. Despite all of those things, there is an ever so slight hint of hope- “and I merely survive because of my will”. Combining that with the imagery of many rivers to cross “but I can’t seem to find my way over” is powerful. Many of us lead our lives with emotional baggage or disappointments of some sorts, yet we press on. We keep searching, we keep trying new things. The reason I thought this was a particularly apt song for today is because we are about to head into a new year. For most people that means resolutions and goals to set and a hope for a better year than the previous one. Though we often only attain a few of the goals we set, when the next year comes around again we still try. We may not cross the rivers of our hopes, we may wander and become lost but we still try to get closer to the other side somehow. There might be new challenges, and new problems, but we keep going, one river at a time.
Happy New Year Everyone. As Jimmy Cliff says, Blessed Love!
Many Rivers To Cross-Written By Jimmy Cliff
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All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle
*Photo Shuffle is a new, very short slice of my regular blogs based on setting my Ipod on shuffle and matching up one of my photographs to whatever comes up.