Editor’s Scratchpad

Monday, September 24, 2001

The sound of silence

In a misguided attempt at sensitivity, a company that owns 1,170 radio stations across the country drew up a list of songs it asked its members not to play after the terrorist attacks.

It selected songs willy-nilly, evidently more because of titles than content. "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" may sound harsh even though Pat Benatar's rocker speaks symbolically of romantic love. But what could possibly be wrong with Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," a song that affirms love and dreams, or the heartening "What a Wonderful World." Neil Diamond's "America" rings patriotic and Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" is an anthem to the pinnacle city.

Fortunately, few paid much attention. Anyway, there's no way music can be censored. It is too potent a force. Even if all the recordings and instruments in the world were destroyed, music would live in every voice.

Music brings solace, rejuvenates, celebrates and inspires. Listen to John Lennon and hear his lyrics: "Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us and the world will be as one."

--Cynthia Oi

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