Ken Burns’ recent 16-hour PBS documentary film Country Music demonstrates the therapeutic value of words put to music. Some of the most powerful songs were written right after a fight, a divorce or a death as musicians worked out their issues through songs of the heart.
Pain is never fun, but growth can come through difficulty and suffering. As I watched the entire 16 hours of “Country Music,” I found myself being encouraged to embrace rather than flee pain. We each live with varying degrees of physical, emotional and relational pain.
My 16-hour immersion in country music has left me humming two songs that were prominently featured in the documentary:
Ada R Habershon’s hymn “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” was reworked by A.P. Carter and released by the Carter Family in 1935 as “Can the Circle Be Unbroken.”