Never has a song said so much in such simple, direct lyrics and spacious musical lines. But then, it is everything that Jennifer Harper is about. And Remembrance, her timely new single, manages to make a powerful impact from just a voice and piano, albeit a voice that speaks for the wisdom of the ages and a piano line that is lilting and lovely in the extreme.
And it is this spacious delivery, which builds only slightly to accommodate a distant drum beat and some lush additional vocal harmonies and gentle instrumentation, that allows all other sounds to pool and percolate in the gaps between one fading note and the next intake of breath. A process that makes Remembrance more than the sum of its parts. Much more.
Given that this song is being released on a day when we thank those who have given their lives to help make the world better, it is worth exploring the lyrics. Of course, we must mark their sacrifice with thanks and sorrow, but Remembrance also reminds us to recall and consider something much more ancient found in our psyche.
It is a call to remember who we are at a more profound and primitive level, particularly for women, once the healers and spiritual leaders of our society. It is a call to awaken that power once more. As we acknowledge lives lost, it is a reminder that the masculine machine that has driven society for the last millennium and a half has been one increasingly of greed and power and war, an age of hierarchy and separation. A time of us and them. Time to reawaken the more fundamental power of the divine feminine and use it to usher in a more peaceful, embracing, empathetic and harmonious time.
As always, Jennifer Harper makes powerful statements through simple truths, life-affirming optimism and subtle, seemingly simple musical lines. Again, with a song built from ideas of delicacy rather than bombast, understatement as opposed to clamour, its very nature is a microcosm of the better world she advocates through tits lyrics.
Remember. Remember the fallen. Yes, but remember that a better world awaits; we only have to want it enough.