July 6, 2016

Yes, song lyrics can provide insights to fundraising and philanthropy and strategic planning and…. well just lots of stuff. After all, Dylan is a poet. He chose to deliver his poetry via song. Lyricists are telling stories… whether you’re Springsteen or Fleetwood Mac or so many many others.

So here’s another example…

In early April, I was driving to the airport at 4:30 a.m. (Yes, 4:30 in the morning.) I was listening to the BBC, a show called Soul Music. I’d never encountered this show before.

This particular episode  focused on the Dire Straits song “Brothers in Arms”. It’s wonderful!!

The episode was an “exploration into the enduring appeal of the Dire Straits classic, Brothers in Arms.” The description goes on to say, “Although thought to have been written by Mark Knopfler in response to the Falklands war in the mid 80s, it’s a piece that people now associate with many other conflicts, both military, personal, and social.”

I love Dire Straits. And I particularly like that song…For me, it’s about Nam, the war there, my family, my first husband, the 60s and 70s.

And my favorite television show of all time, The West Wing, used Brothers in Arms in its episode Two Cathedrals.

This episode of the BBC’s Soul Music show is marvelous. A Marine chaplain talks. The Dire Straits bass player talks. And a university professor explains the musicality of the piece – and “Knopfler’s brilliant use of harmony” – that “gives the song the sense of yearning that has made it into one of the most enduring pop songs of the last century.”

Do you know the lyrics to Brothers in Arms? What stories do you tell yourself when you listen to the song?

P.S. Romance novels and spy and sci fi have great life and fundraising and planning quotes, too! Maybe these blogs  fall under the rubric of “popular culture.” Yes, popular culture.

Check out the first academic book written on the topic, The Unembarrassed Muse by MSU professor and Pulitzer Prize winner Russel B. Nye. Russ was a dear family friend. He chaired my dad’s doctoral committee and also chaired mine – before I quit pursuit of a PhD for the fun of it.

Maybe because I was my dad’s first-born, Russ gave me books at different times of my life. He gave me my first sweet sixteen novels. He introduced me to a spy author other than Ian Fleming. And a little red hard cover novel about WWII and the French resistance. I wonder where that book went?

Ah popular culture.

Watch out for more music lyrics in the future.

Filed under: Just for fun

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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