Singing the Truth

Emily Falvey with the author

Songwriters are storytellers. And behind every song, there is a story. Often a very good one.

Kent Blazy, Pat Alger and Emily Falvey demonstrated that fact during a performance at Belmont University’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. Their stories behind the songs were a mixture of romance, comedy, laughs and tears. Just like the songs themselves. 

Two songwriters, Kent Blazy and Pat Alger are Nashville legends, having written seven and nine No. 1 hits, respectively. Both are in the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Emily Falvey is only 26 but already has a publishing contract and has had more than a few hits.

The old saying — “three chords and the truth” — gets to the heart of what country music represents – the longing, the caring, the soul of what it means to be alive. But, the musicianship of these three goes well beyond three chords with their beautiful melodies and rich harmonies. Their lyrics resonate with honesty. At times funny, other times wistful, their music reveals what it means to be human.

Facilitating connection

Music enables us to connect with our memories and others in a way that words alone cannot. The lyric – which often tells a story, be it country, rock, show, or opera – outlines the narrative. The music carries inspiration. Together melody and lyric awaken us to thoughts and emotions that might lie buried within us or, in many cases, not yet discovered.

Stories awaken the spirit within us. Just as songwriters do, leaders who share their stories with others demonstrate a sense of vulnerability. Knowing what a leader has experienced – both good and not-so-good – makes them more understandable as people. And when times are confusing and present challenges where there are few clear answers, those stories — just like songs — can keep us centered.

Singing the truth

It is a leader’s job to sense what people are feeling. When they are up, focus on reinforcing their joy. When they are down, provide them with a path forward. Music gives us hope, which coincidently is also a leader’s duty. Address the truth always as a means of illuminating the way ahead, no matter difficult.

We need to hear the truth and feel it in our souls. Kent Blazy, Pat Alger and Emily Falvey reinforced that concept with songs reminding us to laugh, love, and remember. Their songs reflect the human condition, and we are better for such great reminders.