What Inspires You?

One of our members, World Library Publications, is issuing 3 new recordings on vinyl this year. So, when I got word of these new recordings–one is Bing Crosby and the Christmas story–I got jazzed.

See, tucked away in a cabinet in our library is my stack of records ranging from “The Carpenters” to “Pebbles and Bam-Bam’s Christmas” (yes, really!), and a collection of 78s from the Big Band era.

Records were the soundtrack of my life growing up. They accompanied me in my low moments, sang me out of my doldrums, and celebrated the mountain experiences. Because I would listen to them from start to finish (never just one song), I lived through a whole range of emotions and experiences by the time the last song ended. My faith was formed by Ray Repp, “Joy Is Like the Rain,” and Followers of the Way.

Most people would say that music inspires them. Some music, somewhere. At least once in a lifetime.

What music inspires you?


I learned that I could be whatever and whoever I wanted to be (“Free to Be You and Me.”) This special and album spearheaded by Marlo Thomas inspired me to look beyond societal boundaries. It helped me believe that I was as capable as the next equally talented and skilled person in the room.

I learned to observe and experience with all of my senses through Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and then Ravel’s orchestration of it. It started as a college “Symphonic Appreciation” assignment, but it captivated my already-nerdy inclination toward museums. The original piano piece added an aural dimension to the visual that has never let me go. It challenges me look at decisions from different points of view, and stop and engage when something doesn’t immediately grab me.

I also learned how to be present in prayer before God. When I was about middle school age, a group of young adults recorded 2 albums as the Followers of the Way. I spent a lot of time listening to, singing with, and dancing to these songs. As I was growing into my faith, they helped me find God in the world, in my family, and in myself.

So, what 3 songs (or albums) have contributed to the score of your life and ministry, and why? How do you still see and hear them resonating in your work and ministry?

3 thoughts on “What Inspires You?

  1. Terry Modica

    Praise and worship music energizes me, uplifts my moods, strengthens my faith, and keeps more more closely connected to God and his guidance than any other music.

  2. Eva Lyons

    FINALLY! Somebody other than me who still remembers “Joy is Like the Rain.” It’s funny, because in retrospect it isn’t what I would call a catchy tune, but that song lives on in my mind and spirit. Sometimes over the years I have heard in my head the verse about joy being tried by storm – so true, and Jesus is there to rescue us every time.

    1. tbrown@catholicpublishers.org Post author

      Thank you! My copy of the album is being held together by cellophane tape at this point, but the sounds of the songs still ring familiarly in my ear. There are a few songs that really helped solidify my memory of various Gospel stories and lessons. Nothing like music to do that!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *