By Jim Heffernan
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how our national news seems dedicated to stoking fear and resentment. I would prefer a little positivity, even if it does interfere with their advertising revenue.
I’ve been looking for answers, but coming up short. I’m pretty sure there is no simple answer to our problems, but I think I’ve hit upon something that will at least make us feel better. It’s just a chorus to “Accentuate the Positive”*, a song older than I am. It popped into my head somehow and I think it would be good if a lot more of us were carrying it around.
You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between
You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene
It was originally sung by Bing Crosby in the 1944 movie, “Here Come the Waves“. Johnny Mercer wrote the lyrics and made it a #1 radio hit in 1945. I think the fact that the song was written in World War II added to its immortality. It was written at a very dark point in our history and I think we would all do well to heed its message today.
I think the Bing Crosby version is probably the one that stuck in my head. I undoubtedly heard it on the radio or phonograph before I could walk, maybe even before I was born. Willie Nelson covers it wonderfully on his “What a Wonderful World ” album. Paul McCartney also does it well on his “Kisses on the Bottom” album. Both albums are filled with very old songs done very well.
What can it hurt? Give them a listen and try to keep the chorus in your head and in your life. Maybe we can improve our lives by substituting old songs for our “up-to-the-minute” news obsession.
As always, I welcome discussion at email@example.com.
* Here’s a you tube link to the song.