What is it about blues music that makes us feel better? Doesn’t it seem counterintuitive to listen to the lamentations of a heavy heart and have one’s spirit uplifted?
In reality, it’s perfectly natural. The blues connects with our deep desire to accept the world as it is, even if broke, lonely and desperate are part of the mix. Blues and gospel singers take their angst, sadness and depression and make something beautiful out of them.
Which brings us to today’s Song of Good Cheer from the resident DJ at SuperOptimist headquarters. Whether you’re a Christian, a Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, or still deciding, it helps to have a friend in high places when times get rough, as Mother McCollum suggests in “Jesus is My Air-O-Plane.”
Only six tracks survive from the gospel-blues stylings of Mother M., billed as the “Sanctified Singer with Guitar.” Listening to her transcend the heavy burdens of worldly existence with her majestic singing and plucking, we feel like she’s piloting a Douglas Dakota DC3 towards heaven.
Oh, Jesus is my air-o-plane
He holds this world in his hands
He rides along, He don’t never fall
Jesus is my air-o-plane
Some of these mornings, four o’clock
This ole world’s gonna reel and rock
Reelin’ and rockin’ you can have no fear
Jesus is comin’ in his air-o-plane
You can run to the east, run to the west
You can’t find your soul no rest
Some of these mornings, He’s coming again
Coming through in an air-o-plane
And speaking of heaven, her album also includes a beautiful number Mother McCollum recorded regarding the vacation she planned to take once she took leave of this mortal coil. You don’t have to save this one for the afterlife to enjoy it.