November 1st is Lyle Lovett‘s birthday, and so I want to dwell on him with adoration. Today I would like to look at beauty from the perspective of what beauty sounds like. What do you know about a person from the timbre of his voice, the quality given to the sound of his speech by its overtones? Have you ever closed your eyes when listening to music, especially when listening to a particular singer? Have you imagined him whispering his words directly into your ear? Have you gotten chills?
I don’t believe I have ever heard a more beautiful singing voice than that of Lyle Lovett. He can just speak a song, and I am riveted. He is one of Country Music’s great performers. Lovett has won four Grammy Awards, including Best Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Album. It’s Not Big It’s Large was released in 2007, where it debuted and peaked at #2 on the Top Country Albums chart. He and his Large Band can create an absolute riot of dance and singing along and women screaming their love for him. Yet, from a strictly superficial perspective, he is not a male fashion model cover photo type.
What would Lyle Lovett’s School of Beauty teach us about being authentic and real and using our voices to show the world what we have to give in terms of quality and stature and genuine beauty?
I think of what Lyle Lovett went through as a young performer. I haven’t read his life story, but I can imagine he might have been compared to others and scrutinized by studio executives looking to see if they could “sell” him to an audience. I can imagine that he knew the odds of making it in a world obsessed with outward appearance. I look at what he has created of his life, and I am brought to my feet in wonder and applause for the soul of this man who wouldn’t let the world tell him his beauty didn’t rate.
His raspy, deep and tawny voice sings love songs, and ballads and songs of despair, and he can bring me to tears or laughter, whichever he chooses. He took what nature gave him and honed and perfected it until it was all he ever needed to bring the house down.
In terms of what we can learn if we asked Lyle Lovett about Beauty, I believe that he would smile a slow, southern smile, and in a hushed voice that you might need to lean toward him to hear, he would say something like, Be yourself. Just be yourself and say what you got to say. And you would fall in love. Because with Lyle Lovett, it’s not ever just the words he says, but how he says them. He can sing about riding a horse out on a boat, which makes no sense at all, and have the entire audience swaying back and forth and singing along. This man knows the art of influence, the majestic tone of voice that can make grown women weak in the knees and swear they’d kiss him if they ever got the chance.
Today, I am not going to just look at people and seek beauty in every face I encounter. I am also going to listen to the voices all around me, and find the aspects in each voice that create qualities to love and admire.