We are the music makers

By: Arthur O’shaughnessy

WE are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.


I originally wanted to post my thoughts on this poem along with the original text because otherwise I might appear as someone with no originality who just reposts other peoples work. However, that’s the very reason I stopped using tumblr, everyone just re-blogs things.

The reason I chose to post this poem at all was because of how I first came about it and the effect that had I me. I was watching the Tony awards that someone had left playing in the apartment. I have never seen the awards or a Broadway show for that matter but Neil Patrick Harris was an incredible host and that got my attention. As I watched not only was I captivated by NPH’s performance as host but the snippets of musicals and plays being performed in between the announcement of the awards were pretty good and sparked an interest in theater.

Here’s what I’m trying to say:

During an acceptance speech for an award I can’t remember exactly, the actor quoted the first line of the poem.

“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dream.”

This immediately caught my attention so I looked up the author and the poem and I was instantly amazed by the relevancy this poem still has today. Especially the relevancy it has for my demographic. To me it says that we are the people living life to the fullest. Yet, we haven’t lived enough to really know what we’re doing. Even though we don’t know what’s ahead or how we handle it, we face it head on and as time goes on we become the people making the decisions. Because things are always changing, there is no finite age where you become an adult and have to assume responsibility. You learn it all in stride and what you learn and when is irrelevant. We all become the rulers of the our generation just like our fathers before us and our sons after us.


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