Today, May 7, is the 69th anniversary of V.E. Day (Victory in Europe), when Germany surrendered. Our high school had a program to celebrate the end of the war in Europe, which had cost so many lives. I was asked to play "Whispering Hope" on my trumpet. It was so fitting. Another of my favorite World War II songs was "The White Cliffs of Dover". It was also a song of hope, and spoke of "...tomorrow when the world is free". But, of course, our greatest legacy in music is the hymns of the Christian faith.

Kenneth Goff had learned them as a boy in Sunday School and church. However, as a young man, he was influenced by a liberal preacher, and ended up joining the Communist Party. He married a Bolshevik wife, and in the 30s became the Party's cell leader in Milwaukee. One day while doing the dishes, he was singing "Rescue The Perishing". He noticed his wife crying, and asked, "What's wrong?" She answered, "No one ever told me this before." He replied. "Forget it. These are just words. They don't mean anything."

But she didn't forget it, and soon began attending a Bible class, and came to the Savior. Her faithfulness to God eventually brought him to Christ also, and he became a preacher of the gospel-an effective speaker at youth camps in the Midwest.

Music has always been present in any age or society. One of the many deceptions of our day is the lie that music itself is amoral. "You have your taste for certain kinds of music, and I have mine. None can be said to be bad or wrong."

Listen to Aristotle. "Emotions of any kind are produced by melody and rhythm. Music has the power to form character...the various modes may be distinguished by their effects on character...one, for example working the direction of melancholy, another effeminacy; one encouraging abandonment, another self-control, etc."

Emil Neuman, in his "History of Music" summarized Plato: "He insisted it was the paramount duty of the Legislature to suppress all music of an effeminate and lascivious character, and to encourage only that which was pure and dignified..."

Someone wrote a column years ago entitled, "Who Changed The Music"? In America the change seems to have begun with Jazz. But it took a real plunge in the 50s with Elvis Presley. His bodily movements were so vulgar that South Africa would not show him except above the waist. (He was called Elvis the Pelvis). Then in 1961, the Beatles arrived with their "Rock".

The Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Aug. 8, 1965 said: "Now in our popular music, at least, we seem to be reverting to savagery. And the most drastic indication of this is the number of occasions in recent years when so-called concerts of rock'n'roll have erupted into riots."

Dr. Bernard Saibel, Child Guidance Specialist, attended a Beatles performance in Seattle (along with 14,000 teenagers). He reported: "Normally recognizable girls behaved as if possessed by some demonic urge, defying in emotional ecstasy the restraints which authorities try to place on them...The music is loud, primitive, insistent, strongly rhythmic..."

Yes, the Beatles were banned in Russia, as well as South Africa and Indonesia, but the Communists promoted their music in the U.S. In his book, "Do It", Jerry Rubin said: "Rock'n'roll marked the beginning of the revolution... We've combined youth, music, sex, drugs, and rebellion with treason-and that's a combination hard to beat."

Dec. 10, 1980, an Oregon newspaper, described the murderer of John Lennon. He was a Beatles fan from the age of 10. "He played Beatles music at high volume sometimes for hours a day." Upon quitting his job as a security guard, he signed "John Lennon" in his employee log book. Four days later he bought a 38 caliber pistol, flew to New York, and shot Lennon in an exclusive New York apartment building.

Guns were available, but I don't remember children murdering classmates and teachers or committing suicide before rock'n'roll days. Henry David Thoreau said, "Music destroyed both Greece and Rome, and it will destroy England and America."

But rock music does have its benefit. A couple near Dallas, Texas were trying to get rid of a family of skunks under the house without making a worse stink. Nothing worked until they put a radio in place with a 24-hour rock music station turned on. The skunks moved out.

Bob Beetler is a resident of Battle Mountain.