Silent Record Week

It may seem like an oxymoron, but this week, the first in January, is Silent Record Week. Yes, it means records that play no sound.

According to the Nonstop Holidays Website: “apparently it started at the University of Detroit in 1959. Someone put silent records into some of the jukeboxes around the university, allowing people to ‘buy’ silence. And it was a hit! Students at the university even formed the Hush Record Label to produce silent records. The next year, Silent Record Week was born.”

Another site tells us, “ One of the most popular silent records of all time was an LP titled, The Wit & Wisdom of Ronald Reagan. All the tracks on both sides of the record were silent. The LP managed sales of some 30,000 disks.”

Silence can be a protest, as in standing in silence against a wrong. Or refusing to answer a question you consider inappropriate. Or buying three minutes of silence from a jukebox. We also hear that in Simon & Garfunkel’s most famous song “Sounds of Silence” If you haven’t heard it for a while, give it a listen. If you don’t think we are living in a time when “the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they’d made,” you haven’t been paying attention.

Silence can also be cowardly, as when we stay silence in the presence of wrong. As with anything, it is how you use it. But who couldn’t do with a little silence in this busy world of ours?

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Quotes about silence

Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation. Tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego.–Jean Arp

Accustomed to the veneer of noise, to the shibboleths of promotion, public relations, and market research, society is suspicious of those who value silence.–John Lahr

Be silent, or say something better than silence.—Pythagoras

The cruelest lies are often told in silence.–Robert Louis Stevenson

I like the silence of a church, before the service begins better than any preaching.–Ralph Waldo Emerson

In nature we find silence – the trees, flowers, and grass grow in silence. The stars, the moon, and the sun move in silence. Silence of the heart is necessary…-–Mother Teresa

It’s very important in life to know when to shut up. You should not be afraid of silence.–Alex Trebek

Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose.–Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

A note of music gains significance from the silence on either side.–Anne Morrow Lindberg

One must learn to be silent just as one must learn to talk.–Victoria Wolff

Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light,
only in dying life:
bright the hawk’s flight
on the empty sky.–Ursula K. LeGuin

A properly kept silence is a beautiful thing; it is nothing less than the father of very wise thoughts.—Diodicus

Only in the oasis of silence can we drink deeply from the inner cup of wisdom.–Sue Patton Thoele

Silence is a source of great strength.–Lao Tzu

Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together.–Thomas Carlyle

True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.–William Penn

You are most powerful when you are most silent. People never expect silence. They expect words, motion, defense, offense, back and forth. They expect to leap into the fray. They are ready, fists up, words hanging leaping from their mouths. Silence? No.-—Alison McGhee

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