Dave Sharpner: Why I Don’t Get My Music Free

January 21, 2014 4 min read

free music







An open letter to Jewish music fans everywhere:

I love good Jewish music. Wether its Shwekey, or 8thday, or my favorite singer Lipa Schmeltzer, it matters not who, when a new cd comes out, I’m on it.

Now  cds cost money.Thirteen dollars is not a whole terrible lot of money. True. But still, when you multiply that by all the new cds coming out, well, that money really does add up.

I’m very far from being well off financially.
Like everybody else in todays world, I’ve got a lot of bills to pay, and I’m trying to make ends meet. Of course I’m actually extremely lucky to  even have a job. As I know all too well, way too many people in todays tough economy are stuck jobless.

All this being said you would think that when my good generous friend offers to do me the kindness of loading up my ipod with all of Jewish musics latest and greatest, for free,  I’d be more than happy to oblige.

I mean hey its free! What could be better than good free music? Right?


This free music that I’m enjoying so intensely now, is actually, beleive it or not, coming to me at an expense.

The expense of some one else out there.

This guy, will call him Mr. Singer has been sweating away for over 2 and a half years now in a tiny hot cramped studio. He’s been pushing himself to his limits over and over again for hours on end, day in and day out.

Why does he  do all  this?

He’s got a family. He’s got weddings to be at, and events and dinners  to sing at.

So why does he work so hard and spend so much time and energy shvitzing away in the studio for days on end?

In order to answer this, I want you to think about what the frum world would look like if there was god forbid no good Jewish music.

Where would we go to when we need something to calm our jittery nerves after a long stressful day in the office?
What would so many of us  be listening to with out this awesome kosher music?

Yes, this music is for all of us. For the Rebbe, the Rosh yeshiva, the bochur, the working guy, the mother of twelve.

This is why he is working so hard.

So you and me can have something to listen to when we’re down.
So you and me can have something kosher to listen to when we’re feeling uninspired and bored.
So you and me can lift our selves up higher in our Avodas Hashem through the power of a Niggun.

Yes, that’s why.

So that struggling yeshiva bochur who is tempted to listen to some good non Jewish music, to destress after a long hard day, now has something good and kosher to listen to instead.

That’s why.

The long hours of sweat and strenuous effort this lone singer has been spending every day in the studio is for you and me.

This man through his untiring efforts to bring something good and original to us, has now inspired thousands of people, who maybe felt dry in their Yidishkeit and needed this lift so badly.

This man through his tear jerking and emotional English ballad just expressed the feeling that seminary girl was struggling for so long to put into words and deal with.

These are just some of the people who Mr. Singer has touched, inspired, and very often actually saved through his music.

He is the hero who despite the fact that he’s saving lives, will often get criticized and  labeled as a egocentric celebrity,  or goyish singer wannabe, or whatever else some misguided extremist is in the mood of throwing out there.

Yet he takes it all in stride. Because he realizes that Jewish music is necessary, and part and parcel of our spiritual growth as a nation.

These kosher outlets, and fun songs, are uniting people who are at odds with each other, and bringing a bit of joy to the broken and depressed.

These singers are shelling out fifty thousand dollars or a hundred thousand dollars, whatever the amount, it doesn’t matter, on producers, and composers, and arrangers, and studio time just so we could have good kosher wholesome fun and uplifting music.

This is why I go out and buy these singers albums with my hard earned money. This is why I shell out  cash for the latest Lipa Schmeltzer album.

Sure, I could get it all for free and save a whole lot of my hard earned money.

But tell me, do you think  this would be right of me?

This singer has given thousands of precious hours of his time, and thousands of dollars of his hard earned money, to uplift and possibly save the future of klal yisroel, and I can’t shell out a few dollars to support him?

So I say to you, my dear generous friend, “I really do appreciate your kind offer to load up my ipod for free. But, I want you to know, that I owe somebody out there a big Yasher Koach. And a few dollars is the least I can do to show my appreciation for  saving my kids,  and for saving our future.”

And as for you, my dear friend, I ask you one thing. The next time your kind and generous companion, offers to load up your ipod with 8thday’s latest, for free,  think of this article.


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