Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud
Sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad.
Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don’t worry that it’s not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.
As a young child, I loved parties held at my aunt and uncle’s house. After dinner my aunt would find her way to the piano and get everyone’s attention with a rapid arpeggio. The group automatically filled their glasses and joined in chorus with an old familiar ballad that followed. In between tunes, the revelers raised their schnapps glasses and took a swig to lubricate their throats for the next song. This would go on for hours.
There was a time when I wanted to be like my aunt – the one playing the piano at a social gathering. My ego wanted to feel important; my soul wanted to be the facilitator, bringing people together and energizing the party. I liked the way a group would get happier the more they sang and I wanted to inspire that happiness.
I was in my early teens when we finally bought an old upright Mendelssohn. My father lovingly refinished all the woodwork and we had it tuned in B-flat so the strings wouldn’t break.
However, once the lessons started, my excitement abated rapidly. I struggled with the hours of practicing required. I was so bored that I often just read my books while letting my fingers fly over the keys mindlessly. Eventually I managed to get enough knowledge under my belt so that I was able to achieve my dream and liven up a couple of get-togethers.
The piano and I parted ways long ago. I can’t say that I miss it, but I am grateful for the lessons it taught me. I learned to appreciate the talents of the gifted musicians and the soulful emotions they can stir up in all of us. Music inspires us, it comforts us – it gives us hope.
I grew to understand how music brings us together as a community. It allows us to link our stories, bridge cultural gaps and transcend genders and generations. It connects us.
While the mainstream instruments and songs may have changed over time, our craving for camaraderie that includes singing and some drinks remains the same. It’s participatory, convivial and liberating. It leaves no doubt in my mind as to why karaoke pubs and party kits are so popular today.
Let’s try it out for ourselves. No matter what age you are, feel free to sing along, sing out loud and sing out strong with this oldie but goodie. See how you feel afterward.
This post is also for the #1000Speak event. May’s theme for 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion is Connection. If you’d like to read other similar themed posts, click here.