Sunday, January 1, 2012

Musical winterlude 2 (+post-script: the Power of Song)

Contrary to the impression an earlier post might have left, I am not opposed to seasonal singing generally (just to artifically “festive” piped-in muzak). Live singing is good at any time, and especially when family and friends get together. On December 26 and 27 my family gathered at the long-term care facility where my parents live for sing-songs with a few friends.  We sang labour classics like The Banks are Made of Marble, Solidarity Forever  (with some of the great new lyrics from Wisconsin), Union Maid, Joe Hill, Preacher and the slave (Long-haired preachers come out every night), peace songs like Ain’t gonna study war no more and protest songs of hope like Oh Mary don’t you weep, We shall overcome, We shall not be moved  and If I had a hammer. There were a few funny songs like I am an Anglican (sort a a religious in-joke) and Old time religion. We ended up (dad gets tired quickly – my parents turned 86 this year) with How can I keep from Singing? (I had difficulty controlling my tears, predictably) and the Irish freedom song Kevin Barry (which for me recalled my Irish cellmate from Givon prison in Israel).

Post-script: my brother Danny sent this link to the CBC program Definitely not the Opera from December 31, on the Power of song, with some powerful first-hand stories from different times & places (including Dan Hill having to prove he was himself by singing his own song for Bahamian police).

1 comment:

  1. At last, I've had a chance to get caught up on your posts. Thanks for telling this story. I look forward to reading as much as you feel fit to post.

    And oh my, I'm a category! That's a first for me.