I was having a think about my childhood the other day, and I remembered Mr. Rogers’s Neighborhood and Sesame Street. I then realized that most people of my generation can sing thing songs from the shows. We knows them. they were the music of our childhood.
Because song can create a community.
I worked at a summer camp for 11 years. Every morning we had the flag raising ceremony. We raised the flag, did the pledge, sang the Campfire Law then sang a camp song. On Mondays we sang Father Abraham. the song is repetitive. It’s long. It has movements. But before we were done, everyone knew the words. Also everyone learned that in this place we sang, we did weird things, we might be silly, but we had fun. We created a community through song.
(My apologies if this gets stuck in your head)
Thinking back to the years I spent going to church with my mother I remember 2 things: The “bringing the money to the front” song. And the “minister walking to the back of the church” song. I believe these songs were used in other churches all over. When I went to the local Unitarian Universalist church we had similar songs that were in most services. The songs that we all knew.
(But we sang it MUCH faster)
In places all over the world, communities are created through song. Community choirs. School choirs. There's football clubs that have a theme song that the entire stadium sings.
I spent a semester in Ireland. I was on the west coast, neat the gaeltacht region. At pubs in the rural areas people would bring instruments and play and sing. Community
So before you sneer at kids singing camp songs, or teenagers singing show-tunes, think about what you're mocking. These people are a community. a community strengthened by song.
And maybe find your own group of singers to form a community with. I have mine.
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