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community singing, 21st century style

Jack Campin 26 Sep 14 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 27 Sep 14 - 05:40 AM
Acme 27 Sep 14 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,Rahere 28 Sep 14 - 07:47 AM
Stewart 28 Sep 14 - 05:04 PM
Jack Campin 28 Sep 14 - 05:49 PM
Stewart 28 Sep 14 - 06:19 PM
Phil Edwards 28 Sep 14 - 06:50 PM
Tattie Bogle 28 Sep 14 - 07:58 PM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Sep 14 - 08:00 PM
Deckman 28 Sep 14 - 10:14 PM
Mo the caller 29 Sep 14 - 04:50 AM
Tattie Bogle 30 Sep 14 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,Rahere 30 Sep 14 - 04:07 AM
maeve 30 Sep 14 - 08:03 AM
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Subject: community singing, 21st century style
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 08:14 PM

I got on a bus home from a session in Midlothian tonight and once I sat down, realized there was music coming from somewhere. I first thought it was somebody playing something on their phone, but no.

Four young women in party clothes singing along to an iPad that was playing Dougie Maclean's "Caledonia".

It was a short trip. By the time I got off, they and the iPad had just moved on to "Hallelujah". The woman holding the iPad had it over her head and was waving it from side to side conducting the whole bus.

The bus's route continued for another hour after I left, so who knows what they might have done next. Since the bus had wi-fi, they could probably have downloaded "The Quine That Does The Strip At Inverurie".


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Subject: RE: community singing, 21st century style
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 27 Sep 14 - 05:40 AM

Drunk, the lot of them!!!

Seriously,a couple of friends of mine sing as an acapella harmony duet and they regularly practice (quietly) on the train. They occasionally get an unfavourable response, as in people glaring and getting up and moving. More usually though, they find that people enjoy their singing and express surprise along with comments like "You should be on the X Factor".

While this is doubtless gratifying, it highlights a major problem of the canned music era; namely that people nowadays think that the only people who can sing are specially gifted celebrities, who possess some rare extraordinary talent, and who doubtless make loads of dosh and live a life of wealth and luxury.

Sad, sad, sad, sad.


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Subject: RE: community singing, 21st century style
From: Acme
Date: 27 Sep 14 - 10:07 AM

Live music is best, but accompanying a device isn't a bad compromise. People are slightly conditioned to watch flash mobs, but individual performers are still an anomaly in a lot of places. One thing I loved about living in New York City were all of the places where music seemed to erupt spontaneously, or via unexpected busking.

SRS


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Subject: RE: community singing, 21st century style
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 07:47 AM

BAck in the Spring, BBC Radio 3 had a fortnight transmitting from London's Festival Hall. The end of it was planned to be a local choir, which proved to be a bit weak, so spotting some of us VoiceLabbers in the area, we got roped in to lead the café crowd waiting for the concert in a version of Pharrell Williams' Happy. Me, I got to lead the top line of the Chorus, and we only had a couple of defectors. People can and are prepared to sing, they just need the chance without it being heavy, organised or official.
The Welsh retain the Cymanfa Canu, communal singing both in chapel and the pub afterwards.


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Subject: RE: community singing, 21st century style
From: Stewart
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 05:04 PM

We have had a community sing here that meets over the noon hour once a week. It is lead by two experienced and talented folk musicians who also provide the "house band" with their instruments. For almost a couple of years now it has been a lot of fun. I often bring a new song to the group, but mostly it is songs in a loose-leaf notebook - a wide range from pop to Beetles, to Hank Williams, to folk, and everything in between.

Recently there have been some who insist that every song be a "happy song." For example, we sang 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone' and then someone pointedly said "now let's sing a HAPPY SONG!" (this sort of response has occurred several times recently). The next time all the "sad songs" were taken out of the notebook. And I was told that the people who came were not used to singing "folk songs" - whatever that term means - and were just there to be happy. That struck me as very strange, and took most of my enjoyment out of coming. And I certainly didn't want to be the one who might bring a somewhat sad folk song (Utah Phillips' "Orphan Train" was considered too sad) to the group, or try leading a song that they had already thrown out of the list.

I don't know what to make of this. It's not something I want to continue to do. It was a good while it lasted, but not now. So I guess I will try something else. Still I'm puzzled and...

bewildered, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: community singing, 21st century style
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 05:49 PM

You would probably find that if you started "Stewart's Musical Misery Night" - no song allowed unless it included at least one death or broken relationship - you'd get people flocking to it. (That pretty much describes the country music charts, doesn't it?)


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Subject: RE: community singing, 21st century style
From: Stewart
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 06:19 PM

I had thought of bringing The Housewife's Lament to the sing,

"Life is a trial and love is a trouble
Beauty will fade and riches will flee
Pleasures they dwindle and prices they double
And nothing is as I would wish it to be."

but then I'm glad I didn't (is it humorous or sad or both?). They probably would not have got the humor.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: community singing, 21st century style
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 06:50 PM

Eliza Carthy said once, lots of people think folk songs aren't for them, but everyone turns forty in the end. There comes a time in your life when you know what it's like to have sex, have your heart broken, get pregnant or get someone pregnant, break up with friends and lovers, bring a child into the world, have loved ones die, look your own death in the face... Try singing nothing but happy songs about that lot.


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Subject: RE: community singing, 21st century style
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 07:58 PM

Well over the years I have sung, played and even danced on trains, North Sea ferries, canal boats in Scotland and Paris, maybe even hummed along with tunes on interminable long-haul flights. Apart from the flights, this has been in the company of like-minded folk, with reactions ranging from enjoyment to amusement to bewilderment to "let me get outa here". But the strangest one of all was the "silent disco" on bard ship in Antarctica, where we had a group of people all dancing to a variety of beats to whatever was on their iPod: even the penguins gave up on that one!


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Subject: RE: community singing, 21st century style
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 08:00 PM

Thanks, Jack and others. I liked hearing your accounts of people singing.


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Subject: RE: community singing, 21st century style
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Sep 14 - 10:14 PM

Stew ... "The Housewife's Lament" is a love song .... about folks who love to be unhappy! bad bad bob


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Subject: RE: community singing, 21st century style
From: Mo the caller
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 04:50 AM

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight


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Subject: RE: community singing, 21st century style
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 03:51 AM

Talking of "sing a happy song", at a fairly recent session it was turning into "the circle of death" with each successive song getting progressively more miserable. So I just said the next singer, "let's have something cheery". He responded by singing Richard Thompson's "Dimming of the Day": when he got to "I'm drowning in a sea of my tears", I'm afraid some of us collapsed in hysterical laughter.......


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Subject: RE: community singing, 21st century style
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 04:07 AM

Anyway, any Londoners are welcome to pop along and join us Voicelabbers on Sunday, we're doing an Oh! What A Lovely War singalong at 1630 as part of a Joan Littlewood retrospective. All Abilities Welcome...are they havin' a go at us?


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Subject: RE: community singing, 21st century style
From: maeve
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 08:03 AM

Mo the caller- Thanks for that poem link:

Everyone Sang by Siegfried Sassoon

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on--on--and out of sight.

Everyone's voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away ... O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.


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