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Why We Sing, Part II

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wysiwyg 18 Jun 01 - 08:10 PM
TNDARLN 18 Jun 01 - 09:33 PM
Barry Finn 18 Jun 01 - 11:03 PM
wysiwyg 19 Jun 01 - 02:25 AM
GUEST,Willa 19 Jun 01 - 03:05 PM
MMario 19 Jun 01 - 03:16 PM
TNDARLN 20 Jun 01 - 08:28 AM
kendall 20 Jun 01 - 09:05 AM
Marion 27 Jun 01 - 11:13 PM
Bert 27 Jun 01 - 11:19 PM
Marion 27 Jun 01 - 11:32 PM
Alice 28 Jun 01 - 09:12 AM
Big Mick 28 Jun 01 - 10:04 AM
Kim C 28 Jun 01 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,JohnB 28 Jun 01 - 12:33 PM
Jim Krause 28 Jun 01 - 01:55 PM
GUEST 28 Jun 01 - 05:22 PM
Hawker 28 Jun 01 - 05:47 PM
catspaw49 11 Jul 01 - 12:29 AM
Amos 11 Jul 01 - 12:45 AM
wysiwyg 11 Jul 01 - 01:45 AM
catspaw49 11 Jul 01 - 10:57 AM
Noreen 11 Jul 01 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,KT 11 Jul 01 - 01:25 PM
Peter T. 11 Jul 01 - 02:22 PM
Big Mick 11 Jul 01 - 04:44 PM
Peter T. 11 Jul 01 - 05:11 PM
Hollowfox 11 Jul 01 - 06:39 PM
catspaw49 11 Jul 01 - 08:43 PM
katlaughing 12 Jul 01 - 12:51 PM
Walking Eagle 12 Jul 01 - 01:41 PM
GUEST 12 Jul 01 - 04:00 PM
mousethief 12 Jul 01 - 04:02 PM
Uncle_DaveO 12 Jul 01 - 04:31 PM
MMario 12 Jul 01 - 04:39 PM
Uncle_DaveO 12 Jul 01 - 04:42 PM
SINSULL 12 Jul 01 - 08:22 PM
Jeri 12 Jul 01 - 09:51 PM
Mary in Kentucky 12 Jul 01 - 10:08 PM
catspaw49 12 Jul 01 - 10:26 PM
GUEST 13 Jul 01 - 06:52 PM
SINSULL 13 Jul 01 - 10:45 PM
JohnB 13 Jul 01 - 11:16 PM
Sourdough 14 Jul 01 - 03:18 AM
wysiwyg 12 Sep 01 - 12:48 PM
Big Mick 13 Sep 01 - 10:34 AM
catspaw49 13 Sep 01 - 11:01 AM
PeteBoom 13 Sep 01 - 11:16 AM
jeffp 13 Sep 01 - 11:19 AM
wysiwyg 13 Sep 01 - 12:28 PM
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Subject: Why We Sing, Part II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 08:10 PM

PART ONE was so wonderful, I hated to start a Part Two, especially without Big Mick's own post to start it off... but it's gotten too long to load!

No better words to start it then the ones Mick used the first time around, so here they are again.

~S~


Subject: Why we sing.
From: Big Mick
Date: 17-Dec-98 - 11:07 PM

I want to relate some story's to you. I am doing it because they remind of another reason why we must tell the story's of people. I am doing it because we oft times get accused of being maudlin or melodramatic. I am doing it because I must share this with you.

My fellow workers in the office of the Local Union I work for here in Michigan decided that in addition to whatever else we do to help out at the holidays, we would also collect toys, contribute money, and hold a christmas party for the second and third grade classes of a local school. These kids live in a pretty tough area, and don't get the same opportunities that others do. Because I speak Spanish, I usually dress up as Santa. The following are occurrences that actually happened. As you will see, the kids have done more for me and my fellow workers, than we could ever do for them.

The first year, I remember the little girl who, out of all the presents she received, was most excited by the toothbrush we put in the pack..mind you there was a Barbie doll, some pretty outfits, and so on. And she was excited, but most excited by the toothbrush. I asked her why, and she replied, "Oh Santa, I have never had my very own toothbrush before..I have always had to share one with my brothers and sisters.

There was one little girl in the class who was new, she had only been there for a month. Her parents were migrant farm workers, and she only spoke spanish. Even though other children and the teacher were bilingual, the little girl wouldn't speak. The teacher warned me that she likely wouldn't speak to me. She was so shy when she sat on my lap, and wouldn't look at me. I said to her, "Rosa, Que queres a Navidad? She looked up at me, and her eyes got so big, and she said, "Oh Santa, and she started crying and hugging me, and I cried, and it was a hell of a sight.

One little boy who caught my eye, was taking his presents, and very, very carefully unwrapping them one by one. When he got done, he just stared with his hands folded over his chest for a few minutes. He then started to rewrap them one by one. I asked him why he was doing this. He told me that he just wanted to enjoy looking at them for a few minutes, but he wanted to wrap them back up so his brothers and sisters could have someting under the tree.

A little girl today, was obviously excited, but very nervous about seeing Santa. She kept hiding her face as she sat on my lap. I asked her if she was shy, and she gave me a card that she had made me. It said "Dear Santa, I have never met you before, and I am very shy. I am sad because I don't have any friends. I like toys, but all I want for Christmas is a friend. Love, Alison" Needless to say, I had tears in my eyes. I told her that she already had a friend, me. She hung on my hip all day, and Santa introduced her to all the other kids as his special friend. And I told them that she was a real good friend, and they might want to be her friend too. I hope it bears fruit.

I am not sure why I am writing this all down, but you have all become very special to me, and I felt I had to share it with you. You ever wonder why we sing, I can tell you that for me it is about telling the stories of kids like these.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: TNDARLN
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 09:33 PM

In scanning tonight's threads, the original thread topic was one that drew me- and so I just finished reading all the posts! How moving and empassioned your stories! Susan, your story about the deathbed scene of a friend brought me to tears, because, Sister, I DO understand. I sing Sacred Harp. I am also a Believer. People who don't understand, upon hearing our songs, are amazed that we sing such "morbid" songs about death, and often in minor keys....I cannot describe the joy that I personally feel as I sing these songs, [and besides that, they're really about Life!] but when I look around the square and see what appears to be the same joy on others' faces, I realize that there is a Truth here that surpasses understanding...and so for me, it's sing or bu[r]st!! If the rocks can cry out, then I must. To share a line from number 312, Sing to Me of Heaven, with y'all: "Let music charm me last on earth, and greet me first in heaven." Amen.

T.


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Barry Finn
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 11:03 PM

Singing, it's just like breathing. Barry


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 02:25 AM

T, where you at?

Welcome to Mudcat-- ask anything, read the FAQ-- "yer among yer own kind now!"

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: GUEST,Willa
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 03:05 PM

Thanks, Jeri, but I don't know how to use mp3. I'll wait for someone to post the tune or a link. Thanks for the offer.


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: MMario
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 03:16 PM

Sunday - sitting at the SEAMUS KENNEDY concert (unsolicited plug) I glanced over at one point and saw a five year old friend bouncing in his seat - grinning from ear to ear, singing along at the top of his lungs. And around the table four of his sisters, his mom and dad, all doing pretty musch the same thing (without the bouncing)

And it ran through my head - THIS is why we sing.


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: TNDARLN
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 08:28 AM

Thanks for the hospitality, Susan. I be in Tennessee, on the right.

T.


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: kendall
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 09:05 AM

Mick, now I have two reasons to make you a hero! Having been one of 9 kids in a very poor family, this story really got to me.


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Marion
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 11:13 PM

In response to the guest who in part 1 mentioned hearing about an orchestra in Auschwitz... (can anyone confirm or deny?)

The book "Night" by Elie Wiesel is a first hand account of concentration camp life by a man who was a teenager at the time. He describes another young man who somehow brought his violin to the camp with him and kept it with him right until his death... one evening during a forced march from one location to another, he played Jewish music on it... the next morning the boy had died, with the violin crushed beneath him.

As disturbing as the whole book is, this episode really stood out to me. You may want to read the book, but you may not; it's certainly the most terrible thing I've ever read.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Bert
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 11:19 PM

Wow Barry, another Mudcat classic quote "Singing, it's just like breathing."

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Marion
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 11:32 PM

Here's a story from my late father; during the last 20 years of his life, he and my mother went faithfully to the local nursing homes to lead hymn sings, and he often described what he called his first hymn sing.

My father fought in the Second World War; he was one of these small-towners leaving Canada for the first time, leaving behind his wife and children, going to fight a war across the ocean with no idea of when he might return.

The troopships departing from Halifax observed the blackout to lower the risk of attack. On the second night of the journey, my father wandered up to the front of the ship to stand and think, and he says that he was feeling very alone and far from home.

So he began to sing:

Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead thou me on.
The night is dark, and I am far from home
Lead thou me on.
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

As he sang, a dozen other voices joined him out of the darkness; when the finished the hymn, there was a pause, and someone said, "Do you know....?" And they sang several more hymns together. He never did find out who the other singers were that night.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Alice
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 09:12 AM

How can I keep from singing?


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Big Mick
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 10:04 AM

In ones life, if they have done enough things right to be able to count them on both hands, then they are blessed. Starting this thread is one of those things for me, each time I read another piece of someones heartstory. Thanks Marion, for adding to that story.

Kendall, I thought you were my hero!! If you think it was touching to read, you should have been there. I got the sense, standing in front of this wee man as he explained to me, that I was in the presence of a wonderful and kind spirit that reveals its presence to us only every so often. And only if we care enough to look for it. I see hero's every day, but none bigger than that young man.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Kim C
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 12:14 PM

I am also in Tennessee, in the middle. :-)

I don't remember what I said in the first thread, so please forgive me if I repeat myself.

I have sung all my life. I never wanted to do anything but sing. I felt like there were too few outlets for what I wanted to do, even in Nashville. So I got a real job but I kept on singing, if only for myself.

Finally, now, I am living that lifelong dream of singing. I realize that it didn't happen before because I didn't understand how to appreciate that gift. I was big-headed about it when I was younger. I expected people's compliments because I knew I was good.

Nowadays I am simply in awe when people say they like what I do. I sing for the little old lady who throws her arms around me with tears in her eyes... for the stranger who looks me dead in the eye and says Thank you for sharing, you have a beautiful voice... and for that little 3-year old boy cuttin a rug at the foot of the stage.

And I sing for my father who now listens from a star in the heavens. He gave me this voice.

I get paid now, and that's really nice. But it doesn't even come close to the gratitude I have for the gratitude of others. This is my gift God gave me to share, and just being able to share it means so much to me.

Cheers----- Kim


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 12:33 PM

I sing because I don't know how to stop. I wander around work singing, even though I don't really want to be here. I sing in the truck on the way to work on the way home when i am driving anywhere. The time I know when to stop is when I am in bed with my head in my pillow, drifting away, then my wife's voice says "will you shut up and go to sleep" JohnB


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Jim Krause
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 01:55 PM

I think we're all alike that way. We can't stop singing, and why would we want to? Singing probably saved my sanity when I went through some very wrenching times when I was 22. I look back at that time and can only shudder. But through it all I kept on singing bacause I didn't know what else to do, and no one had any answers for all the pain and suffering. >br>Jim


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 05:22 PM

JohnB, I sing in my sleep - not out loud, but I do often wake and realise I've been 'practising ' in my sleep.


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Hawker
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 05:47 PM

Because I always have!
I was planning a project and one of the parts of this was - 'Making singing part of everyday life' I had trouble actually understanding that it wasn't for everybody. When I talked to my kids about it they said that the kids who come to our house to play think I am mad / fun / funny 'cos I make up songs rather than talk, sometimes it's opera, sometimes it's church choir, sometimes it's rock n roll etc, but it's a hell of a lot more fun than just talking! I have yet to work out how to get others who dont to try it, but maybe I'll just sing the whole workshop!
No, really, I do love to sing, and I do tend to sing instead of talking, but I am relatively normal otherwise (apart from playing the bodhran - usually in time!)
Lucy


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 12:29 AM

I've thought about this for several weeks now and tonight I guess it's time to take a shot at saying it. Because I sing, I came here and because I came here, I made many friends, many unmet, and yet as close to me as any I've known. I found friends here who sang for their friends, in happiness and sadness, in good times and bad.......and I often joined in the chorus. Too often though in the past few years, the song has been for me as I've gone through some of life's less pleasant experiences. I have been more than moved by the songs written, the good thoughts and prayers sent to me and Karen. I believe that my life has been not just enriched, but frankly saved by the songs, thoughts, and prayers, of my friends here at the 'Cat. Sometimes I wonderered why I was so blessed........................

A few days after the latest miraculous surgery which could have left me dead instead of here writing this post, I was up and about, bored stiff, and wandering the halls of Floor 8 at OSU's University Hospital. I was perusing the skyline through other room's windows and watching the progress on renovations at Ohio Stadium. Floor 8 is the Cardiac floor in a hospital that specializes in high risk heart patients and surgery so the occasional deaths are more the norm than they are in other places. Standing in the hallway and peering through a window in a waiting area, a woman broke my thoughts by asking, "Hi! I keep noticing you passing. Why are you here?" I guess it wasn't until then I realized it was a family waiting area. I saw no one else in the room and as she had asked, I wandered in and told her why I was there. She was knitting away as we spoke and after a few minutes of my story, I asked why she was there.

She began to tell me of her husband, 74 years old and a healthy man til a month ago. Now his overall heart function had been reduced to 30% when he was brought in and even with the best efforts of the Doctors, it was now down to 10%. We talked of their life and what he had done, what they had done together, their children, their retirement. He had been a Union president at one point and merged with a larger union where he was Secretary for many years. They had enjoyed a retirement of almost 20 years together and had a fine life. So we talked on and on for about an hour. The best I could do was reassure her of that which she already knew.....Memories were rich and wonderful things, a fine family was about the best thing anyone could have, friends were great too, and that she had those things to hold onto as the time was now short for him.

Her nephew Harold, a fellow about my age, came in about that time and we talked for a few minutes. I said my goodbyes and wished them the best. A few hours later, wandering the halls again, I heard a few moaning, low pitched, screams and as I turned the corner, realized they came from her husband's room. I continued on, hoping to get back to my room before things got "busy." As I walked past, Mrs. "X" came out holding Harold's arm and our eyes met briefly. I tried the best "chin-up smile" that I could muster and moved aside as they headed for an area set aside for those times. I went into my bathroom and shed a few for her and for the life she now faced. It happens every day, thousands of times the world over, but 54 years together is a long time.........................

The next day Harold came into my room and asked if he could have a few words with me. He said he was there to pick up a few things and his aunt had asked him to see me if I was still there. He said that she appreciated the time I had spent with her and the words I had said, although I had no idea what they were......and still don't. He thanked me for being there, that she was really thankful for meeting me, and said that, "Whatever you said to her, it meant a lot." I thanked him and we made some small talk, he wished me well, and we parted company. I laid down and thought about it and began to wonder about things in general..........Most of it sounds kinda' hokey I guess, but it got down to this.......................

Maybe all those songs sung for me and prayers and thoughts sent my way assured that I'd be in that hallway where I was given the chance to say a few words that helped another human being in a time of need. Maybe without the songs of my friends, Mrs."X" would have done just fine, but she was grateful I was there............And I was there thanks to you. Let's all continue to sing for our friends.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Amos
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 12:45 AM

Spaw,

You demonstrate what I think I have figgered out -- that many of us sing because we are blessed with hearts that are so big they over-fill and must needs reach out into the large space of our fellow human beings in all dimensions. And that is done at times by singing, and at times by simply speaking, and at times by the listening silence with which you gifted Harold's aunt.

If ever there does come a time when you decide to drop the shell, move back, look around, perhaps review things, look down, or any of the other things folks are said to do when they are figuring out what next to pursue by way of a lifetime -- I hope you will see me putting up a small sign on your behalf somewhere, and realize in some small way how appreciated you are. Maybe brass, or polished cedar, or fine rare stone, simply reading:

To Spaw --

He Had the Biggest Heart of All


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 01:45 AM

:~)


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 10:57 AM

Amos, I think your first paragraph sums up much of what we have read in this two-parter thread........You may have it "figgered out." Thanks for your kindness and thanks again to Mick for a wonderful thread idea.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Noreen
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 01:00 PM

Thank you , Spaw and Amos. *sniff*


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: GUEST,KT
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 01:25 PM

I'm reminded of the Poverty thread. Indeed, we are all rich, aren't we? Thanks for your insight, Spaw. I'm on my way to a gig right now, and reading this thread again makes me ready and eager. Now if this keyboard gets any wetter, it's gonna short out! I'll sing a few, with joy, for mudcatters everywhere! KT


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Peter T.
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 02:22 PM

This is the thread I always refer people to when they ask what is the Mudcat about. I think it has to do with the array of STOTMIs here (Smart Talking Outside, Total Mush Inside).

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 04:44 PM

Tonight I am headed for the studio. I will sing. I will sing for a man who has become one of my best friends. I will sing for Spaw, and I will sing because folks like this lady, her son, and her departed husband count on the likes of us to sing.

Love you, Pat.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Peter T.
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 05:11 PM

Hey Mick, check your PM's. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Hollowfox
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 06:39 PM

(not quite thread creep) Just now I ran across a blurb for a book that's coming out next month (August 2001); "How Can We Keep From Singing: Music and the Passionate Life" by Joan Oliver Norton (Norton Pub. ISBN 0-393-02024-X). "Provides an evocative celebration of singing and the creative spirit as it takes a close-up look at the world of amateur musicians and music and emphasizes the human need to play the "invisible instrument" of human creativity." It probably won't cover the subject half as well as these threads, but it has possabilities.


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 08:43 PM

I've read this thread from the outset and if a book can match some of the stories told here, it should be great. It's probably worth a read in any case!

Thanks for your kind comments as I thought long and hard before posting the above story. PT is right of course.....we're a kind of mushy bunch on the inside......which is why we sing, with passion.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 12:51 PM

I am glad you told it, Spaw. It gave me chills up the spine the first time and filled my heart full of gratitude for this place and for you.

luvyadarlin'...kat


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 01:41 PM

I sing for the past, present and future. Remember the past, sing it to the present, so it can be passed on to the future.

Every last one of us is born with a musical instrument, our voice. Whether we are rich or poor, we can use it.

How can I keep from singing?


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 04:00 PM

When my mum had had several strokes, and her mind was wandering, I sat by her bed. My lasting memory of her is of her going about the house singing; I never heard her sing anywhere else. My sister and I also sang around the house ( much to the fury, sometimes, of my brother!) A little voice said 'sing me to sleep'- and I did.


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: mousethief
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 04:02 PM

Neat story, Guest. Shortly before my grandmother (dad's mom) died, everybody in the family went to visit her but me (I was at work). She kept saying, "Where's Al?" Finally I got off work and was able to go visit her, alone. She was unresponsive, but I sat at her bed and sang the old hymns she loved. She died while I was driving home.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 04:31 PM

MMario, in the fifth post in this thread, recalled a child at a concert bouncing to the beat and singing, accompanied by the whole family singing, but presumably much more controlled body language.

This reminded me of a class I took with West Virginia Old-Time banjo guru Dwight Diller, a great if somewhat imperious banjo teacher. He said something like:

"Say you're playin' the banjo at one end of a room, and at a table at the other end are some people, talkin', not even listenin' to you play the music. They don't even know it, but their feet are tappin' in time with your music. THEN you know you've got the rhythm!"

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: MMario
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 04:39 PM

actually - with the crowd I hang around with, normally it's the kids that have the subdued body language. But we were on "best behaviour" 'cuz it was Seamus.

And this is the last time I skip reading this thread when it pops up more then once a day. to emotion-twisting overload otherwise.


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 04:42 PM

Someone wrote about her mother singing things to people rather than talking.

When my Beautiful Wife and I were newlyweds, back in the Late Pleistocene, we often sang "opera" to each other:

So I might sing, making up the recitativ-type tune as I went along:
Good bye, my love!
I'm off now to the office!
I'm off now to the office for the day!
For the day!
For the day!
I'm off now to the office for the day!
I will be home
This evening, at day's ending,
This evening, at day's ending, with a kiss!

And she would probably reply in kind. Fun! Haven't done that kind of thing in years! Might just try this tonight, and see just how crazy my Bride thinks I am. (Well, I know that already, but how much crazier than usual.)

DAve Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: SINSULL
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 08:22 PM

I sing for myself. I always have. To my cats. For Aunt May who died many years ago but whose songs live on in me. But I have a terrible time singing in front of people. In the movie "Yankee Doodle Dandy" George M Cohan tells his wife that she has "a nice little voice". That's how I feel about mine. Usually on key - a nice little voice but never meant to fill a room. I sang for people for the first time on Mudcat's Hearme. And have a few times since. My head is full of lyrics. I used to fill up an eight hour drive with one song after another and still have five or six more ready. I sing for my son who at 26 still begs for "The Golden Vanity", his absolute favorite. When I stop singing I will die.


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 09:51 PM

SINS - voices don't have to fill rooms to be worth hearing - only hearts. The quietest voice can do that. I heard you. Keep singing.


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 10:08 PM

Susan sings hymns for me!

MS has taken away my ability to sing, so now I experience singing through others.

When I feel an overwhelming desire to sing, for some reason it's usually a hymn, usually one of the Early American hymn tunes. (Sacred Heart shaped-note singing.)


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 10:26 PM

That's odd Mary. When I read your postings here and your notes to me, I hear you singing all the time.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 06:52 PM

sinsull, or mabe it should be 'when I die I'll stop singing'


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 10:45 PM

Both are true GUEST. Mary in K - keep singing in your heart.


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: JohnB
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 11:16 PM

That's what CD's, tapes and all that recording equipment are for. So that when we are not here to sing ourselves, our songs will still be around. I have a tape of my mother singing songs which she recorded in England and sent to us in Canada primarily for my children. It is totally irreplaceable and was done on a recorder that cost about 18 quid in 1975ish. It's not the quality that makes it, like someone said earlier, it was done from the heart. We should all leave a legacy like that. JohnB


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Sourdough
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 03:18 AM

It took until today before I read this thread and I realized what I had been missing. Big Mick's original post is wonderful. It is followed by wonderfully open stories from others but Susan's telling of someone's final moments is particularly special. What a wondeful thread(s) this is. Thank you all for creating it.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 12:48 PM

Because if we don't... the world is too quiet, and too sad for anyone in it to think straight.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: Big Mick
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 10:34 AM

I am sitting here, still numb, still trying to sort out my feelings. We have a thread with the subject of "A Mothers Opinion". It caused me to sit and think about this whole tragedy from the perspective of the roles that I play. Those being as citizen, Dad, Grandpa and Husband, Union/political/citizen activist, Warrior, and Bard. And as ponder these things, I find my thoughts wandering back to this old thread. I look around at the madness, and wonder "Why we sing"?

Citizens are taught here that this is the greatest country in the world. There is much to suggest that this is so, as long as one only looks at it through the prism of our good deeds and our successes. But, if we Yanks dare, we need to ask ourselves why a considerable part of this world has large factions that would gladly "strike at the head of the snake" in spite of what we do. Many citizens around the world love Americans, yet hate America. I am so proud to be an American, yet I want us to quit looking at the world through blinders. To paraphrase Paolo Freire, "To stand by and do nothing to end the suffering is to side with the torturers". I want these bastards rooted out, true enough???.yet I want us to look at our place in the world through different eyes????..I want us to understand that we aren't the greatest, rather we are apart of the greatest????the greatest work that God ever did. That is creating the entire human race. If it is wrong for our children to suffer, then it is wrong for all children to suffer. If it is wrong for Americans to suffer the fear of this attack, then it is wrong for all people to suffer that fear. If it is wrong for anyone to withhold medicine that could help our people, then it is wrong to withhold medicine that could help Iraqui's. I am proud to be an American, but I am acutely aware that we can no longer choose which good things we are going to do. I want us to move to the politics of a consistent set of base values, instead of the politics of convenience. And so I sing. I must sing the songs that raise awareness. I must sing songs that help us feel pride, justly so, in the great things we have accomplished. And then I must sing songs so that we know that we still have a long way to go before we reach our potential for goodness.

I am a Dad and husband. Each night when I come in, I go upstairs and look at my wee girl, and think of how much I love her, her sisters, and my grandson. I usually hum an old Irish Lullaby, "The Connemara Cradle Song". If Ciara is awake, she likes "John O'Dreams". MaryLou is usually asleep on the couch. I know that I want to protect and shelter them from all this. I want to sing to them of how beautiful the world is and shelter them from all that isn't. But I know that I cannot. That if I do this, then I will not be preparing them for what is so. I know that I must sing to them of what is sad, of what must be fixed, of what is tragic??????..I must sing of all these things, as well as of all that is beautiful. But most of all I must sing to them of hope, of what is possible, and of what THEY can do to make it so. It isn't fair that we can't just fix the problems with a song. But we can inspire our loved ones to make a difference.

In my work, I follow a path towards the goal of improving the workplace, government, and the community. I try to show that there is a problem. I then try to show how it applies to the person/community that I am dealing with. Once I establish this, then I work to show the solution and attempt to get that resolution. It seems to me that it is easy to see that the problem is that we have been attacked in a horrific manner, that it affects everyone of us in this country and the world at large. And that we must go after these individuals/organizations. But my training and experience tells me that there is another bridge beyond the fog. People just don't wake up one morning and decide to kill thousands and thousands of people in one fell swoop. We surely MUST punish those that sponsored this madness. But then we must turn our eyes to the horizon. We must go to those that believe that there was some justification for this madness and try to understand the conditions that spawned that belief. We must listen with our empathic receivers turned up full. We must apply values in a consistent way. We must realize that if it is wrong to kill civilians in New York City, then it is wrong to kill them in Harrah's Department store in London. If it is wrong to make war on non-combatants in the US, then it is wrong in the North of Ireland. If conditions are so bad that a people decide to be suicide bomb in Manhattan, then we must try to understand what causes this in Jerusalem. As a proud American, I want to sing the songs that raise these issues. I want to sing, so that my countrymen will understand that we have done great things, but that we have not come close to our potential greatness. All human beings have greatness in them. I have seen the hero's every day of my worklife. But they aren't sports figure, politicians, or generals. They are average people, struggling to live, and wanting to do what they can to make the world a better place. I must sing the songs that show them the way.

I am a warrior. I say this not in a melodramatic way. I do not say it with bravado, or to impress. It is simply a statement of fact. The part of me that is a warrior knows the dirty work that must be done. The real warrior hates the tasks that must be completed, but understands that s/he stands in that murky place between absolute good and absolute evil. There is a very thin line that separates us from being an agent of change for better, or the facilitator of great terror. We tend to look at things different from the idealist. I have always admired the peace advocates. The people that say that the anwer is simply "No More War". But I also know that will never be. The planet is not full of automatons that, when being bad, can simply be programmed. And besides, one persons "bad" is another persons "good". Despite my desperate desire to change the hearts and minds of those that think there is justification in this, the facts are that this is not possible. And so I must make a value judgement and pray to my God that I am choosing correctly. And then begin the hunt. The perpetrators and their sponsors must be hunted down. Their ability to repeat this horro must be destroyed beyond repair. That work will fall to those that are doing the work now. I must sing to the warriors and tell them I understand, but not many will. I must sing to others and tell them that these men and woman are doing the hard work that most could not do. I must sing to the warriors and tell them that they must never lose their souls, for if they do then they have simply become killing machines????.and eternally damned. And I must sing to them and tell them to choose who they follow with great care.

Bard. To write it, and look at the word stirs ancient feelings from the old part of the soul. Those of us who walk the path of Bard????..and that includes many who are reading these words???.need to understand that our place in 2001 is no less relevant than it was several thousand years ago. In fact it is more relevant. Our spiritual ancestors were charged with reporting the news of the day. Depending on how they chose to do it, or for whom they served, they could create the news in a way that served their purpose. Today, the electronic media means that others do that. And that makes our work all the more important. We, as bards of the modern era, must be vigilant. We must watch with sensitive eyes and listen with sensitive ears. We must ever be aware of the importance of our work, even when no one is listening.

And so we sing. We sing to help us clear our minds. We sing because our place in the world demands that we do so. We sing because we love our families, our countries, our world?????..our children. I sing for the little 8 year old boy that wanted to go to prison because he would get three meals and clean sheets every day. I imagine him, grown to manhood, and saying to me "I told you so". And I know that I must sing to show a better way, and make this not so. I sing for Santa's kids so that they might know that their goodness is all that stands between us and the senseless brutality. And I sing for my own salvation. Enough.


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 11:01 AM

As always, well done bro.............I am always proud to have you as a friend, sometimes even moreso....like now. Well spoken and truly felt.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: PeteBoom
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 11:16 AM

WYSIWYG - thanks for refreshing this.

Mick - tremendous couple of messages.

I sing because there are times that nothing else can say what I'm trying to say. Wrote a lament last night when doing mundane work around the house - I'll look at it in a week or two to see if it is still good.

Got a message this morning I did not want. A fellow I met at a pipe band contest a couple of years ago and have met there regularly since is among the missing fire fighters. The brother of another piper I met is also missing.

My grandkids have all fallen asleep in my arms at one time or another being sung to sleep by grandpa. My wife has done the same. I can only hope that Mike and Brian found a peacefull rest and hear music better than any I can produce.


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: jeffp
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 11:19 AM

Mick .........thank you.

jeffp


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Subject: RE: Why We Sing, Part II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 12:28 PM

Pete... thinking of the pipers who will pipe for pipers...

~S~


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