Old Repost: “Sing”


Rara put a request out today for something nice.  While the news story that inspired this post was not very nice, the sentiment is.  And given all the crappy news since last Friday, I think we should all remember to sing a little song once in a while.

Dan reminded me about this terrible story from Miami last week (original link broken). I get that public transportation has to have rules and regulations to ensure the safety and comfort of the passengers. I get that they don’t want to encourage any activity that can be viewed as disruptive or illegal. I use public transportation, so I understand and make every attempt to abide by the rules. And I also understand that there are laws governing street musicians, and so on. But who in the hell thinks it’s okay to yank an old lady off the train just because she was singing hymns? She wasn’t busking for loose change; she wasn’t being offensive. She was just singing and tapping some object in time to the song. It might be against the rules, but I figure the rules can be bent a little to accommodate an 82-year-old woman. Seriously.

Dan’s post also reminded me of this little ditty from the glory days of Sesame Street. It’s a simple song, about a simple pleasure. Singing is something common to virtually every culture in the world. It’s the most portable form of music, and the easiest to participate in–all you need is some air and a voice. Not everyone is blessed with a professional voice, but so what? These days, half the professionals don’t even have professional voices. I, for one, like singing along with my music. I often find myself randomly humming or singing songs all day long. (Whenever I file things, I have the urge to sing “Strangers in the Night.” I have absolutely no idea why.) Now, when I’m on the bus, wearing the iPod, I’ll just mouth the words like I’m trying out for a lip-synching competition. But I’m singing in my head.

So today I’m going to encourage everyone to engage in a little act of civil disobedience and add a little beauty to the world: sing out loud in public somewhere. Sing on the bus. Sing at the grocery store. Sing while standing in line at the bank. Or the DMV. Emma Anderson refused to stop singing, so let’s all join in.