From about 1987 to 1991 there was a movement underfoot which eventually led to the restoration of independence in Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. It was called the Singing Revolution because of how important the voices of protest in song were to the movement. Each night, there were sponteaneous choral protests, voices together moving towards a shared future.
This was not the first time that singing has accompanied revolution and it will not be the last. The fact is that we are most Human when the spaces between us disappear. There is no time when those spaces disappear more than when we fill the space with vibration in song. When we become sound.
I’ve shared my favorite definition for sound before. Sound is a disturbance of air. It is the reaction to collective movement. The movement of air particles excited within one person, or a legion of people. Voices collectively disturbing air.
Today, in this country, the air seems held. The held breath of the frightened, the oppressed, the concerned. The held breath of the past trying to hold back the future. The held breath of shame trying to evade its reckoning. There is no better time for us to lift our voices collectively. A time to sing with friends and family, a time to sing with strangers. This country, so amazing resilient, so brazenly itself, and so incredibly stubborn has faltered. We seem to be stumbling over past mistakes and burning the whole thing down. It also seems that the people holding the matches are the least likely to get hurt in the blaze.
Still, there is hope and there is possibility. And, though it is very, very frightening, I hope you will sing. I hope you will find the songs to connect with others, to light the way, to disturb this air. I hope you will sing without regard to talent, or perceived goodness. I hope you will sing from your heart and invite others to hear you and be with you. I hope we can find eachother in the night and make our own singing revolution.
My voice is ready, will you join me?
Here is my current songlist. Which songs inspire you?
We shall Overcome by Mahalia Jackson
Let it Be by Paul McCartney
Imagine by John Lennon
Sunday, Bloody Sunday by U2
People have the Power by Patti Smith
One by U2
Mississippi Goddamn by Nina Simone
Staring at the Sun by U2
Kyrie from Mass by Frank Martin
My favorite songs to Dance it out:
This is America by Childish Gambino
Green Garden by Laura Mvula