Oh Yes I Did

I’m unusually tired and it hasn’t been a great week and I don’t really feel like blogging.  But I really want to post something.  So in the grand tradition of slacker blogging (if you call it a grand tradition it’s almost like it’s a good thing) I’m reposting out of my archives.

And the thing about reposting out of my archives is that this little gem is from two years ago before any of you read my blog because it was even a different blog and no one read it ever which is why I quit blogging there and stopped blogging at all for a while.  Anyway, I think it’s a good post and one worth reading so without further ado, here it is: Originally titled “Lift Up Your Voice and Sing.”

I have a tendency to sing. I do it out loud and I do it quite a bit. Now, I have a decent voice, musical talent runs in my family and I’ve sung in various choirs and whatnot, but I don’t (entirely) sing because I think I sound great. I will admit that sometimes I do think I sound great, sometimes not so much. I do it because I like to, and because I’m not afraid to.

There’s mention in The Devine Secrets of the Yaya Sisterhood of the fact that “When I was a girl people used to whistle all the time. (This is almost certainly misquoted, but it was something to that effect.) and now they don’t.” I believe that the same could be said about singing. I believe that people used to sing. Look at the numbers of negro spirituals there are out there, these are songs that were sung while picking cotton, a job that has to be amazingly boring and monotonous (while being quite physically taxing at the same time) but people still pick cotton (I think) and people definitely do things that are equally boring these days. How about working on an assembly line, or quality control, or surgery… (no, I’m getting off the point) My point is that people are still doing tedious jobs but they’re not singing to entertain themselves any more. Why not?

I have a few theories, I imagine that the truth is really a combination of all of them. The first is that with the rise of recording, music has become something one could specialize in. While I’m sure talent in that area has always been recognized and appreciated it used to be that the miller had an inspiring deep baritone that was a pleasure to listen to, but he was still the miller. Now he’s the singer and he buys his flour from someone else. With the recognition of that talent comes the inferiority complexes of those who don’t have it. Most of the rest of the theories stem from mass media. Now that we have music recorded we have music with us every where we go. We don’t need to sing while we grocery shop because Muzak has taken care of that for us. And while we sit doing quality control we have our headphones on and our I-pods (I’ll save my rant on Apple for another day) blasting.

Then there’s the fact that singing is usually a group thing. Sure you can solo, I do it a lot but not because I necessarily want to, it’s because not one else will join in. And people are just not that friendly anymore. We don’t even smile at strangers, we certainly wouldn’t sing with them. And apparently we wouldn’t sing for them either. What the heck happened to Carolers?

Perhaps I’m not the one to lecture on reaching out to your fellow men, I’m blogging here, not actually talking after all but I find this sad. I find all of it really sad. C’mon, it’s Christmas, it’s the time of year when we’re supposed to be neighborly. So, I’d like to encourage all within the sound of my blog to do it. Sing. Like I said before it’s Christmas, you know the words to that song wafting overhead while you stand in line to buy gifts, and if you don’t you certainly know the tune, hum it, whistle it. Sing it a little. Maybe you’ll get some strange looks, aren’t you tough enough to take that? Do it for me, you won’t be alone. As I said I sing a lot, this time of year pretty much everywhere I go.

P.S. For those who really take this to heart check this website out.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. LisAway
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 06:03:38

    I think I can guess why people might not sing during surgery.

    I’m a singer too. Not in the professional sense. Being a SAHM DEMANDS that we sing. Doesn’t it? Not to or for the kids (except sometimes, of course) but don’t we have to sing about everything that we’re doing? Or at least sing real songs while we’re doing things? And don’t we have to sometimes sing those songs VERY LOUDLY and with extra vibrato (that we don’t have) or in a more tenor/bass key? We do!

    I almost always sing while I’m grocery shopping. To the music playing over the whatever system. Like in a near-regular volume, not under my breath. I’m sure this is annoying to some (especially in Poland where you keep to yourself in public) but I have to do it.

  2. Annette
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 07:51:56

    I sing in the car all the time. The kids hate it. I love humiliating them. Is that terrible? 😀

  3. Kristina
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 09:00:56

    I knew you would love the naked neighbors post. And honestly, if I hadn’t seen them with my own eyes, I wouldn’t believe it either. Oh, and my husband is a witness.

    And my almost Mormon coworker loves to turn up the radio and sing away. It’s sort of like karaoke night at my work. And I don’t like it.

  4. bythelbs
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 10:12:32

    I sing in the car with my kids all the time. And at home. I don’t sing much in public because I can just barely carry a tune in a basket with a lid on it. I am feeling brave enough to host a karaoke Christmas party with a few close friends who I know will laugh with me not just at me. There is something about singing that brings people together.

  5. the letter Bee
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 12:28:55

    My attorneys sing ALL.THE.TIME. Outloud. With no shame. They sing everything. New stuff. David Archuletta. Songs from Wicked and Mamma Mia!.

    Sometimes I cry in the bathroom.

  6. Jewel/Pink Ink
    Dec 12, 2008 @ 08:37:24

    I’ll be singing tonight at our ward talent show. But it’s more of a hammy piece that I told my husband will cement my rep as a person to not ask to sing at sacrament meeting because I might do something embarassing 🙂

    Sing on!!

  7. Kristina
    Dec 12, 2008 @ 18:47:09

    Oh, and P.S., I’m going Christmas caroling tomorrow at a nursing home. I’m like one step below Mother Theresa. I feel all do-goody and stuff.

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