I was walking in Glasgow, nothing much on my mind
When I entered a pub full of song-loving kind...
I hope you'll click over to my public folder on my idisk to hear this song. I stumbled onto a meeting of the Traditional Music and Song Society of Scotland, Glasgow chapter. They were in the back room of the pub. After the meeting- vera serious by the way- Robert's Rules of Order and all- a few invited singers performed from the stage. The last singer just pointed down at the man in front and he launched into a song, acapella. When he got through, he asked, "Which way we goin' then?" Around the room we went and everyone sang a song! It was so delightful to be around people who feel that singing is just a natural thing to do in life.
I was made so welcome and when I sang the Shaker hymn "Tis a Gift to Be Simple," everyone knew it and joined in. I grew up listening to Pete Seeger who is so expert at getting people to sing along. I sang in elementary school as a matter of course- "This Land is Your Land" was still a schoolhouse staple then. My youngest daughter attends Smith College and she is always telling me of get-togethers where group singing is a matter of course. In most of the U.S., unfortunately, singing is a thing for the few. People don't feel it's normal to bust out in song. There are singers- the professionals and the wannabes- and the rest of us just listen (and judge).
Recently, I was telling a group of people at a potluck about all this and they soooo missed the point. One man seemed actually compelled to "nip it in the bud" as if I was merely leading up to performing. I had no intention of performing there, but would have been happy to hear from one and all and then sing myself. But we don't do that in America and it's a damn shame. In my recent blog "Family Reunion" I spoke of growing up in a singing family. We are truly missing out on one of the joys of life in America. One of the great aspects of the Civil Rights Movement was all that group singing. I miss that.
Well, I haven't started posting in any format that Thom's website has so please just go to http://public.me.com/burldunn and click on the mp3 "Sing One and All," won't you?
The picture I'm posting with this blog is of me singing a song called "Cockroach Fever" in another Glasgow pub. Check out this crazy song at http://burldunn.blogspot.com/2010/07/cock.html