Good old Facebook. It has a memory, and shared that I posted this story on this day in 2011. It was on the old janparkerarts page in the notebook, the one without a comment section.
A friend wrote to tell me a comment section would be nice, as they had some thoughts this particular post.
So, today I’m re-posting the story. My feelings on this topic, are stronger than ever.
December 12, 2011
I went to the The Vancouver Men’s Choir Concert last night with my friend Rosie. As far as a holiday traditions go; this one is fantastic!
What’s not to love about 50 men singing and dancing in celebration on stage? It’s a fun concert, and the conductor is fabulous!
What I enjoy most about this holiday concert is the content of songs. They sing winter songs and sing a-long Christmas carols. And while, the performance is held in a church, there aren’t any “glory to god” songs. More like, Frosty the Snowman and Jingle Bells type songs. If I’m mistaken the glory to, type of songs aren’t the focus, and with the arrangements I’m able to by-pass the words.
By-pass the words.
Okay, here we go. I just opened my own can of worms.
I’ve had this conversation a few times this week, as it is concert season. I used to sing with a choir. Now, as much as singing in public challenges my comfort zone and voice, the really hard part for me, was raising my voice in praise of something I do not believe in. The choir I was part of sang a lot, of “glory to god” songs.
When I voiced my concerns I was told to “not worry about it,” try not to think about the words, I should just focus on the notes or beauty of the music.
I tried, but finally came to realize, nope. Words matter. What we say matters. What we think and sing about matters.
In one of Art Baner’s Qigong classes, he challenged us to walk for 30 days with bad posture, and hold negative thoughts during that time as an experiment. Of course, no one was willing to do that! We all knew the effect it would have on us! It wouldn’t be long before we were walking our talk, and feeling terrible and depressed. How about if we were asked to welcome the world with a smile and joy? It wouldn’t be long before we were having joyful days and feeling pretty good.
Because what we say, think and sing… matters.
If they are “just” words, in these songs, how many of us would gladly sing a rap song, exploiting rape, cruelty, or murder?
Why not? The beat could be fun to bounce or dance to, maybe you are at a party that is hopping and the rhythm of the song is catchy. Would you sing “words” about rape? Would you sing it in public? Would it matter to you if you were asked not to worry about the words? Would you play gangster songs if you found them to be offensive? To my ears, religious church music is just as uncomfortable. I’m not willing to by-pass the words for the melody.
It is easy to fool ourselves, and get caught up in the melody or mood of the season. But, day by day, word by word, song by song, I’m more particular about what I listen to, sing and say.
I am either becoming more open or closing down further. I don’t know if I am standing in my truth, or stuck in my ways. I do know I’m not interested in listening to or singing songs of praise to something I cannot fathom and feel is harmful.
When I wrote this in 2011, I had no comment button on this bloggy thing. Today, there is one, I invite your thoughts. But, please let me remind you — say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t say it mean… if you say anything at all, because words matter, no matter the tune.