Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Simple Suggestion #266... Sing with a friend

I think it began on my 17th birthday. My best friend, Cathy, happened to be in town, and we went for a long walk together. And somewhere on that walk, she taught me to sing "When I first came to this land." I still remember all of the words, I think. I probably taught her a song, too. So there we were, two seventeen-year-olds, walking along the North Saskatchewan River, singing two part harmony.

And it grew from there. In October, the day our trains got all messed up, we unexpectedly found ourselves at a train station in rural France... learning another song in two parts. We've got several duets that we like to sing together, and one evening not so long ago when I was really missing her (she lives 1284 km away), I called her up. When she said "Hello?" I launched into this song, and of course she joined right in:

I have been fortunate to have sung with many friends through the years. I'm particularly pleased to have reconnected with a fellow I used to sing with in a youth group as a teenager. We're both three decades older now, but somehow our voices still fit together like lego blocks. It gives me so much joy to sing harmony with him at church once a month because somehow I can just feel in my bones when he'll begin and what my next note should be, thanks mostly to our early years of collaboration, I think. And there are other friends whose voices are imprinted in my soul from other times, people  with whom I'd like to think I could pick up a tune at the drop of a hat.

Then there are my sisters. We sang together in the car on long trips when we were little... and learned a few melodies in three part harmony in our teens. I loved singing with them, but our regular monthly gig at church ended about ten years ago and has never been replaced by anything else. Sisters, if you ever want to sing non-church music together, just the three of us, I'm game! A capella if you want!

Today's simple suggestion to sing with a friend doesn't mean the music needs to be high quality or aired in public. Even if you don't consider yourself to be a musical person, it can be fun to find a friend and sing along to the radio or attend an in-home karaoke night. All that's needed for guaranteed mood improvment is a friend, a fun little ditty, and a willingness to sing your hearts out. Singing along with Sharon, Lois and Bram or Charlotte Diamond with our kids when they were small made a lot of car trips a lot more pleasant!

Sing with a friend, just for the health of it. And if you have a favourite song that you like to sing with a favourite someone, I'd love to hear about it!

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